The idea of TheLastHunt.com was born after a warehouse event we did back in 2009. The amount of people who showed up was incredible. We realized that there were people looking for deals on outdoor clothing all year long. We had to find a way to satisfy this client base. Selling physically implied taking too many financial risks and wasn’t a fit with our mission, and thus we decided to focus on the web.
As Altitude-sports.com was already up and running, we were in constant contact with more than 50 brands at that time. We convinced them to sell us close-outs and discontinued products.The brands were happy with the idea of selling their overstock to a purely discount e-store concept with different conditions for clients: sales being final, shipping fees being paid by customers and service only by email. Furthermore the concept removed their products from the discount section of a full price e-store, which can become harmful to a brand image. This ensured them these products would be presented to deal hunters and wouldn't cannibalize the premium business.
We began like this 4 years ago, offering the best prices on the best outdoor products across Canada and we still accomplish that mission to this day.
How did you earn your first sales? Which channels are now generating the most traffic and sales for you?
To first get sales we began by using our Altitude-sports.com newsletter. Following this, we let word of mouth take over as our main avenue for sales. We now have over 19k subscribers on TheLastHunt.com. The channel generating the most traffic and sales is our newsletter. They are sent twice a week and they represent 25% of our revenue. Direct traffic is the second most profitable channel.
We are using numerous other channels to promote TheLastHunt.com. We do Google Adwords, Microsoft Bing, Facebook Ad and many more. All our advertising is made to reach deal hunters.
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?
All the product information is provided by feed to the backend of the store. We upload new products every week with Synchro and SyncThis. Since our very first days on Shopify, we have used the Fraud Filter and Order Cup Apps.
Thanks to new technological pushes, we are proud to have a site that is both responsive and bilingual.
The newsletters are sent through MailChimp and the Chimpified app. We use the Jilt app to recover abandoned orders and the Refer-a-Friend by S-Loyalty. In order to get more traffic between our two websites (TheLastHunt.com and Altitude-sports.com), in April we put into place the Hello Bar. The tool is an efficient way to give our customers more information, by offering alternatives and special discounts.
The shipping is all done at our warehouse by our shipping team. We customized a pick list that is printed each morning. In a maximum of 2 business days, orders are picked, fulfilled, shipped and the amount captured on the credit card. Thanks to user-friendly Shopify, everyone is able to follow the status of an order and answer any customer requests in just minutes.
What are your top recommendations for new ecommerce entrepreneurs?
Like all hunters, you should:
WADE. Start now. Don't wait for the perfect plan to be mapped out before you go live (It doesn't exist). Just start walking with a simple plan. Go step by step. It's a steady climb to the top.
TRACK. No matter how small or basic the improvement, track it. Soon, you will be able to compare, analyze, ponder and decide if something is a success or a soon-to-be success.
FETCH. Go faster when you are confident you can: aim higher and bigger, and repeat.
This is what I call the WTF strategy. It works with most things online as they rarely end up the way you intended to.