In this week’s Shop Spotlight, we asked Kristin Browning-
Mezel from Mezel Mods to share her Shopify experience and best tips for selling online with us. Keep reading for some fantastic insights and check out their awesome shop here!
Tell us a bit about yourself and what you sell.
Bet you didn’t realize that that old silver ball is back- I’m talking about pinball. It’s happening again! And pinball collectors all over the world want to make their game unique, different, and cool. Enter Mezel Mods.
We manufacture and curate the best pinball accessories (aka ‘mods’) that we sell online. We have a world wide customer base and are well known for our awesome customer service.
When did you get started selling online? Why?
Our audience for Mezel Mods has always been online, mostly because the community of pinball collectors in our area (Albuquerque, New Mexico USA) is relatively small. At first, we simply took orders via email and customers paid via PayPal. We quickly outgrew this approach and moved to Etsy, then Shopify.
What are some of the biggest challenges you’ve faced in building and running your shop?
The technical side of our business has always been challenging. Helping customers with installation, troubleshooting can be tough when you can’t see the problem in person. We’ve overcome that by bringing together everyone who sells on our site to help provide support. We utilize Slack a team collaboration tool to quickly tap into this group of experts. Another challenge we continue to work to solve is the art of offering discounts. There is a delicate balance between enticing and subsidizing sales. Finding that balance is an ongoing challenge.
How do you attract new customers?
We attract new customers through a series of offline and online marketing. Our most powerful tool is customer user groups and forums where collectors get together to talk about pinball. We also use virtually all forms of social media to reach new people. Offline, we attend pinball shows and direct market through one of the biggest pinball parts distributors in the world. An emerging area is live-streaming pinball games where players gather to watch the techniques of others on Twitch TV.
Can you share a tip or something interesting you learned in the process of building and running Mezel Mods?
Experimentation and avoiding reinventing the wheel are both key to running a successful online business. Any time we hit a frustrater or problem, we look to solve it via tools that have already been developed and rapidly experiment with their effectiveness. While this can cause some churn, it allows us to learn and adjust our approach quickly.
The Shopify App Store is a great source of solutions to problems other online retailers have already solved. For example, when we found ourselves overwhelmed managing customer support emails, we found Zendesk that automates and streamlines our customer service function. When we were having a hard time notifying customers when out of stock products were available again, we found Back In Stock which automates the entire process!