Over the last year, there has been a Shopify store making online waves in their niche market of hunting and fishing gear. Quenet’s, based in the Western Cape, launched their store after quite a bit of planning and strategising, and it’s paid off. Here’s the story of how they built up momentum, as told by Richard Obree, Managing Director of the online business.
When did you start your Shopify store?
RO: Initial discussions and planning commenced June 2014. Given the need for a quick launch, coupled with a conservative budget, we turned to uAfrica and Shopify – which enabled us to do a “soft launch” in December of the same year, and a more formal marketing approach and kick off as early as February Feb 2015. Shopify was a great fit as we needed a platform that could be developed quickly and in an agile way as we expanded and improved the online experience. We also needed a platform that could scale quickly without huge development/customisation required. The use of apps provided by 3rd Parties provides enhanced functionality to improve the user experience and functionality and to increase sales.
What do you sell?
RO: Quenet’s started as a family business with a store in Worcester, Western Cape in 1972, selling Hunting and Fishing gear. The business wanted to expand out of the Western Cape and even consider an international market, the natural progression was to take the store online. With a niche range of products and an existing client base we leveraged off our existing infrastructure to launch an online store in December 2014.
How long did it take you to setup your Shopify store?
RO: The planning on the structure of the website and product catalogue took about 2 months, followed by 4 months of customisations, testing and loading products. It was important to make sure that the product hierarchy and collections were well-defined to avoid mass change to products down the line. Once we determined the best structure, we used the Shopify “Import / Export” tools to upload sections of products at a time. Due to our advanced planning techniques, we launched with over 3000 products – almost unheard of with such a small budget and staff compliment. We also started with a custom theme and many 3rd party apps. We marketed the website to a select group for testing and feedback purposes in December 2014 which was followed by a launch to a wider audience in February 2015.
How will you market your store?
RO: We currently use a blend of Google Ad Words, Facebook Ads, Bid or Buy, Amazon, e-Bay and even some price comparison sites in each region we are targeting. We learnt that there is never enough budget for marketing, and to try be smart with how and where we advertise.
What do you find the most useful feature on Shopify to date?
RO: There are so many useful features which has made us really pleased to have selected Shopify as a platform. Some of the key favourites include:
- Flexible Web & Mobile Themes that are easy to customise
- Inventory is easy to maintain
- Really great support for 3rd party apps
- Quick integrations with payment gateways and flexible checkout
- Abandoned cart recovery has been a great addition in the last 6 months.
What are you looking forward to by using Shopify over the next 12 months?
RO: There is so much we keep discovering and we need to take a step back to determine the best mix of features to align with our growth strategy. However, we are currently analysing the following functions:
- Flexibility of the platform for easy integration into platforms like Google shopping outside SA
- The use of shipping apps for delivery and tracking
- Using the sales channel features for our POS in our store and to provide customers with the ability to search our extended catalogue online.
Go take a look at the gear they have on their store, we’re pretty sure you’ll find something you need for your next outdoor adventure, their product range is really diverse.