In 2007, Jennifer Kirk tuned a great idea into a successful business model when she decided to sell upscale dog clothes and accessories to pet-lovers. After launching www.poshpuppyboutique.com, Jennifer’s online business took off and she’s never looked back.
Check out her inspiring story to see how you can quickly grow your startup, just like Jennifer.
How did you get started in this business?
This business idea started about 10 years ago while I was selling designer kids clothing online. After watching my girls play dress up with our Chihuahua and seeing how much the dog loved it, I knew I was onto something. My girls were getting older and I was looking for a new hobby to keep me busy while they were in school all day, so I came up with the idea for Posh Puppy Boutique. I knew if my kids had this much fun dressing up dogs instead of dolls, surely others would love it too!
Why did you choose Volusion?
I initially started selling products on eBay, but my husband had the idea to branch out with an online store provider that wouldn’t take a commission from my sales. I started researching and learning about shopping carts and came across Volusion. In 2007, after trying several trials from various providers, I chose Volusion. Volusion is very user-friendly and has great video tutorials and support. I recommend Volusion to everyone that is starting an online store! Since 2008, our sales are projected to be up 515% and the numbers keep on growing.
What marketing tools are you using for your online store?
Social plug-in: We are using Volusion’s Social Store, which has been a huge part of our success. About 17% of our sales come directly from Facebook.
Premium plan user: We recently upgraded to the largest hosting package which has allowed us to qualify for opportunities like Good Morning America’s Steals and Deals promotion we participated in October 2011.
Out of this World™ Support and Video Tutorials: I use 24x7x365 customer support to call for help at any time of the day. With a growing family it’s necessary for me to handle the technical calls in the late evening.
Built-in SEO: This system allows for easy meta tag optimization as new products come on board. Our biggest asset is the built-in SEO. It’s very user friendly and has been very effective in helping us keep a very high ranking on Google.
What are some of the more unique approaches you’re taking to marketing?
We try to find creative ways to build buzz about our site and products. Not only do we use online tools and SEO for promotion, but we’ve had the chance at some special opportunities that have had a tremendous impact on the business. Posh Puppy Boutique has been a partner on a couple of Hollywood films and has had products featured in the sTORIbook Weddings show and did a sales promo with Tory Johnson on Good Morning America’s Steals and Deals.
What’s your biggest piece of advice for other online business owners?
If you’re going to invest in a solution like Volusion, make sure to take full advantage of it. Initially, you may just want the shopping cart or the hosting, but we’ve found that the SEO and seamless Facebook integration are two of the most valuable tools we have. We can directly credit both of them with increased sales due to increased web site traffic. Make sure to maximize your investment.
Looks like Posh Puppy Boutique will be continuing to serve canines in need of high fashion for many years to come! Thanks to Jennifer for sharing her story and congrats on another year of online success.