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How Failure Helped This Small Business

Back in 2013 three friends, Steven Ford, Bruno Aschidamini, and Brandon Leibel were selling life insurance from a call center in San Diego. Not content with their post grad corporate gigs they decided to risk it all and start a beach towel company called Sand Cloud. In 2017 San Cloud is on pace to do $7 million in sales.

How did they do it?

Here is how patience, perseverance, and failure propelled them to the top.

Living in Southern California gave the guys an idea for a business: a towel that would help people take better naps on the beach. So the friends ordered a few dozen beach towels and travel pillows from a discount website and had a local seamstress sew the pillows to the towels. They called the company in the early stages Cloud Nine.

A couple weeks later they were selling their Cloud Nine beach towel pillows to family and other friends, but they were barely breaking even. The trio lacked the discipline and ultimately the know-how on how to correctly build a solid brand....

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How mahabis Made Slippers Cool

The mahabis success story is interesting as an example of the speed at which technology and paid advertising allows an ecommerce business to be built. Three years ago, mahabis founder Ankur Shah would not have given slippers a thought. 

The slippers are certainly comfortable, but mahabis are still essentially an online marketing phenomenon. You see, mahabis spends millions a year with Facebook, Google, and several other display networks, which ensure they stay top-of-mind with future customers.

What's the result so far? In the first year exclusively using paid advertising Mahabis did $1.8 million in sales. Year two, the company did $13 million. Year three they sold $24 millions dollars worth of slippers.

At the start Shah started looking around at data for fun, to see what people were searching for and buying online. He wanted to create and sell something that would appeal to everyone but he wasn't sure what exactly that would be. Originally, he was thinking about...

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How Blenders Eyewear Built A 7 Figure Brand

Chase Fisher & Blake Jensen are the founders of San Diego based Blenders Eyewear,  a rapidly growing seven figure ecommerce brand. Blenders makes most of their revenue through influencer marketing, by working with Instagram influencers they meet through local meet ups. How do they do it? Here is a quick breakdown on how their influencer outreach process works.

Q: For a new ecommerce store would you say that Instagram is the best platform to go to build a following and then see if your product interests the public?

Yes, absolutely. Instagram is for sure the number one platform that most people hear about us most. It’s the first touch point that most of our customers see or hear about us and stuff like that. If we were to do it over again, we would definitely start Instagram first and do Facebook advertising as well. Instagram is such an important tool for us because it’s a visual learning platform. Our product is very cool and it’s very photogenic and...

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NBC Stops By

 

At REIGN23 we are blessed to have helped our small business partners gross more then $12 million in sales and revenue. NBC recently came by to profile myself and to talk to some of our clients to see the awesome things we are accomplishing everyday.

This achievement didn't happen overnight. I have been in the online brand building business since 2008 (almost a decade) and believe me it has been a rollercoaster of blood, sweat...and well...years. A lot has been learned, a lot has been lost, but much more has ultimately been gained.

Having a complete 360 degree understanding of brand building, manufacturing, sourcing, sales, marketing,  ecommerce, and exactly how it has completely flipped the retail economy upon it's head the last four to five years fascinates me to no end. There honesty hasn't ever been a better time to build your dream business by opening an online store. Building brands from scratch and helping people achieve their lifelong goals is...

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Interview: Fluxmob BOLT

It’s no secret that we’re big fans of Fluxmob. The founders Alan and Justin’s dual purpose back-up battery and wall charger, BOLT, quells our phone-is-about-to-die-anxiety and makes it super easy to stay charged on the go. Crowdfunded on Kickstarter and running on Shopify BOLT is a great story of how a small startup can disrupt an existing space. We recently talked to them about the story behind BOLT and the importance of design in technology.

Q: Who are you guys and how did you get started? 

A: We’re two friends from Southern California that have known each other since the first grade, which is over 25 years of friendship. We’ve worked on numerous projects together since we were young. We’ve always had the entrepreneurial drive and passion to do something on our own. Most of our ideas have tanked, but eventually one of them stuck. That idea was BOLT.

Q: What was the inspiration in designing BOLT? 

A: With backgrounds in...

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The Power of Instagram

 

One of fashions fast growing and unknown heroes, John Elliot, managed to grow an initial investment of $30,000 in 2013 and transform it into a multi-million business propelled by its standout basics and healthy online fanbase. But what makes John different from other fashion designers is that he didn’t go to fashion school, and he didn’t study under some big–name designer in Paris, yet he has still managed to create a successful label rooted in staples like high–quality T–shirts, hoodies, and jeans. In the video below John reflects on how he went from working in retail and wholesale to launching and designing his own line with a store front that is (of course) powered by Shopify.

Currently, the brand has just over 75+ wholesale accounts in the US, Canada, Germany and Japan. But it was the growth of its ecommerce business that exceeded all expectations and helped, perhaps more than anything, to propel the business forward.

 

“None of us had...

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Brand Spotlight: Orbitkey

Orbitkey offers a revolutionary way to carry your keys. Founded in Melbourne, Australia by childhood friends, Charles Ng and Rex Kuo, Orbitkey was created with an aim to inspire and change the way people interacted with their keys.

Fun Facts:

– Charles quit his job working at one of Australia’s top product design firms halfway through their first crowdfunding campaign.

– They both spent three months in China working closely with the manufacturers until they were completely happy with the final product.

– They spent one year before officially launching the brand. They worked on Orbitkey during lunch, after their day jobs, and every weekend.

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Understanding Visitor Behavioral Data

Learn how how Chrome Industries uses ecommerce data to A/B test items on their online store and build a better more profitable customer experience. Website optimization is key for any online retailer to take their store to the next level.

Store owners of all sizes should always understand the numbers by taking a deep dive into their visitor behavioral data. By gaining insight on your customer behavior, you can uncover details that you would not have noticed before allowing you to increase your profit and potentially even create new revenue streams.

Most Shopify stores think that the only way to increase revenue is to increase traffic. That is never the case. The truth is that most online stores do not need to drive more traffic. Every online store first needs to optimize their website to capitalize  on the traffic that they have.

Implementing website optimization strategies such as: Product page A/B testing, exit-popups, newsletter fly ins, improving user experience design,...

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Allbirds Is Here To Stay

 

There are a couple things about Shopify newcomer Allbirds that are surprising, but there’s one that rises above the rest. It’s not that the sneakers are made from New Zealand wool, though wool isn’t a traditional choice for shoes and New Zealand isn’t exactly the first place we think of when we think of sneakers. It’s that Allbirds’ founder, Tim Brown, isn’t that into sneakers.

You see Brown didn’t want to essentially put more shoes into the world. He  jumped in trying to figure out what Allbirds could do with this product category beyond putting more shoes into the world. So, he decided to make it bigger.

That’s where Allbirds mission for sustainability comes in. But at Allbirds ethos is much more than a marketing scheme. It is barely a part of the brand’s customer-facing presence at all, precisely because Brown doesn’t want to call undue attention to it.

The Allbirds approach presents a major shift in...

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Cross-Selling With MVMT Watches

When MVMT Watches was founded in 2013, the team knew right away that optimization would be key to the company’s success. If a Shopify store has the ability to evolve and innovate faster than their competitors, it ensures that every decision they make (and invests) has a positive impact on revenue.

Customer retention and customer life time value are major focuses for MVMT because of the nature of watches: customers are only in the market for a watch once every few years. So, how does MVMT increase the average order value of each customer purchase? By cross-selling.

MVMT decided they wanted to increase the average order value of each customer by adding in interchangeable straps to every product pages of their existing core offering of watches. What were the results? Adding this new cross-sell item increased conversions by 5.5% for mobile shoppers and 2.2% for desktop shoppers. How did they implement it?

Choosing Where To Promote A New Cross-Sell Product

MVMT first needed to do...

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