We get excited when we get to share success stories of our customers. Today’s story is all about Society43, an online store that any sports fanatic will want to learn more about.
Society43 was founded while owner, Jason Bolt, was a student at the University of Oregon. Having always been an avid sunglasses collector (200 pairs and counting) and sports fanatic, Jason recognized an opportunity to create a socially conscious company that specializes in well-built, exciting and affordable sunglasses for collegiate sports fans. The name Society43 was chosen in reference to the year collegiate sports started. Founded in 1843, the Yale Rowing Crew was the first college sports team in American history, and it laid the foundation for the competitive collegiate sports environment that exists today.
Becoming a Volusion Fan
Jason started out by selling his products on eBay and Amazon. Though they were making sales, neither platform allowed Society43 to customize or brand the look of their web presence to the extent they wanted.
In 2010, Jason chose Volusion to host his ecommerce store over other options because it offers an easy solution to launching an effective online presence at an affordable price. They have continued to use Volusion for those reasons, but also for the numerous administrative options that allow them to grow different aspects of their business. Jason feels that Volusion has thought of almost every feature they could want and implemented them into its platform. Although Society43 doesn’t use all of the features offered by Volusion, Jason feels reassured knowing that they’re available when he needs them.
Some of the features that are game-changers for Jason and his team include
- Bulk import/export – Last year Society43 had 24 products and they have now grown to carry over 500. The bulk import/export tool saves them time and money, making it easy to add and manage the inventory listed on their site.
- Ease of Use – Being able to easily navigate the software is important for business owners and their customers. In Jason’s mind, ease of use equals sales, of which he has seen first-hand.
- 24×7 Customer Support – When Jason or his team have questions about how to modify or fix something, they simply jump on their computer to live chat with a knowledgeable Volusion support representative.
In July 2012, Jason and his team re-designed and re-launched their online store. Their goal was to create a site that’s visually stunning and easy to navigate. They wanted the products to speak for themselves, and one of the most exciting parts of the re-design is the “Customize” page which allows customers to build their own sunglasses.
Social media is a key component in Jason’s business model. It allows him to reach out in a personal way to Society43 fans and customers. At the same time, it gives those people insight into who Society43 is as a company. To see what they’re up to, you can find them on Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest. Also, check out their company video on YouTube that tells the story behind their business.
Scoring Big in Ecommerce
Society43 has seen tremendous growth over the last two years, now offering officially-licensed products for more than 58 of the largest universities in the world and over 3,000 custom sunglasses combinations with new colors added monthly. Each year, they have experienced a 30-50 percent increase in revenue, and each time Volusion updates its software to add new features, Society43 sees an impact with an increase in sales.
“Our web presence is very important in terms of sales and branding,” said Jason Bolt, Founder and CEO of Society43. “The Volusion store has impacted our business in a very positive way and we are constantly getting positive feedback on the design and ease of use, which translates into sales. Volusion is the perfect robust ecommerce platform to grow on. It works well at every stage.”
Society43 is also active in its community, partnering with nonprofits to make an impact around the world. One nonprofit is Two Feet, an organization that runs sports camps for underprivileged and orphaned youth in Kenya. The internal mantra of Society43 is “Community over Capital,” and this attitude is what drives their continued growth and expansion.
Congratulations to Society43 on their big wins in ecommerce. As football season gets off to a great start, we hope that your store continues to see wins – we’re your number one fans!