In this week’s Shop Spotlight, we asked Dan from Bellies to Babies to share his Shopify experience and best tips for selling online. Keep reading for great insights. If you or a friend are looking for budget-friendly, stylish and functional maternity clothing, Bellies to Babies is the place to shop!
Tell us a bit about yourself and what you sell.
My name is Dan Canfield and I am referred to as, “Dan the Maternity Man,” because I am the owner of Bellies to Babies, a previously loved maternity clothing company with retail stores and an online channel at BelliestoB.com. On average, our clothing is 80%-off department store prices with free shipping on all orders. The best part: we also have a maternity buy back program so new moms can make money on their maternity clothing once baby is born.
When did you get started selling online? Why?
We started selling online 18 months ago to give expectant women across the nation a place to buy maternity clothing that wouldn’t break their budget. Very few secondhand or resale stores sell online, so we thought this was a good opportunity to take on the market.
What are some of the biggest challenges you’ve faced in building and running your shop?
In the second hand / resale industry, every item is a separate SKU. So, our biggest challenge is uploading all of our products to our website. In a given week we may receive 1,000+ new items that we have to upload to make sure our inventory stays up-to-date. That way, we don’t sell something online that was already sold in the store!
After crashing and burning many times, we put in the right systems and processes for getting new items online fast and taking them down when sold in store. This process will always be an ongoing challenge for us, but that’s the perk of owning a business.
How do you attract new customers?
Besides advertising and creating partnerships in our local communities, we use Facebook and Instagram primarily to attract new customers. We have been very successful through Facebook ads and experience strong conversions on these platforms.
Can you share a tip or something interesting you learned in the process of building and running your shop?
Have a lot of fun with your customers! An online store shouldn’t be just about selling, selling, selling. It should be about making an impression on a customer and going out of your way to deliver an experience like no other.
An example of this is on every one of our receipts and confirmation emails we ask our customers what is something we can do to make their day. Most people don’t answer, but from time to time we get a big ask that we try to fulfill. The positive fallout that follows is priceless and spreads our brand in ways we could never pay for.