Three years ago, Stifler migrated to our e-commerce platform. We recently met with the online store’s owner, Andrei Amos, and talked a bit about how things evolved.
How did the business start?
It was 2012 and I had created my first ever online store on Prestashop. Because my family’s always been involved in commerce, it helped me understand what a shop needs to function. I tested everything and even managed to have some sales, but then I had to abandon everything and finish my studies – which had nothing to do with commerce anyway. Two years later I realized I was going nowhere with my studies, they were even making me unhappy. So I decided to restart the shop and put in three product categories: mobile phone accessories, cufflinks and anchor bracelets. Out of these, I resonated best with the phone accessories. I’m passionate about accessories in general.
What problems or challenges were there in the beginning and how’d you get past them?
Previous to finding your platform I tested EVERYTHING on the market. Each time fighting hosting problems and just so many different issues… Nothing worked because either I couldn’t do it by myself or because too many programmers just seemed to not understand e-commerce.
How did you decide to migrate to Gremini? What were your goals?
I had already decided how to continue with my business and had already chosen another platform. Then I had a chat with one of your representatives. He showed me the functionalities of your platform and told me a bit about the team. When I saw how useful it is and that the team is cool, I decided to go for it! One of the most important things to me is the people I work with – I seek professionals I can count on when my business grows. It’s fairly easy to create an online store, yet a very complex task to keep it running perfectly when you have hundreds or thousands of orders to fulfill each day.
How did the migration go?
Before choosing this platform I switched between about 5 others, and every time lost my data when migrating. When you sent me the fist test version and I saw that every single order, customer and product was imported, I couldn’t believe my eyes. A strong belief I used to live with, that such a thing wasn’t possible, completely shattered! We then carried on working on the website up until the very day of the migration. The new website went live but I wasn’t yet sure it was 100% functional. When we checked how everything went there was already an order placed.
Felt improvements in business after migrating?
Like I said before, to me it was most important having who to rely on while growing. Together with Gremini, we managed to implement a much needed warehouse management system so that one employee can now handle 600 orders in 8 hours. We also managed to save - both for the sake of cost and for the planet - over 10000 (ten thousand!) sheets of paper every month, by automating every possible thing. Presently, when I need something modified or some functionality added, the team always responds positive and comes through with it.
Did the migration reflect in sales, conversion rate, etc.?
Since migrating we’ve grown a lot! Comparing 2016 (last full year not on your platform) with 2018 (first full year after migrating) we have:
- 212% growth in traffic
- 15 times more orders!
- 13.5 bigger revenue
Thanks to you I managed to break away from the technical side of my business and focus on what’s really important for it – bring in the big sales!
What kind of marketing tools have you been using?
Well, digital marketing is one of our strengths. We’re up to date with everything on the market and that helps a lot when growing a business. We use everything available out there, from SEO experts to fully automated bots.
Give us three pieces of advice or recommendations on how to make it in online business.
First, I’d say it’s most important to be realistic when starting online. Not so easy anymore to break through on the market without a good, realistic plan. Second, be passionate about what you’re going to sell. If you put no passion into it you will never be able to build a brand around something you don’t believe in. Third, be meticulous in your choices, like the platform you’re going to use, marketing/SEO experts, suppliers and such. In the end, they are your circle of interest, and with a weak circle around you’ll have no support when needed.
What are your plans for future development?
We now own a group of online stores within different niches. Most important thing right now is to position them as brands and grow as a group of brands. Stifler.ro has rounded up all my mistakes as a young entrepreneur. Presently, we want to extend brand awareness in the whole of Europe and also expand to other niches such as smart home products.
If you could once again begin with the online shop, what would you do differently?
I’d put more money into marketing and try to generate more brand awareness. Like I said though, it feels like in these five years since creating Stifler.ro I learned what there was to learn. In the end, the main factor that guarantees success for an online store is market visibility.
- Minikids.ro – sales increased five-six fold
- EuromChrom.ro – immediate results after migration
- Eastcom.ro – simplified operational flow, reduced operating costs
- Obio.ro – given a second chance, we’d migrate to Gremini sooner
- BabyNeeds – new platform for growth, better processing and inventory management
- DyFashion – we joined forces to achieve more than 100% increase in sales
- Guara.ro – the website started selling after migrating to Gremini