Introduce your business and tell us your story: How did you decide on what to sell, and how did you source your products?
Let’s face it, men are hard to shop for and life is increasingly busy. As a result, the good old days of thoughtful gift giving are gone in favor of convenience. That’s why gift cards are becoming the default gift for men. Although gift cards are not terrible, they are impersonal and not very memorable.
At GiftCrates.com we sell awesome gifts for guys delivered in wooden crates opened with the included crowbar. All you need to know are the interests of the person you are buying for so you can send a thoughtful and memorable gift. Men like poker, sports, video games, etc. We have curated crates based upon these and other interests.
For example, if your husband is a football fan, we have an NFL Barware Crate in which you can chose his favorite team’s pint glasses, wooden coasters, and snacks. If you have a brother that likes bacon, we have The Bacon Crate which includes tasty bacon items such as bacon jerky, bacon popcorn, and bacon salt. Once we identify the items for a specific crate we do research to find only the highest quality items. We then set up wholesale agreements on the bigger ticket/faster moving items. We do however purchase our perishable goods in smaller quantities from tier two suppliers as the savings does not outweigh the stocking requirements.
How did you earn your first sales? Which channels are now generating the most traffic and sales for you?
We went through our first holiday season in 2015. Sales were good, but we are particularly proud of the fact that 100% of all orders placed on or before 12/21 were delivered on-time for Christmas. Google pay-per-click and referrals from bloggers/influencers generate the most traffic and sales for us.
Tell us about the back-end of your business. What tools and apps do you use to run your store? How do you handle shipping and fulfillment?
We use FedEx and USPS as our shipping providers. USPS is super easy due to the tight Shopify integration. Hopefully FedEx will be integrated similarly in the future. As for apps, we use Shopify Reviews, Google Shopping, MailChimp and SEO Manager. We highly recommend SEO Manager. We stock all of our inventory and ship everything right from our facility.
What are your top recommendations for new store owners?
Work on SEO and social media pre-launch. We were so focused on building the site that we ended up relying solely on Google pay-per-click. Since launch, we have been working on SEO and partnering with bloggers to generate organic traffic.