On a Friday night, my college roommate, Alex, and I were sitting back admiring the social scene taking place in a kitchen in Boulder, Colorado. We watched as our friends poured “shots” into 16 ounce party cups and thought this was both unsafe and inconvenient.

We created our product, Lil' Reds, to allow people to enjoy their spirits responsibly while maintaining the look and feel of the classic red party cup.

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How did you earn your first sales? Which channels are now generating the most traffic and sales for you?

Upon launching Lil' Reds, we spent a considerable amount of time reaching out to appropriate, popular blogs informing them about our product and business. This exposure drove traffic to our site and translated into sales.

Blog features (both solicited and unsolicited) still remain a very integral part in growing our online store. We also spend focused ad dollars on various search engines and social media websites. Plain and simple, we have a great product that consumers love, which gathers a tremendous amount of attention simply through word-of-mouth marketing.

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?

Shopify and the associated apps have made running an online store a breeze. From initial website set-up to collecting payment, their system is extremely user friendly and works seamlessly. Even, if you want to add very advanced features to your site without in-depth knowledge of code, their support team and forums make this customization possible.

An app that has been particularly helpful to running our store is ShipStation, as we fulfill in house and ship direct to our consumers (via FedEx, USPS, or UPS). Store Locator has also been a valuable feature on our site as its' map enables consumers to identify where they can purchase Lil' Reds in store locally.

What are your top recommendations for new ecommerce entrepreneurs?

Our recommendation to anyone opening a new online shop: ship on time (same day if possible; people love this), use promotions like sales and coupons (made easy through Shopify), and get your name out there (through blogs, social media, advertising, email contact, etc.)

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