It’s been six years since the launch of DyFashion, now one of the most popular women’s fashion online stores in Romania. The website, owned by Dragos and Irina Aipu, saw a complete transformation after it was migrated to the Gremini platform.
Dragos discussed the challenges of an emerging online business, how he overcame them and shared some tips on how to start an online shop.
Q: When and how did the story of the DyFashion online store begin?
Dragos: Back in 2011, when we had had enough of job hunting in Bucharest and decided to try a small online business that was suitable for the both of us. We got the entrepreneurial spirit from our families. We both have parents that own businesses.
Q: What kind of problems/challenges did you come across while developing the online store and how did you overcome them?
Dragos: In the beginning we ran the website on PrestaShop. Soon after, our programmer started giving us negative feedback, that there’s not much room for development, that this and that can’t be done because of software rigidity, so we had to find a better solution than PrestaShop.
Q: How did you decide to migrate the store to the Gremini platform? What were your objectives?
Dragoș: We decided as soon as we saw that our website is jammed, stuck. Successful online stores evolve, so the only solution was to migrate the website. It was like a business switching headquarters from a two-bedroom apartment to a 300 square meters industrial space. The main objectives were to get more organic traffic on my website and for it to be able to take more simultaneous connections. I needed a team that could solve the things I was dreaming about: place a button exactly where I want it to be, make a specific filter do what I want it to do etc. Migrating my online store made all these things possible, and more!
Q: How did the migration go?
Dragos: The migration was great and in two weeks we were familiar with all the elements in the management board. Early on there were a few things I considered useless, but after a little while and some practice I realized everything on the Gremini platform is really useful.
Q: Would you say migrating improved the business?
Dragos: Yes. Migrating from PrestaShop allowed our business to evolve to the next level. The website started loading really fast and it could take hundreds of connections simultaneously. With PrestaShop the site froze really bad when there were many users online, because optimization is very difficult.
Q: Could you provide a few details about sales growth, website visits, conversion rate after store migration?
Dragos: We’re definitely talking about more than 100% sales growth.
Q: What tools do you use to promote the online store?
Dragos: I use RankTrakr, Facebook Ads, AdWords for mobile, SEO Watcher and website tools.
Q: Some advice or recommendations for online sales success for our readers?
Dragos: Build an online store after proper research, not just because you heard that X or Y has one and assume it’ll instantly make you tons of profit. You have few chances to succeed unless you pour your heart and soul in the business. Also, make sure to learn about how to use SEO, Facebook, retargeting, remarketing, keywords, sales, conversion rates. You need ambition and courage. My honest advice is to choose a customized platform for online stores from the beginning. Free e-commerce platforms have very few advantages.
Q: Are there plans to further develop your online store
Dragos: The plan is to find a more spacious location and diversify our products for women.
Q: If you could start over with this online store, what would you do differently?
Dragos: I would build my website on a customized platform like Gremini from the start. I would hire a team in the early stages and stop lying to myself that I can handle absolutely everything alone. I’d get much more sleep at night.