Posted: Thu 7th Jul 2022
Sheelin Conlon is founder of The Kind, a sustainable lifestyle brand based in Dublin. In January 2022, Sheelin made the decision to close her bricks and mortar store after two years, and focus her efforts on building the e-commerce side of her business.
As part of the Amazon Small Business Accelerator, Enterprise Nation is delivering two Amazon Bootcamps in July. Sheelin will share her story and impart her learnings of building an e-commerce business.
Ahead of the event on Tuesday 19 July 2022, Sheelin tells us how she found this change in her business.
“Initially, it was supposed to be a pop-up but it was very successful for Christmas and I really enjoyed having an opportunity to meet face-to-face with customers,” Sheelin explains.
“I think that was a big thing. Being able to actually speak to people and see in real life, and in real time, what customers wanted. And for them to be able to give feedback as well.
“When I started The Kind it was to give me freedom to be able to travel and work remotely, but having a physical shop really was tying me down to that location. One of the main reasons why I moved online was to try and get that freedom back and also to be able to scale because the shop was limited in terms of size.
“Moving entirely online meant that I’d be able to scale and when things get busier, I wouldn’t have to be looking to recruit more staff. I was working with a fulfilment company who were able to be more flexible on that.”
Transferring an entire business online is not as easy as just locking the shop doors and putting stock on the website. Selling online is very different; you don’t have organic footfall nor a front window display. Sheelin explains the challenges she faced after the initial move.
“The main thing really is visibility, and getting customers back onto your website. When I had the store, I was able to merchandise the store quite easily – move things around, and bundle things together – and now that I'm online I have to do all of that using my website.
“I've been really looking at ways to improve the user experience within the website, but also how to get customers onto the website. Really basic things that I maybe hadn’t looked at before in great detail were things like website SEO – it's not the most fun task at all but it's so important. And it's just something that I hadn't really looked up before.
“When I had the store and I had quite a bit of buzz about the business, people automatically went to seek out my website.”
Now Sheelin is focusing on improving the customer journey and merchandising the site in such a way, it's easy for people to find certain products.
“Recommending other products that customers might like, and that are frequently bought together. Offering discounts if people purchase bundles. And just improving the overall experience for customers.”
Sheelin is bringing her first-hand experience to an Amazon Bootcamp later this month. She will be sharing her story of moving the business fully online and things she has learned throughout the process.
“I’m going to talk about how I’ve been scaling the business online and the challenges I’ve faced. I’ll be sharing the mistakes I’ve made because I think that’s the best way of learning – giving tips on how other small businesses can avoid making the same mistakes in their e-commerce businesses.”
Are you an Irish brand looking to start selling online? Join this three-hour online bootcamp on Tuesday 19 July 2022 – in partnership with Amazon and Retail Ireland Skillnet – to learn what to do, including how to sell on Amazon, set up your own e-commerce shop and attract new customers.