Interview with Kevin Bucher e-commerce – selling online with Shopify
Among the people wearing the world’s most comfortable underpants are many who do great things every day. But the idea was Kevin Bucher’s. Kevin had a dream – the perfect pair of underpants and a better world. With a lot of passion and hard work, the Flizzer was born, and is now marketed and sold via the online shop www.flizzer.ch (in German). Flizzer’s digital sales channel is based on Shopify, a cloud-based omnichannel shop system which makes it as easy as possible to start, expand and manage an online shop. Kevin Bucher, the founder of Flizzer, provides some insight on running a Shopify solution.
What did you consider before going into digital retail?
We took a close look at our target group and different ways of reaching it in order to determine the optimum sales channels. For example, 70 percent of our customers make purchases via their mobile phones. We also looked at our customers’ needs to ensure they have the best possible customer journey in the shop. This includes, for example, the various payment methods that we currently make available to our customers – which has a positive impact on our conversion rate. Or our underpants subscription, which we see as another way to make life comfortable for our customers – this time throughout the entire underpants purchasing process. We also wanted to get started quickly and inexpensively, so we could gain some initial experience and start learning as quickly as possible.
Why did you choose Shopify and what do you think are its main advantages?
Before Shopify, we’d already tried two other systems. We started small and wanted to keep our fixed costs as low as possible (i.e. no monthly fees). Depending on our customers’ needs and the shop requirements, free solutions are an adequate option. We were only able to partially meet our requirements for a custom underpants subscription using a standard solution, and we needed some parts of the solution to be specially programmed. This was only possible to a limited extent with the first two shop systems. The resulting “patchwork” solution results in an extremely high IT workload . Shopify fully satisfied our requirements for an established standard solution that can be expanded with various plug-ins and for which custom solutions can be easily programmed.
Another advantage is the ease of use of the shop – I can make adjustments to the front end myself or simply add new products to the shop.
Do you also see disadvantages or limitations that create problems for you?
Shopify is a standard solution that has limitations, of course. The check-out process in particular has been revised by Shopify and can no longer be individually designed in the standard version, which we didn’t find entirely satisfactory from a visual perspective.
From a cost perspective, Shopify is certainly a bit more expensive than other shop systems. In our experience, however, the maintenance and upkeep costs are significantly lower.
Which tool do you use to process payments and what are its advantages?
For payments, we use the plug-in from Wallee, because we appreciate the variety of payment types and pricing. We can offer our customers all e-payment methods as well as payment by invoice. We use a dashboard where we can manage all payment methods centrally in a single location. This is a huge advantage, in my opinion.
How do you map your logistics processes and what are the advantages of the Shopify solution?
At the beginning of our journey, we were doing all the logistics ourselves – packing the underwear ourselves at home in our living rooms. Today, we work with Betrieb B (in German) from Bern, and have outsourced all our logistics processes. Orders are currently still being processed manually. In the next step, we’ll be automating the entire process from goods procurement to goods receipts and goods issues as much as possible, as well as digitizing data transfer between the Shopify stock management tool and the warehouse management tool from Betrieb B via a standard interface. Another option is the Swiss Post plug-in for barcode generation and track and trace.
What marketing opportunities does Shopify offer you and how easy are they to use?
We’re currently using external tools to implement our digital marketing measures. So I can't answer that. We use CRM and a campaign tool to run automated marketing. It’s important for us to create an experience that goes beyond the sale.
If you could turn back the clock, would you choose a Shopify solution again?
Yes, we would choose Shopify again. With Shopify, we have the best solution for our current phase and our current needs. We can cover most of our requirements with existing plug-ins and we can maintain the content in the shop ourselves. Obviously, a standard solution can’t provide the perfect solution. We always have to make minor compromises – but these can be kept to minimum with Shopify.
What is your advice for companies that want to be successful in online retail even on a smaller budget?
Consider in advance which customer requirements and which functionalities you want to cover with your shop, and get help if you don’t have the expertise. In my opinion, it’s important that the first shop can be implemented quickly, easily and cost effectively so that you can learn directly from your customers. I think this is easiest to implement with a good standard shop solution – without an extensive programming workload. And if the shop solution can be expanded as the business continues to develop, all the better.
A new shop in 14 days with Swiss Post
Swiss Post offers a new service that aims to support retailers as they enter the world of online retail. For a fixed price, you can benefit from the long-standing experience of our consultants and leading Swiss e-commerce agencies. We guarantee that you will be able to start selling from your online shop within two weeks. The technical basis is future-proof, ensuring that you can continue harnessing the benefits of your investment for a long time to come.
When developing the concept, it was important to us that retailers were able to get online fast and with as little fuss as possible. This helps you to create a good foundation that will safeguard your future viability. After all, taking that first step is the only way to gain important experience that will ensure you can gradually succeed in conquering the digital sales channel.
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