Life has become all about convenience and this has never been more apparent than it is today. Whether you are shopping for groceries, clothes or the latest techno trend, you can do so online with just a few taps of your finger or a few clicks of the mouse. E-Commerce stores abound and are growing ever more popular.
With E-Commerce being so big, it’s no wonder that so many aspiring entrepreneurs are hoping to make this the year when they’ll make it big and become the next E-Commerce success story.
But what is it that makes an online business a success? What are the core ingredients that turn a normal business into a great one? There are definite lessons to keep in mind when starting an online business, not least of which is being willing to do the hard things and fight like crazy for what you want to achieve. Nothing is gained from sitting on the sidelines – it takes active hard work and plenty of grit.
The following businesses have made it big in the E-Commerce market, and for good reason. Since history is the best teacher, why not take a page out of their book and learn from their successes?
- Bushwick Kitchen: Target Relevant Audiences
What do you get when you combine a food lover and an entrepreneur? A success story, of course; as can be abundantly witnessed by the humble beginnings of the Bushwick Kitchen which started out as MixedMade and then got rebranded in 2016.
It all started with a thirty day challenge between two friends (Morgan Newman and Casey Elsass) who ended up creating the first ever spicy honey by adding chili flakes into honey – and it has caused quite a stir in the culinary world. Within the first 12 months they generated an income of over $170 000 which is remarkable, to say the least.
How did they do it? Firstly, they decided to create and launch a basic website that showed their branding idea along with pricing that was based on what they estimated their costs would be. This website brought in pre-sales which allowed the friends to start producing their product.
In the interest of trying to generate a few extra sales, Casey sent an email to 400 friends and contacts that he had built up over the years. The approach worked and sales began to climb, but what really boosted the sales numbers was the press coverage. Their spicy honey ended up being the feature of many a food blog and soon word spread and profits increased.
The lesson to be learned from Bushwick Kitchen is to target the relevant audiences and meet them on their own playing field. Build online relationships with journalists and press contacts by sharing their stories and then giving them yours. Whatever industry you are aiming at, make sure that you target the right online blogs, social media and websites.
- Beardbrand: Keeping the Vision
It may have started out as just a passion for facial hair, a YouTube channel and a blog, however, Eric Bandholz’s passion has since set him and his company on a path to success since he founded the business in 2012.
Taking note of the fact that the beard community had a gap that needed filling, Eric decided to step up to the plate and set to work. He realized that there weren’t many beard grooming products in the market, even though the demand for them was so high. It wasn’t long before Beardbrand launched their first grooming products in 2013 and the business just grew on from there.
Not only was the bearded community growing, but it also drew the attention of a New York reporter who ran a story on Beardbrand. This helped to boost awareness and sales but it isn’t the reason why this company is so successful.
Beardbrand focuses on helping men become more educated about how to better care for their beards and also on ways to improve themselves. Throughout the small beginnings to the rapid rise to fame, this company has never lost sight of their vision and the reason why they came into being.
It’s clear that this is definitely something all new entrepreneurs should keep in mind when starting up an E-Commerce business. You need to always keep in mind why you want to sell the products you’re marketing and why you started your business in the first place.
- Beer Cartel: Creating Unique Content
Wanting to grow his company, Beer Cartel, Richard Kelsey decided to give his team specific challenges that would help to boost sales. Their response was to come up with a unique Craft Beer Survey that enabled the company to better understand the craft beer market. They then proceeded to use unique marketing content to promote the survey and before long they had more than 17, 000 people who had taken the survey.
Not only did the traffic to their website increase, but the survey also generated a thirty-four percent revenue increase in just one year as well as increasing their mailing list substantially.
By using content marketing correctly you can not only increase revenue but you can also create value for all current and future customers, as well as your target industry, which is exactly what has made Beer Cartel so successful.
- Neon Poodle: Bigger Reach Equals Bigger Profits
Nothing is more frustrating than having a need for something specific but being unable to find it anywhere. This is exactly what led to Neon Poodle being born. Sammy Gibson went looking for a child-friendly customized neon sign for her daughter’s room but was unable to find one – so she grabbed the sign by the design and just built a company that would make the sort of beautiful and safe neon signs she (and plenty others) were looking for.
It only took three years for Neon Poodle to become the number one E-Commerce store for neon signs in Australia. However, Sammy and her husband (and co-founder) needed to make sure that the growth continued, so they decided to expand their store and hit the European and North American markets.
This took around 18 months and required many hurdles to be jumped before finally reaching their goal of being able to expand into those areas. But once they had expanded into the international market, their revenue had a growth of 232.14%. The moral of this success story is that if you notice your revenue is remaining stagnant, take the plunge and look at expanding your marketing reach.
- Traveller Collective: Product-Inspired Experiences
Wanting to make a difference is something that many people wish to do but don’t know how to go about. So owner and founder of Traveller Collective, Darryl McIvor, decided to design a product that connects people all across the globe whilst they get to make a difference to those in need.
Darryl created a set of engraved rings for every single country in the world and whenever someone purchases one of these sets of rings, part of the proceeds goes to fund a charitable project.
Over ten thousand travelers from more than a hundred different countries have purchased rings and the main reason for such wide-spread notoriety is user-generated content. Travelers from all over are sharing the company’s hash tag (#OnTheRoadWithtTC) on their social media pages.
It’s not necessary to have a massive marketing budget to boost sales – all you need is a unique experience that centers on your brand. Once people get talking about it, news will spread and you will find that word of mouth is often the most profitable marketing tool there is.
Each one of these companies has a unique lesson that you can learn from, and that will help to make your E-Commerce experience a success.