Running an ecommerce business is no walk in the park, and thousands of businesses fail on a monthly basis. This can be extremely discomforting for entrepreneur hopefuls who want to build an ecommerce site but don’t know if it’s worth it.
Sometimes, you just need a little inspiration to help guide you in the right direction, and one of the best places to find it is through the stories of others who have succeeded. Reading inspirational stories can do wonders for your over psyche and motivation. It proves that people have been in your shoes and persevered. These stories focus on the how, rather than the why.
Entrepreneurs have it especially hard; trying to carve your own path in a sea full of other business owners competing for a sale. The following success stories demonstrate how ecommerce entrepreneurs are buckling down and making it happen, and how you can, too.
The owners behind ecommerce shop Distil Union had no ecommerce experience when they got started (although they had worked in product design prior). They didn’t have too much first-hand accounts of designing and delivering for the user, but they set out to create products that solved their own everyday issues. They used Kickstarter to launch half of their products, and consider crowdfunding to be one of the most effective ways to raise money when dealing with physical goods. They use applications like SpringBot, Exit Offers, and Yotpo to manage their online store on the backend.
Lotus Belle USA
Lotus Belle sells a line of premium tents for a variety of occasions. To start, the founders at the company identified a gap in tent industry. They wanted to retail sustainable tents that could sit semi-permanently, and last a lifetime. Their first designs sat idly on the page of a sketchbook for an entire decade — proving that it’s possible to resuscitate older ideas and bring them to fruition.
The team used beautiful photos to spread the word about their products. They set up their tents in beautiful environments, with great products sprawled throughout. Those photos have helped them garner attention on social media, and contributed to the success of their email marketing campaigns.
Oberloo, an ecommerce drop shipping business, has a story that is widely regarded. This was the first business for Oberloo’s cofounders, and within eight months, they had made their first million.
To start, they didn’t do too much research, or even have too much experience in the field. They simply added a handful of products to their ecommerce store and growth hacked from there. There was a lot of learning by doing, and they tackled challenges as they came.
Their first sale came three days after launching and running Facebook Ads. They attribute a large part of their success to Facebook Ads, and believe it’s one they can’t live without. As of March 2017, revenues are around $10,000 per day, and the highest revenue in a single day has been $30,000.
DiamondCandles is a manufacturer and retailer of soy-based candles. Co-founder Justin Winter came up with a unique selling proposition for his line of candles — each candle held a ring in the center of the wax. Customers could find rings of any value, ranging from costume jewelry in the few-bucks range, to high-end jewelry of up to $5,000.
To combat advertising costs, they used social media to generate revenue. They appealed to jewelry lovers and women, and encouraged customer photos to produce more user generated content. This unpaid advertisement model brought in free referrals over and over, and enabled the company to continue growing.
Like Diamond Candles, Man Crates had a unique selling proposition — selling insanely difficult-to-open gift boxes in the form of crates. Within just four years, they had grown by 4,900% and generated an annual revenue to $21 million. They accomplished this by leveraging APIs and social media. They also utilize funny and engaging copy to attract potential buyers, and really have worked hard to demonstrate that they understand their audience.