Side Hustle Feature: E-commerce Shopify Store — In A Perfect World | by Chia Jeng Yang | Side Hustle Yield | Apr, 2021 | Medium
When people think of online side hustles one of the first things they think of is an e-commerce store. But with the wide variety of items to sell, what should one pick?
In A Perfect World is a jewellery-focused e-commerce store started by 2 millennials almost straight out of university.
Hello! What’s your background, and what are you working on?
Erica: Hi! My job role is currently in business development and I lead strategic partnerships for a microblogging app.
Sarah: And I work in the finance industry, managing marketing campaigns and handling branding & communications. Both of us graduated with a double degree in Marketing and Management in university where we met!
This year, we are looking to expand In A Perfect World (I. A. P. W.) by diversifying our curation to include products that complement our accessories, while focusing on customer retention and loyalty.
How did you get the idea for In A Perfect World and how did you get started?
E & S: In A Perfect World was established in 2018 right out of university. During a casual conversation, we envisioned that “In our perfect world, we would have all the things we love in one place” — that conversation soon manifested into creating our own brand. We decided to start with jewellery as we believe that as simple as it may be, it has the power to inspire self-expression, with hopes of encouraging self-love and building confidence. Our philosophy is to empower the person wearing our jewellery, evoking emotion through pieces that redefined everyday living.
How have you attracted users and grown In A Perfect World?
E & S: Finding inspiration through art, architecture and design, we mindfully curate unique bespoke designs that are unbounded by season, trend or time. We always have our customers in mind which allows us to form a strong connection with our audience. We try to steer away from trends as we believe in timeless pieces that add value to your wardrobe. Over the years, our audience has grown from a strong female base to now having both female and male wear our jewellery, it is truly humbling and we continue to strive to be more inclusive.
What’s your business model, and how have you grown your revenue?
E & S: We meticulously source our products from various parts of Asia and work closely with selected suppliers to customize and curate pieces that resonate our brand image. We started growing our audience by collaborating closely with like-minded content creators on social media who align with our brand, and by doing so we are able expand our customer base to different parts of the world. We actively act on feedback from our customers and constantly work to improve the quality of our products and services to increase customer satisfaction and retention.
How have you found balancing work and your side hustle? What’s your schedule like?
E & S: Nothing comes easy! We come home from our 9–5 jobs and continue through the night with packing orders, planning marketing campaigns, updating social media & our website etc. Our advice is to always start the year off with a good business plan and implement key strategies & timelines. This will help steer you in the right direction and stay focused on your goals!
Can you give an example of a successful e-commerce retailer that has inspired you?
E & S: We love e-commerce stores like furniture and lighting store Addition Studios. The design approach to their products, website and digital marketing continues to inspire us.
What’s your tech stack/software that you use?
E & S: We use Shopify to run our e-commerce store, as well as Instagram, Facebook and Pinterest for digital marketing.
Do you use any Shopify Apps and if so what have you found to be most useful?
E & S: Privy! We’ve been using Privy right from the start, probably one of the best decisions we’ve made. Privy is a great pop-up creator and email marketing tool that integrates seamlessly into Shopify stores. It has helped us convert many visitors and grow our email list through exit intent pop-ups and announcement bars. The app also provided us with powerful insights. There’s a reporting dashboard that allows us to track and anaylse individual campaign performance. Looking back, Privy definitely played a critical role during our initial launch period.
Are there some metrics you can share on your business?
E & S:We extended our brand reach by +30% across international markets last year and gained many new customers in different countries by focusing on Instagram ads and influencer collaborations.
What are your goals for the future?
E & S: To expand the brand by diversifying our products in hopes of becoming a lifestyle brand! We hope to offer more unique products that enrich your everyday life. As our business continues to grow, we want to stay committed in improving our sustainability efforts, reinforcing conscious consumerism.
What are the biggest challenges you’ve faced and obstacles you’ve overcome?
E & S: E-commerce has its seasonal sales and slow months. Being able to determine the slower months is half the battle. Come up with a good marketing strategy to help drive sales during those months. Do not be discouraged!
At what point in your journey so far have you needed the most courage?
E & S: The initial launch of In A Perfect World. As e-commerce is an intensely competitive space, it is difficult to break through the clutter when you first start out. Both of us had little experience and know-how, we spoke to like-minded entrepreneurs, explored different ideas and gained valuable insights along the way. Give your business time to grow.
Have you found any type of resources or mentors particularly helpful or advantageous?
E & S: We are often motivated by other successful e-commerce retailers, such as Addition Studio. Review their past campaigns and learn about their growth journey.
What’s your advice for folks who are just starting out?
E & S: Your success is based on the amount of time and effort invested into your startup! Know your competitors and learn from them. It is normal to make mistakes, re-evaluate your business plan and continually adapt to the evolving business environment. It will not always be easy but it will definitely be rewarding!
Where can we go to learn more?
E & S: Check us out at inaperfectworld.co or @inaperfectworld on Instagram! We hope to expand our wholesale relationship globally with other like-minded brands that would like to stock our jewellery in their e-commerce store and brick and mortar stores.
Are there any other interesting people or businesses we should feature? Hit us up at [email protected]
What is Side Hustle Yield?
Side Hustle Yield is built by En Hui Ong and Chia Jeng Yang and meant to highlight the people and their creative Side Hustles business models that are generating side income — be it software, widgets, online e-commerce or offline retail business models.
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