Leading up to December, we have a rather unique success story for you this month. In a nutshell, this business supplies awesome indoor plants. We had a chance to chat to Andreas Keller, Founder and Manager of Plantify, to guide us through what he does and how he makes people happy with plants.
JH: Please give us a bit of a background to your online business.
AK: Plantify is an online plant decor store that is on a crusade to make indoor plant ownership accessible to all. You see, modest goals [laughs]. Plants are really good for us, we all know this. They have the unique ability to make, literally, any space come alive! We listen closely to what our growing fan-base wants and then work really hard to source these plants from near and far. Think ‘on-trend plants in planters that are locally crafted and which you won’t find at a nursery’. We also provide detailed care instructions free with every purchase, this gives our fans the support they need to take care of their plants.
Plantify clients are primarily city-dwellers that have a keen eye for style, that need convenience, good service and exceptional products. We feel we have found a business model that is able to service that well. So far so good. We’re having fun, and from the feedback we keep getting, so are our clients
JH: Do you use uAfrica for shipping and/or multichannel? If you do, what do you use it for and how long have you been with uAfrica?
AK: Absolutely! uAfrica makes our life easy. On the Shipping front – Quick quotes, branded waybills, courier collection request, personal customer service, I recommend ‘uA’ to other folks that ask me about how to build their own stores. Saves time and money. With Multichannel, we extend our reach onto bidorbuy at the moment, which means another sales channel where we don’t need to duplicate work. Increased online presence without time cost.
JH: Do you enjoy using the uAfrica platform and if so, what is your favourite feature?
AK: Yes, the platform is great. Our favourite feature is the Shipping Analysis Report where we can see, in high resolution, how to optimise our shipping charges to reduce the shipping fees as much as possible for our clients, with the aim of breaking even on this. It’s my favorite report, even though I need to spend more time analysing the data.
JH: What prompted you to start selling online using the Shopify platform?
AK: We tried out a previous platform and got stuck really quickly because there was a lot of coding required. We did the Shopify trial and found it intuitive and easy to manage. A key deciding point was the extensive, detailed, yet simple Help guide and the Community forums, which answered almost all of our questions. When we needed to reach out to Shopify support, they were pretty quick in their response and always helpful. That makes a difference.
JH: How long have you had your Shopify store, when did you go live with it?
AK: We’ve had our Shopify store for 6 months now, we went live in April 2017.
JH: How did you find the setup process?
AK: Setup was easy because we didn’t need to migrate from another store. We built everything on Shopify from scratch. Once we understood how Products, Collections, Tags, etc worked, it was pretty easy to “think in Shopify” when sourcing products and creating content that sold it.
JH: If you’re able to let us in, what is in your business strategy for the next 12 months?
AK: We’re aiming to bring on board a range of larger on-trend plants that nobody has available in SA currently and which our fans are desperate to have. We also want to offer delivery on them throughout SA. We also aim to shorten the lead time even further between ordering and delivering (currently delivery takes place between 1-4 days from order) and thus establish our Plant Gifting Business even further. For this, we’ll need to outfit a plant-friendly Fulfillment Center, so will probably look at doing our first Equity round.
JH: Finally, would you recommend uAfrica to friends or colleagues?
AK: Without a doubt, hands down. For a small online business without proprietary software, this is absolutely essential!
Head over to Plantify‘s website to see what green goodies are available. I’ve already got some happy plants on my hit list for Christmas pressies!