Back in 2007 I started an eCommerce business from the ground up so I want to share some of my experience in getting a new online business going with everyone because it is way easier than ever before with some of the exact same learnings you can only get from doing it ground-up.
Joy. What is joy?
Let's define joy: Imagine you come across an innovative, fun product to sell online. Something you just love so much you want to share with everyone!
Or maybe you don't but just humour me for this post. So the joy for this post is defined as cocktail cherries.
Seriously what else did you expect? TheCherryStore.ca sells cocktail cherries.
So to keep the product joyful, we need to either wrap a ton of bubble wrap, which I did until recently, or go to a place like Uline.ca and source something perfect for your eCommerce product shipping.
Note: Uline.ca really need to send me some $$$ for this name dropping!
OK so these are self-sealing perfect bubble wrap packs. I bought them too small for a couple of my SKUs. No problemo, for those one's I will double wrap so they don't go to waste. Lesson learned. But...........
LIKE A GLOVE. For the Nappi 460g cocktail cherries they fit perfectly.
The end client may not really care about this but as an eCommerce provider, I feel more grown up than a high school sophomore getting into my first cool kids senior party.
OK so now I need one of those indestructo Uline.ca boxes. Seriously, my mind hears ka-ching when I write their name but my wallet is lacking.
This is the indestructo mailer. I think it's named after a comic book character. The main thing is that is can handle the rigours of a Canada Post shipping and sorting distribution centre. Also called a DC. Wait, DC Comics? It all makes perfect sense.
So what else? I think Yves Saint Laurent would demand some colour. So I found some cherry red tissue paper.
OK if you look closely it says Whimsical Red.
Seriously, who named that - and what red is actually whimsical?
Whimsical Red: The Musical.
Carrying on, a thank you note is always nice. I found placeholder cards
at Dollarama to double as thank you notes. They look like this:
Thank you John! Thank you Melody!
Handwritten from yours truly.
Whether a small eCommerce business getting going or a medium or large
online retailer, you should do the same. It's not rocket science and is really appreciated.
A personal note can go a long way to building long term customers.
When I ran my online coffee retailer, I had literally a 100% repeat customer base by doing this along with a personal promo code for every purchasing customer.
NOTE: I haven't created my postcard inserts that show the social channels for TheCherryStore but will as soon as they are in. This is a chance to also run Instagram... wait, I'll leave that thought for a future post ;-)
Now let's look at how pretty a jar of cocktail cherries looks in the box:
Like a perfectly wrapped gift.
Except it's just cocktail cherries.
The best cocktail cherries ever!
(as long as they're from TheCherryStore.ca*)
What else do we need before taking this to Canada Post?
It's Scotch® brand packaging tape.
I just learned that if you do ALT-0174 and release ALT on a Windows-based computer then it creates that symbol. Kapow!
Stickers! Hearts and kisses and roses and cupid stuff.
I guess because we all love cocktail cherries? I found it at the Dollar store, I wanted the box to look like it had a little more love going into it.
OK so here we go again. My first few orders I hand wrote the return address on every single envelope on each box. Let's save some time and buy shipping stickers from Uline!
"When eCommerce rhymes, it must be Uline."
Where are my royalties? No, seriously.
OK this has been fun, here's the final product ready to be shipped. Hope you've enjoyed a little bit of what happens when an order for cocktail cherries goes through from a fulfillment standpoint!
Voila! This one shipped out to Edmonton, Alberta
My name is Fraser Sullivan and in my spare time I run a little eCommerce Shopify store called TheCherryStore.ca in Toronto, Ontario, Canada.
Fraser D. Sullivan, MBA