Scuba is one of our first Shopify clients so we were really pleased to do their success story in our newsletter this week. Owner Kevin Cook spends a lot of time training and coaching diving on top of managing the online store and the retail space in Jo’burg, it’s fair to say he is rather busy. We caught up with him to share his story of how he managed to get up and running online using Shopify and uAfrica.
When did you start your Shopify store?
KC: We started our scuba.co.za Shopify store about 2 years ago.
What do you sell?
KC: We are an online scuba diving equipment & retail shop.
We are a “hybrid” store that has a retail outlet in Johannesburg and an online store. We find the nature of our sport very ‘touchy feely’ before you buy, so we still do a lot of in-store sales but our clients do in-depth research on our site before they purchase. Once they have been into the shop we find they do purchase online more often after that.
We sell all aspects of scuba gear from wetsuits and masks right through to dive cameras and dive computers. We had been trying for years to get the e-commerce store live and battled for ages with the WordPress based e-commerce solution, but you really had to know your PHP code to get things to work. It was a very very frustrating time for us and we were never able to get the store how we wanted it. Thank goodness we found Shopify as it was a simple all-encompassing platform on which we could develop our new website!
How long did it take you to setup your Shopify store?
KC: We set up our Shopify store in less than a week. We moved the content from our old website over so we were still operating a basic static website under Shopify. We slowly and steadily started adding products and it’s an ongoing process as we now have well over 1,000 products on the site. As we have grown the site we have added a bunch of 3rd party apps to assist and we have also employed several Shopify experts for custom development where we needed it. We continue to work with them now as we prepare to launch our new template and take our site to the next level!! We are all very excited!
How will you market your store?
KC: We do a lot of social media marketing and product reviews on Facebook; we have over 5,500 followers which makes it really easy to promote our products. We are very lucky in the fact that scuba diving by its nature is very conducive to pictures, videos and stories, so it’s very easy to share that information on our social media platforms which in turn boosts our online sales.
What do you find the most useful feature on Shopify to date?
KC: Its ease of use! It is, by far, the simplest online solution to use! It works straight out of the box!
What are you looking forward to by using Shopify over the next 12 months?
KC: We are in the process of redoing the entire theme to a mobile-friendly, highly interactive template and we will also be re-launching our Facebook shop. We will be doing a lot more Multichannel integration to increase sales on bidorbuy and other similar platforms. We also have a few split-off sites that do swimming gear as well as educational e-books that are currently under development which have grown through our main scuba.co.za site. It’s a very exciting time for us!