Inspiring eCommerce Business Stories: from Ideas to Success
Whether you’re starting an eCommerce business, are already a pro, or are just thinking about starting your eCommerce journey, it’s always good to read business or entrepreneur success stories. Then you will learn how they got started, be inspired by their exploits, and be ready to accomplish your own.
Many companies have fascinating creation stories and marketing strategies. We have selected three of our favorite stories to inspire you to make your dreams come true. Everyone knows the success stories of companies such as Apple, Microsoft, and Amazon. Still, we would like to share the success stories of Dollar Shave Club, Beardbrand, and Ipsy.
Of course, eCommerce is growing and changing rapidly. It’s impossible to repeat someone’s existing story, but getting some inspiration is always good.
Beardbrand — From Hobby to Large Business
Beardbrand is a company focusing on personal care products, namely beard, mustache, hair care, styling products, and skincare.
The history of this brand began with Eric Bandholz, an employee of Merrill Lynch. Eric did not share the company’s “no facial hair”. The position was a matter of principle, so he decided to leave his job and do what he genuinely liked. He started blogging on beard care.
Just this year, the cult of the beard began to gain popularity. The blog grew and gained momentum, so it was impossible to stop there. Eric decided to participate in the Startup Weekend competition. His idea was a TV show featuring a bearded host who would look for famous — outstanding — beards from around the world. The idea did not win, but it resulted in Eric meeting Jeremy McGee and Lindsey Reynders, who became excellent supportive colleagues..
After a year of blogging, the New York Times approached Eric for an interview about beard care products. The entrepreneur couldn’t miss this opportunity and launched his store before publishing the article. Bandholz contacted his friends from the competition, McGee, and Reynders. This team, relying on the commitment of suppliers and $30, opened their store the day before the publication.
Eric took over the company’s marketing and became the brand’s face, Lindsey oversaw purchasing, and Jeremy took over the strategic development. The company resold goods from other brands. Eventually, the team decided on the requirements and quality of the merchandise they wanted to see in their production and launched their products. Every month sales grew, and the company developed.
The company advertises on social networks and streaming platforms and communicates with customers. A distinctive feature of the brand is that the partners built a whole community around their products and did not just sell them. They help men feel confident, teaching them to use their products and take proper care of themselves.
The story turned from an ordinary blog into a successful business. The main thing is to create your ideal website quickly and find reliable partners. It is also vital to earn customer loyalty and understand “why” your business exists and how your business can help your customers.
Dollar Shave Club — From Comedy to Large Business
Dollar Shave Club is one of the market leaders in selling men’s razors in the United States, and the company is second only to Gillette.
The Dollar Shave Club offers a solution for many men to make their lives easier and rob them of their monthly trips to the store for new razors. Dollar Shave Club offers a monthly delivery of new razors and blades for $1 per month—hence the name. The main idea of ??this business is to provide an alternative to the monopolist Gillette at a reasonable price.
The story began when Michael Dubin, a marketing and advertising manager in New York, inadvertently stumble on a man selling a warehouse of leftover razor blades while talking with his friend Mark Levine. As a professional, Michael saw the potential in this business and developed a rough business plan: selling razors by mail to men at a lower price. This plan’s main advantage was closing customers’ pain, namely the obligatory visit to the store.
The very next week, he launched his website, dolareshaveclub.com. As a professional, Michael understood how to compete with the giants, so changing the advertising approach was necessary. Given his love of humor, Dubin decided to shoot a comedy commercial for the Dollar Shave Club.
The Dollar Shave Club released a video announcing itself to the world. The difference was that the video was completely different.
We highly recommend watching this video if you haven’t seen it yet. This video has become the voice of the brand.
You see a brief video, but offers, benefits, and comedy are also apparent. By the way, Michael also managed to make fun of competitors in this short video. Such an advertising line continued in the future.
Michael Dubin financed the commercial with his savings. With his professionalism, understanding of advertising trends, comic skills, and the right choice of platforms, the commercial went viral and received 12,000 orders on the first day. The video now has over 28 million views on YouTube.
Today, Dollar Shave Club delivers more than 70 million razors annually. Video clips are still the primary type of advertising and communication with the client. Of course, now the company sells a variety of razors, trimmers, cosmetic products, and more, and the subscription costs more. However, the price is still very adequate, and everyone can afford it.
Above is one of the latest Dollar Shave Club commercials. The story and quality of the video are very different, but the voice of the brand and the story remain to this day.
Thus, a huge business resulted from one idea and video clip. The primary advice of this story is to believe in your vision, choose a suitable method of communication, and find your customers.
Ipsy — From Vlogging to Big Business
Ipsy is a subscription cosmetics delivery service. Every month, customers receive a set of cosmetics selected especially for them.
The history of this brand began with Michelle Phan, who started her career as a YouTuber in 2007. While a YouTuber, Michelle was engaged in her beauty blog. Beauty blogs, makeovers, makeup tutorials, and secrets have gained wild popularity this year. Her channel has gained more than 1 million subscribers thanks to Michelle’s quality and trending content.
Maintaining constant contact with her audience, Michelle noticed that people constantly ask for the best cosmetics, especially for them. Hence, the idea for a business came up.
Together with Camberos and Goldfarb, Phan launched her first business called MyGlam in 2011. The company oversaw sending a monthly “Glam Bag” with samples of cosmetic products suitable to customers. A year later, MyGlam was renamed Ipsy.
The business gained momentum every year more and more; thanks to a large audience on YouTube and word-of-mouth advertising, the company became profitable almost immediately.
The company grows and develops to this day and offers three different subscriptions. It also sells products of its production, collaborates with many bloggers and stylists who help the development of the brand, and are its brand advocates.
The advice to take away from this success story is the importance of finding your audience and understanding what they need. A pre-prepared audience will help you sell your products and immediately become informal ambassadors of your brand.