Could you tell us a bit about yourself, what you sell at GoodiesHub.com and how you got started?
GoodiesHub.com offers unique and amazing products ONLY available online. Our extensive product line includes handcrafted and designer pewter tableware, designer Africa jewellery in sterling silver or gold including an exclusive collection of elephant hair jewellery, exquisite body and bath products from Beauty Factory and many more. We market both to the individual consumer as well as commercial buyers, such as designers of hotels, lodges and guest houses.
Our degree of experience brings an impressive portfolio to the table. That is what makes it possible for us to provide our customers with the best and friendliest service possible, making every purchase a happy and pleasant experience.
GoodiesHub.com is the perfect marriage between experienced “Old School” brick and mortar businessmen and “New School” business of the younger, technologically-minded generation.
We’re nice guys, we’re professional and we are really good at meeting clients’ requirements on time, on price and with a smile.
What did it take to get your first products in stock? Has that changed since you started?
We do not dropship but we also carry NO stock. We work with selected manufacturers who sell their products exclusively online through us. All these products are collected once ordered and manufactured and are personally packaged for every customer giving them that unique GoodiesHub.com purchasing experience.
How did you get your first sale?
Our first order was generated within our first week of existence. As we sell quite expensive and exclusive products, we have made the decision to grow organically rather than pushing it with lots of ad campaigns.
What obstacles and challenges have you overcome along the way?
The biggest obstacle we had to overcome was how to efficiently offer our products online for both our international as well as our local South African market, which of course also involves accepting different currencies. We had to open a carbon copy shop of our USD store for our local customers, offering our products in ZAR to them. This was controlled by a switching system that could read the IP address and direct visitors to either the USD or ZAR store.
What influenced your decision to use Shopify?
We have done a lot of research prior opening our first USD store and Shopify was the platform that catered the most to our requirements with the best ease of use.
What was the process like to get started? Is there anything you wish you had known then that you know now?
The process to get started for us was quite easy as our technical director has a vast knowledge of IT. The only part I would have liked to have known more of, and which we have already changed, is to know which theme to use. Different themes cater to different requirements and nowhere is it explained properly. As some of these themes are quite costly, it can be an expensive exercise.
Which theme did you eventually end up going with and why?
ShowTime. This theme’s menu structure suited our needs best at the time of design.
We are currently researching a new theme more suited to our current needs of becoming less bulky and more mobile oriented.
What Shopify apps do you currently use? Which apps are most important to your business?
* Free Shipping Bar by Hextom
* Infinite Options by ShopPad
* MailChimp for Shopify
* Tracking & Delivery Updates by AfterShip
* EasyLocation - Location Redirects
The most important of these for us, though, is Order Printer.
What strategies have you used to attract more leads and grow GoodiesHub.com?
We have created several ads we run on Facebook, Instagram, Google+ and Twitter.
In my opinion I have created the most interest from my own Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest and Twitter posts costing me almost nothing.
What are some of the most effective ways that you interact with your customers?
Facebook and Pinterest create the most leads. Pinterest takes time and only started showing success after about 18 months of consistent posting, but is worth the wait.
Are there any metrics you can share in terms of order volume, monthly sales, increased revenue, growth %, etc.?
Our average order value is around $400. The majority of our sales come from direct traffic, through social media and email have been producing decent results as well.
We have experienced customers purchases to increase in value per order throughout the last year as they built up trust with GoodiesHub.com and experience our outstanding customer service, quality of products and personalised packaging.
Being a niche store selling niche products worldwide from mid to high monetary value, we keep track of income value and profit rather than chasing quantity, as we experience months where we would sell lower volume of items with a much higher monetary value and vice versa. As mentioned before, our growth is organic and we concentrate 100% on customer service and quality of product first. We believe that a happy customer will remain a customer and promote your business.
Currently we have a steady growth in sales of approximately 4.5% month on month (taken over the last six months) in both our USD and ZAR stores. The difference is that we are building a very loyal customer base.
To what do you attribute those positive metrics?
Hard work, patience and dedication.
What are you working towards now?
We’re always working towards better and increased sales. For the GoodiesHub.com team, the number one focus is to work towards establishing and building a brand name that customers know they can trust, rely on and never have fear buying from because they know they’ll always receive the best customer service and highest quality products.
Are there any blogs or other resources that have been helpful for you?
Shopify Entrepreneurs and Shopify 7 Figures Facebook groups often discuss very valuable subjects with pointers that are very helpful to ecommerce shops. For technical advice the Shopify Forums have been very helpful.
Based on your own success, what advice would you share with others who might be just starting out with Shopify (or with eCommerce in general)?
I would advise any newcomers to the ecommerce business to select your products well. It’s better to do less really well than to try and do too much poorly.
Customer service must be your number one priority always supplying the best quality products combined with the best possible service.
Be patient but be persistent. You will be bombarded with information and opinions. Be careful and take your time sifting through all the garbage, selecting only what is applicable to your business. Believe in yourself and your products.
Market your products well to your specific target market but be careful. You can waste a fortune on the wrong advertising.
No two businesses are the same and you must find what is unique about yours and make that work for you. Don’t chase money, chase good customers.
That’s fantastic advice! Where can we learn more?
Our website is https://www.goodieshub.com/. We can also be found on the major social networks, including Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Pinterest.
~ Ben du Preez, CEO of GoodiesHub.com