Rugged SA is relatively new to the online scene but they seem to be getting it very right. They’re proof that you can reap the benefits of having an online store if you put the effort in. The store sells rugged phones for the outdoors enthusiast as well as other techie accessories. We had a chat with Jaques Els, Managing Director of Rugged SA, to see how he and his team went about making their online offering so great:
JH: How long have you had your Shopify store?
JE: Our Shopify store has been up and running for almost 2 years now, Since 14 October 2014.
JH: What prompted you to start selling online using Shopify?
JE: Every entrepreneur dreams of opening his/her own shop. In the days before now, you would’ve expected to open a physical shop where you can showcase your products. In today’s world, we have the opportunity to setup our products for display from the comfort of our own home.
Coming from an IT background this is the route I was most interested in and started looking for ways in order to make this possible. Doing some research, I came across Shopify which immediately drew all my attention. Straight away I knew that it would be the platform and backbone for my future eCommerce business. The great thing about Shopify is the amount of support, integrations, payment methods and shipping options that are available.
The possibilities are just endless. No IT experienced required 😊
JH: How did you find the setup process?
JE: It took me no longer than 5 minutes to have an eCommerce store up and running. Really. You register a new store on the Shopify platform, choose a store name and answer a few product/service related questions in order for the best-suited store theme to be recommended. The store admin dashboard allows you to customise any and all options, products, collections, themes, payments, etc at the click of a button.
From here on forward it is you and your store against the world. What a great experience it has been indeed.
JH: Do you use uAfrica’s shipping and/or multichannel and if so, what do you use it for?
JE: Yes, we do use uAfrica’s shipping integration as well as the multichannel options available.
The shipping methods are amazing. uAfrica’s Shipping Zones enables us to integrate custom shipping zones at postcode level into our Shopify store*. In our case, we offer free shipping for all orders above R399 to our local and main center zones. Normally this would not be possible, but with uAfrica we had the ability to customise how we offer free shipping and when we need to include a shipping charge if the postal code links to a regional zone.
Multichannel is such a great tool. It enabled us to sell all our Shopify products on bidorbuy by linking our Shopify and bidorbuy accounts on the uAfrica Multichannel platform. This way, our products and their availability will be synchronised between both Shopify and bidorbuy in real-time. This applies for the shipping zones that we set up as well.
We also use Multichannel to list our products on PriceCheck. This is a great way to show customers that you are indeed the best priced with your products. These two channels also synchronise in real-time to ensure products and their prices are always up to date.
JH: What do you find is the most convenient aspect of using uAfrica?
JE: The most convenient aspect of using uAfrica will most definitely be the support that comes with the name. The times that I have had questions I just picked up the phone and spoke to someone directly, within no time at all, who was more than willing to assist. Along with the support, the Shopify integrations are just a MUST HAVE if you own a Shopify store in SA.
JH: What is in your business strategy for the next 12 months?
JE: Our main strategy for the next 12 months is to continue growing our product catalogue and customer support to ensure we offer a unique buying experience for our amazing customers. We will also be launching unique cellular contracts to go along our rugged phones in the not so distant future.
JH: Out of 10, how would you rate your experience using uAfrica.com and why?
10 out of 10, that is an easy answer. uAfrica has been delivering answers to companies who did not even know they need it. Once you start to work with uAfrica, there is no turning back. The support and integration in running a successful online business is made so much easier with the help of uAfrica.
Thanks again for helping companies like ours become a success.
To check out Rugged SA’s proper rugged phones and other awesome accessories, head over to their website to shop ’til you drop!
*See details on how to set up Shipping Zones into your uAfrica account.