KNUS is a new client of ours. Although they only started their store 6 months ago, they are already making waves in the online space with their marketplace / dropshipping model using uAfrica Shipping on Shopify. We had a chat with the Founder, Lizelle de Villiers, on how it’s all been going. (I’ll give you a hint: quite well!)
JH: Please give us a bit of a background to your online business:
LdV: KNUS started with an idea to sell beautiful handcrafted blankets to the South African market. After months of research, trial and error, we realised the effort and determination that goes into handcrafted goods.
We decided to go bigger and create a platform where other local creatives like ourselves could sell their products to the local market. A place that allows them to focus on what they love – creating, where the quality and determination that goes into handcrafted products are appreciated and the people behind these products are supported. A home to a family of beautiful, locally handcrafted products.
Today, we have a beautiful online space where shoppers can get beautiful and bespoke locally handcrafted goods carefully selected from around South Africa, without having to search far and wide for that something special, different and truly unique.
KNUS is an Afrikaans word which literally translates to “cosy” & “snug” and is our idea of that special item to warm up any home. It even means to hug in Danish!
JH: Do you use uAfrica for its shipping or multichannel and if so, what do you use it for?
LdV: We use the uAfrica multichannel option since we have such a large variety of suppliers where we ship our products from. This enables us to enter all their different senders addresses only once and reduce the workload when booking the courier collection.
JH: Do you enjoy using the uAfrica platform and if so, what if your favourite feature?
LdV: Our favourite feature has to be the fact that the uAfrica platform automatically pulls the information from our Shopify store into their platform so that when we book the courier they already know the exact product, quantity of each item and volumetric weight involved. This is a lifesaver in terms of the time it would have taken us to manually capture and duplicate all these details from our Shopify store backend!
Another favourite, definitely, is the fact that uAfrica gives us the quote of 3 different courier companies all at once so that we can decide whether we would like to choose the cheapest or fastest courier out of a variety of options!
JH: Would you recommend uAfrica to friends/colleagues?
Without a doubt. This is, in our opinion, the best Shopify integrated system in South Africa and with a support team willing to be flexible to set the system up so that it works for our exact needs and take our concerns to heart we would not prefer any other company!
JH: How long have you had your Shopify store, when did you go live with it?
We started the Shopify store in April 2017 and KNUS launched on 15 May 2017. We are a mere 6 months old!
JH: What prompted you to start selling online using Shopify as a platform?
Given the pricing and features of Shopify vs other eCommerce platforms, Shopify has the best offering. Shopify is also one of the biggest eCommerce platforms and we wanted a platform that is trustworthy and stable, able to handle large volumes of traffic, a system allowing us unlimited products (we currently have over 6000!), one with a great support team and that would stand the test of time. If you compare Shopify with other eCommerce platforms available locally, the pricing, features and benefits of Shopify far outweighs its competition.
JH: How did you find the setup process
We signed up for Shopify just over a month before our launch. The setup of the store layout is quite easy since you simply select the best theme for your style out of hundreds of Shopify themes available and then adapt the fonts, images and info to meet your needs. The backend to load new products, set up our shipping and change our notifications, templates, etc. took some getting used to, but as with any new platform or software you need to play around a bit and it wasn’t long before we knew exactly what to do. We would however recommend that you sign up to Shopify at least 2 months before going live so that you have enough time to set up the backend and front layout of the store. Again, the Shopify experts were always instantly available to help, so any problems we had were easily resolved. Having the number of suppliers and products we have though is not an easy task and it takes some trial and error to work out the best way to automate things and make our lives and our customers’ shopping experience better. (We are still learning and adapting every day!)
JH: If you’re able to let us in, what is in your business strategy for the next 12 months?
To become a household name and the biggest and best Home Decor store of PROUDLY LOCAL handcrafted products!
We’ve all been on KNUS’s site a few times since they became our client and I have to say the products are impeccable. If you’re looking for something unique, top quality and local, then KNUS is a must. Go take a peep at what they’re offering, the Festive season is upon us!