Often, we E-commerce enthusiasts learn from E-commerce blogs written by inbound marketers who sell inbound E-commerce software or run consulting marketing agencies … and it can get kind of stale.
We’re all writing and reading about the same thing, so it becomes this whirlwind of similar content that can be hard to sift through to find things you didn’t already know. It’s hard to stay inspired, too.
There is one type of content that can help us get out of this vortex: Success Stories . Featuring Industry Examples from some of the successful E-commerce business in an easy-to-understand and inspiring way.
So to help you break out of your typical content mold and learn something new to make you better at your job, I have compiled some of our favorite E-commerce Lesser Known Success. Read them. You’ll learn, cringe, appreciate and maybe even cry, but will stay inspired and motivated.
So let’s look at a few lesser known examples who have crafted a niche for themselves and had a very humble beginning. I’ll briefly list how they navigated the complex cyber market space and finally established themselves as profitable ventures inspiring hundreds of other E-commerce enthusiasts
FUGOO developed a line of Bluetooth speakers designed to be durable enough for customers to take with them anywhere. The problem was, it was entering an already-saturated market with a lot of incumbent competition.
With a narrow launch window, the company focused on getting everything prepared for the Consumer Electronics Show. It was there that it debuted the product while launching a conversion-friendly online shopping experience and highly-targeted ad campaigns. Its site featured direct product comparisons to its major competitors, which stacked FUGOO’s robust features against the missing or limited features of other brands.
With a focused strategy, the company had a successful launch, with a 300% increase in revenue year over year, along with top placement in organic search.
2. Diamond Candles
Diamond Candles initially struggled when it launched; the company had no room in the budget for marketing, but it needed to get its product in front of customers somehow. The uniqueness of the product – different varieties of rings buried within the candle wax of each candle – provided the solution.
Customers were quick to share pictures of their findings and post them to social media. Not one to miss out on the opportunity, co-founder Justin Winter leveraged that user-generated content across the company’s social channels.
The combination of word-of-mouth marketing on social media and striking imagery accompanying the posts led to tremendous brand lift for Diamond Candles, as well as the acquisition of more than a quarter million Facebook fans – and not a dime was spent on advertising.
3. Pixie Faire
This story is particularly inspirational, as the couple that built this business are full-time parents.
It also shows you how you can create a very successful business, even in very narrow niches. In this case, they are selling doll clothing patterns (really!!)
Jason and Cinnamon found a problem that needed solving, leveraged their skills, and sold digital products to their customers.
This is a great example of how digital products work, how they’re more leverageable than physical products, and what tools they used to sell digital download products.
When Cinnamon and Jason’s daughter turned six, they discovered how much young girls like dolls.
Unlike most moms though, Cinnamon was uniquely qualified to satisfy her daughter’s newfound interest.As an excellent seamstress and designer, she began running up original doll’s clothing that soon made her daughter the envy of the neighborhood.
This was the beginning of their doll clothing business
As per Jason, the first marketing tool they actively worked on was YouTube. They started making videos about their work. YouTube worked very well.
Email marketing was the other channel they worked hard to grow. Now they have a list of almost 50,000. Then Facebook came on the scene, Pinterest, and Instagram.
Some words of wisdom by Jason are that the biggest key is to focus very clearly should be on product strategy and to work out whether your product has a high probability of success.
There are back corners of the Internet where people are actively looking for solutions and no one is serving them. Those are the most interesting niches to discover.
Most people believe that the only ways to market to potential buyers are through traditional advertisement channels, such as newspaper or magazine ads.
What this husband and wife team did, was tap into YouTube – one of the fastest and most popular channels – to sell hair extension products.
The way they did it was through providing great, valuable content to their audience by offering them free video tutorials on how to create glamorous hair style (inspired by celebrities) on your own. Their business is powered almost exclusively by tutorial-style YouTube videos. Their YouTube channel was created in 2010 and since then has amassed 1,474,246 subscribers and 173,657,125 total video views.
This “free” way of marketing is extremely powerful and effective. Tutorials are an excellent way of building a brand, fan base, and eventually marketing helpful products for your audience to purchase to them accomplish their goals (in this case study, create beautiful hairstyles).
Luxy Hair is the perfect example of an audience enabled business that relies on a loyal community of fans instead of other channels like SEO and paid advertising.
5. RAW Generation
It’s not easy to sell any product, and to gain momentum to grow sales is just as challenging.
Jessica, the founder of Raw Generation, similar to all small businesses, went through a phase of figuring out how to generate sales.
She had to figure out how to position her juicing product, and what is the most effective way to generate more sales. She experimented with deal sites (such as Groupon, etc) and grew her business from there.
Jessica shares 5 important lessons she learned through her own experiences in building her business.
1. Pick a marketing/sales avenue and focus all of your time on generating more sales. Do not worry about the little things that seem important. Many of them will naturally go away and you will find they were not really so important.
2. If a product isn’t selling, change it!
3. Do not spend a lot of time developing products. Go out with a minimum viable product and make small adjustments as you get feedback from customers (or lack there of). Once I get an idea for a new product, my goal is to get it up on our website within a week.
4. Set measurable quarterly and yearly goals. It is not as important that you achieve your goals every time, but more important that you are always striving for something better.
5. Failure only happens when you accept it as failure. If you can learn from something that doesn’t work and use that knowledge to create something else, you have not failed. Thomas Edison tried over 10,000 “failed” experiments before he completed the one successful experiment that created the light bulb. Keep moving!
Everything seems simple when you are just getting started. But as soon as you get one foot in the door, reality starts to unravel all of the little details that will determine whether your business survives and thrives. Pay attention to the details, they will make or break you. The beginning of any business isn’t sexy. It’s sitting in your bedroom in yoga pants, working 12 hour days, figuring out which shipping provider to go with, what your hard costs are, and how you are going to actually get people to buy your product. Find the balance between your day to day tasks and seeing the forest through the trees.
So which of these stories you found the most inspiring.
Watch out this space for some more interesting facts and stories.
About the author
Pradeep is an entrepreneur and an E-commerce enthusiast. He is a Magento developer and specializes in creating Magento plugins. An avid follower of E-commerce technologies, he enjoys writing about various aspects of E-commerce. He can be reached on: firstname.lastname@example.org