All posts by Livia

Store of the Week: Treeline Woodworks

Ad Sachan is an engineer by education, designer by disposition and an adventurer at heart. He went to college for aerospace engineering, left it for the gulf coast for relief work the year hurricanes Katrina and Rita made landfall. After a year and a half of that, he decided to take to the road to see small town America on his Schwinn. He spent the next few years traveling on his own or with organizations like Invisible Children and Falling Whistles, in cars, vans, RVs, motorcycles or bicycles. He eventually did receive his diploma and decided to start his own ventures, Treeline Woodworks.

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How did you come about starting Treeline Woodworks?
I have been interested in reclaimed wood for a long time and been making things for myself or friends for a long time. After leaving the last job, it seemed like the perfect time to take a month off and jump into this full time. I found an investor that believed in the potential and all of a sudden I was in the lumber and woodworking business.

What is Treeline Woodworks all about?
Treeline Woodworks serves to be a fully equipped woodworking outfit based in Los Angeles, CA, specializing in working with reclaimed woods. We started in September 2012. We make a lot of custom furniture, entire interiors (residential, restaurants or commercial) and are in the process of launching our home goods and furniture lines.

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How do create your woodwork?
From picking lumber to prototyping to larger scale production, everything happens in our LA space. Our lumber yard, shop and showroom is all in one place. When we start thinking thinking of a new product, it usually looks like this — I think about an idea for a fair amount of time, visualize, test, redesign it as much as I can in my mind and then it is time to cut actual pieces. We have all sorts of machines and the reason is that I don’t like to wait on an outsourced part. If it takes 3 or more days, chances are I’ll lose interest in that design and would rather focus on things I can do in house. Typically I think of an idea in the morning, get my lathe guy or CNC guy to cut the parts by lunch and see how we can put it all together by mid-afternoon. If it works, that’s great. If not, we try again.

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Do you have any exciting plans for the future of your company?
We are working hard to create our own line of furniture and home decor and kitchen goods. At some point in time soon, I would also like to get into pre-fab housing and introduce affordable and modular designer homes to the American market. I would also like us to become a one stop shop for design needs of any scale.

What does a normal day look like for you?
There is no normal. Every day is different. The only thing common from day to day is how much coffee I consume. I try to spend as much time in the office/shop as I do outside of it. Be it running errands or making deliveries, or just taking the dogs out on a hike. In the shop, I usually make sure the next job is all lined up before the current one is done with. There’s always lots to do — client relations, operations, prototyping the next idea, locating the next source of lumber, exploring newer markets — if I get sick of something, I circle through it all.

And what do you do when you’re not working?
Finding a place where I can get my dogs off the leash.

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What’s the best thing about running an online store?

Ease of use and quick testing of the market. I believe in rapid prototyping and testing. We do a good job in our shop in making ideas happen. An online store serves to be a good way to test the market with our ideas. I think Tictail has a great interface and customizability. I love how easy it is to use and you really can’t beat the price point. It’s good to see a company listening to its user base and be quick about implementing improvements or bolstering the functional or design elements that are already good.

Do you have any recommendations to other stores?
Keep it simple. Keep it clean. Less is more.

Become our Global PR Manager!

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The Economist
TheTelegraphTechCrunchBloombergCNBCBBCThe Business of FashionBetaBeat – the list goes on. Since our launch two years ago Tictail has been profiled in global media as one of the most interesting startup companies in e-commerce right now. More than 50,000 merchants trust our platform with their businesses and they found their way to us through word of mouth and smart PR. That’s where you come in!

Tictail launched in May 2012 and has raised more than $11 million in funding from some of the worlds leading investors like Thrive (Instagram, Kickstarter, Warby Parker), Balderton (LoveFilm, BookATable, Betfair) and Klaus Hommels (AirBnB, Facebook, Spotify). As we continue our journey to become the world’s most used and loved e-commerce platform we’re looking for someone to drive our global PR strategy and execution forward.

There are few places like Tictail. We will trust you 110% and give you the resources and commitment you need to do a fantastic job but will expect great results in return. You will work with amazing people, dedicated to help build the next generation of entrepreneurs. You will live in the intersection between fashion, contemporary culture and technology. We’re not looking to send traditional press releases in bulk, we want to work with PR in smart ways that inspire thousands of people to start their own businesses and become part of a global community of entrepreneurs.

This is a role for you if you enjoy fast paced challenges. Every day varies, which is what makes this job amazing! You have a strong strategic background and feel comfortable working with result oriented PR strategies and ideas.

Requirements

  • Have at least 3 years PR experience; ideally fashion, design or retail PR.
  • Have good relationships with key media in US (relationships with UK media is a plus!)
  • You have an analytical mindset combined with a problem-solving attitude.
  • You’re very creative and always find the story to support the message.
  • You’re data driven and have a sense of measuring PR and evaluating which ones work and what we should be doing more and less of.
  • You enjoy the freedom and responsibility that comes with working at a fast-moving startup.

Responsibilities

  • Create and enforce a longterm PR strategy
  • Manage our US and European PR agencies
  • Build and maintain relationships with journalists and key influencers
  • Identify and build interesting stories based on how people use our platform and the releases we make
  • Ensure presence at key events
  • Coordinate with the product team to always be one step ahead on upcoming stories and releases

We think you hold an academic education within economics, journalism, PR or marketing, but would be happy to be proven wrong. You will be reporting to the Marketing Director. The role is based in New York.

If you’re interested in joining Tictail, please send an email to jobs@tictail.com with:

  • Cover letter letting us know why you’re right for Tictail
  • Your resume. LinkedIn profile or equivalent is great.
  • Case study on a project or story you were involved with, with links to articles generated by your work
  • Confirmation of whether you’re eligible for employment in the U.S., or if you need employer sponsorship.

  • We’d also love to know; if you started a Tictail, what would you sell.

We can’t wait to hear from you!

 

A Chat with Margarete Nudel about Increasing Customer Loyalty

This week we have the honor of welcoming our friend Kalie Moore from RetentionGrid to our blog, who’s been nice enough to write a guest blog post about increasing customer loyalty for all you Tictailers out there – enjoy!

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Margarete Nudel has always loved fashion and working with her hands. She started her business, By Margarete Nudel, at the same time Tictail launched its online shop platform three years ago. Margarete recently changed the way she manages customer retention, and she wanted to share her experience with other shop owners.

Tell us about By Margarete Nudel. How did you get started?

I’ve been a journalist and editor for the past 24 years, but always loved handicrafts. I began to knit shawls, one each day, until a friend suggested I turn my craft into a business.

To make a long story short, that’s how I got started.

At first, I sold only my own knitwear. Then, about a year ago, I decided to offer my customers something new. I found some beautiful jewelry and I posted an image to my Facebook page. My fans went wild. I now import accessories that I love and that I believe my customers would love also.

My customers are fashion-conscious women in Sweden, Europe and the world. I keep the collections small so they can feel uniquely beautiful. I also offer special pieces whose revenue goes to breast cancer research.

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Your business is growing fast. How do you acquire new customers?

I use social media as my main marketing channel. In addition to having an active fan page, I concentrate on segmented Facebook advertising. I can create ads and select gender, age, and locations of my target audience. The results have been terrific, better than I received with Google AdWords, all due to how specific I can be with my targeting.My fan page is really becoming a community. I post photos of the jewelry, people comment, I respond, and more people jump in. The key is that you must be very engaged yourself. If you don’t have a drive for what you are doing, you will not get results. You have to be willing to put yourself out there for your customers.

Of course, not all of the fans on the page are loyal customers. My goal is to turn all fans and occasional customers into loyal, repeat customers. This is where RetentionGrid has been so important. After hearing about RetentionGrid, I thought it might help me to engage better with customers who were not active on social media. Now, I can reach out to customers based upon their previous purchases and buying patterns. The results have been outstanding.

You recently changed your customer retention methods. How so?

Like every e-commerce shop, I realize how important it is to keep customers returning. Before I started using RetentionGrid, I would send one newsletter to all customers at the beginning of the month, and a second email with a coupon to everyone at the end of the month.

But, I noticed that far too many of my customers were still only one-time buyers. Now, I’m using RetentionGrid to look more closely at buying patterns and different customer segments. I craft personal, relevant messages for each specific group. The results have been dramatic. If I compare my segmented campaigns to the newsletter campaigns I see improvements in all areas: open rates, click-throughs to my shop, and conversion to order.

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What are you doing to reduce your number of one-time buyers?

I’ve found the best way to tackle this problem is to start with New customers. When a New customer buys from my shop, I start building a relationship immediately. Through RetentionGrid, I can send a thank you email within a week of their first purchase. I write a very personal note and offer a small discount on a next order as a welcome gift.

The results are great. Email open rates are more than 50% and click-through rates are 16-25%. And, there are many more New customers placing a second order even though the first one was not that long ago.

What about customers that haven’t been back in a long time?

I’ve also been focusing on the Sleepers segment. It includes customers that only ordered one or two times and haven’t been back in more than three months. Their lower lifetime value doesn’t always break-even with the investment to acquire them, so I try to be persistent about getting them back. I usually give this group a certain percentage off and use a strong call to action to grab attention. I am happy with the results. Campaigns have been having open rates around 30% and click-throughs of 11%. The last targeted message to this group brought in an additional 700 euro.

Do you do anything special to keep your Loyal customers engaged?

Of course, my loyal customers are already engaged, but they still respond to targeted email campaigns. And, as I mentioned, RetentionGrid helps me reach the ones that are not following my Facebook page.

Reaching out to Loyal customers is a little bit different than for the other segments. I share exciting news and let them know how important they are to me. The last message I sent to this segment resulted in eight percent coming to the store through the email and making a purchase.

Any final thoughts on customer retention?

RetentionGrid is now a core part of my business. It lets me interact with each customer segment on a personal level and loyalty is growing. I strongly recommend the app for any shop who needs to increase their repeat customers.

In addition to getting great support from the team at RetentionGrid, the app has helped me earn more than 18,000 euros in under six months. I’m really pleased about that.

I look forward to the new features they are now rolling out to Tictail customers, especially the advanced filters and individualized product recommendations in every email.

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Join Tictail as a Data Analyst!

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Tictail is looking for someone highly analytical to join our product team as a data analyst, transforming the massive amount of data that flows through our platform everyday into insights and defining actionable tasks supported by this data.

Tictail is a crazy place. You’ll work with some of the best people you’ve ever met, making incredibly ambitious things, with a ridiculous amount of responsibility. If you’re like us, you’ve probably dreamed of what you could accomplish if you just weren’t held back by your current boss, job, school or whatever else is in your way.

Well, Tictail is your chance to shine.

Are you an engineering-minded data analyst ready for the challenge of working with the product team of one of the most exciting startups around?

Requirements

  • You believe in proof through numbers and statistics
  • You have an analytical mindset combined with a problem-solving attitude
  • You have a good understanding of statistics and proven techniques
  • You are experienced in using SQL in an analytical setting
  • You have some experience with programming or scripting

Responsibilities

  • It’s your responsibility to identify and ensure collection of relevant metrics throughout the product and transform these metrics into insights
  • You will be working within the product team and will be an important part of product decisions based on insights
  • You will support decisions with data and analysis
  • You will define relevant funnels and ensure continuous tracking and alerting of these and key metrics with all product updates

We think your education background is within business or engineering, but would be happy to be proven wrong.

If you find yourself imagining what life at Tictail might be like. We’d love to hear from you. To apply, email jobs+data@tictail.com with:

Your resume. LinkedIn profile or equivalent is great.
Example of non-confidential project or code you think is relevant.

Add a Brand New “Contact Us” Tab to Your Store

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Learn more about Contact Form in our App Store.

As a Tictail shop owner, you probably receive many customer requests every week. Congratulations! This is an indicator of success! Have you thought about the steps each customer takes to reach you? 1. Search for an email address on your website 2. Open their email client and write to you 3. Go back to your store and resume their shopping All of those steps increase friction and reduce the quality of your customer’s experience. If a customer has difficulty finding your email address, accessing their email client, or just gets distracted somewhere during the process, you could lose a potential sale! We are happy to announce that we are bringing a solution to this common problem for Tictail shop owners: our new Contact Form App. With Contact Form enabled, each page in your store will have a tab for customers to send inquiries without interrupting their shopping experience. This makes your store feel more professional and simplifies customer request management. The app works straight out of the box and is effortless to install.

Here are a few tips on how to make the most out of it:

  • Customize the tab’s color to match the style of your store. Try to find a color that blends well with your template but contrasts enough for customers to spot it. Perhaps try Adobe’s free color tool to find matching colors?
  • Personalize the title, introduction and confirmation text to suit the mood of your shop. Remember, the contact form is an integral part of the customer experience.
  • Answer customer requests quickly. Providing unmatched response times is one of the best ways to set yourself apart from your competitors. Fortunately, the contact form app is fully integrated into your Tictail dashboard. New requests will automatically appear in your feed.

We are excited to bring our new app to the Tictail App Store and we hope you will enjoy using it! If you have any questions or suggestions about Contact Form, please leave a comment below.

Boost Your Total Order Value by Upselling

One of the best ways to increase the amount of purchases made in your store is to try and convince your customers to buy something more. Once a customer visits your store and has decided to buy something, making that customer buy another product is often much easier than trying to convince 1) a random person to visit your store or 2) a person visiting your store to make the initial purchase.

Making people buy more than one product is often called upselling. Retailers do this all the time by offering you to buy accessories (“Would you like to buy a nice looking cover to the phone you just bought?”) or by presenting you with various special offers when waiting in line to pay (food stores generally have loads of candy just next to the cashier).

Online stores have numerous ways of upselling too. Some stores offer you deals on your way to the checkout page, others present you with tailored recommendations based on your previous purchases. Ever seen “Customers who bought this product also bought…” lists next to products on e-commerce sites? This way of upselling can increase your purchases per customer by up to ten percent!

With the new Upsell app, Tictail stores are now able to sell more to every customer by presenting targeted products every time a customer makes a purchase in the store.

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Upsell app users can choose to upsell their products based on store purchases. Simply select a product to upsell and answer the question: “When should we try to upsell this product”, and the product will be presented as soon as a customer puts certain products in their shopping cart (or when a customer puts anything in the cart, if you believe the upsell product should always be presented).

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Check out the app live over at Polka, Handsome Store and Five Fridays!

The Upsell app is available on a 30-day free trial. Install it now and start increasing your sales!

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We just raised our Series A! Expect a busy 2014

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Dear Tictailers,

Today it was announced that Tictail just closed a Series A investment of $8 million led by the wonderful team at Thrive Capital in New York.

We’re so incredibly proud over what we have created together with you. Since we launched almost two years ago we’ve grown into a community of 35,000 entrepreneurs across 110 countries. It’s important to think about the stories behind these metrics. Your stories. The entrepreneurs that are creating great businesses with beautiful stores selling everything from wine to furniture. Using Tictail they are, like you, investing in something they deeply care about doing and products that they love. It’s an amazing and vibrant community to which we at Tictail owe the best years of our lives and we feel privileged to be part of it. Thank you.

Today, Tictail helps you create a beautiful online store for free. Helping entrepreneurs establish an online presence, find consumers and help them sell is definitely essential to our goals. However, our vision stretches beyond that even. We strive to aid entrepreneurship to a further extent. Dare one dream?

When we think about Tictail and its place in the future, we think about a company that makes the world smaller by enabling small businesses to act on a global scale. A home for businesses online. Where we invest in global shipping infrastructure to eliminate barriers across markets. Allowing consumers to pick-up their orders from you in one of our many concept stores across all major cities. There, they will also be able to browse other exciting products within our community and even start their own online store within minutes with the help from one of our Tictail Heroes. To truly make it a global experience, Tictail will provide micro loans to enable anyone with a good idea for a creative product to realize their dream and establish an online business. In essence our ambition is to create the world’s most used and loved e-commerce platform with the best relationships between merchants and consumers.

We’re truly just getting started. But every journey must start somewhere and ours started here;  a beautiful online store in a matter of minutes – for free. Diligently we focused on creating a platform that not only would help businesses go online, but in fact help them sell more through the help of the Tictail Feed and our Apps. Through hard work we’ve been able to come far in a short time, creating an experience that 81% of you have recommended to a friend. We’re proud of that, but aim to do better and hope to launch hundreds of new apps which cover everything from the most requested features to marketing tools.

In 2014 our main focus is going to be the consumer experience of Tictail. We strongly believe that in order to build a platform which helps you grow your business we need to make it easier for you to establish great relationships with your consumers. You should be able to have a dialogue with them earlier than once they’ve placed an order. Imagine being able to have a conversation with your customers the moment they walk in the door – like with a physical store. To be able to see immediately what products peak their interest and hear what concerns they might have. To get new customers to come in by having great store window displays. We want to bring that experience online – both for you as well as the consumers. We’re confident it will push us in the right direction towards our vision and benefit our community of entrepreneurs.

 

We can’t wait to see the impact it will have and hope you’re as excited about the future as we are. We’re going to use this new investment to continue building great products and a thriving community.

 

Like us, your business is just getting started…

 

A big thank you!

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Joel, Jona, Kaj, Joakim, Pärham, Elin, Siavash, Katryna, Martin, Alex, Livia, Birk, Petter, Erik, Anton, William, Jennie and Carl

We’re hiring engineers in Stockholm!

Join the most exciting startup in Stockholm, building something real – something that helps people all over the world grow their own business from their passion.

Tictail is a crazy place. You’ll work with some of the best people you’ve ever met, making incredibly ambitious things, with a ridiculous amount of responsibility. If you’re like us, you’ve probably dreamed of what you could accomplish if you just weren’t held back by your current boss, job, school or whatever else is in your way. Well, Tictail is your chance to shine.

We’re hiring slowly but surely. Because Tictail is nothing without our colleagues and our culture, we might not match your expectations of a normal recruitment process. We will definitely want to figure out if you’re smart and get things done, but more importantly we want to figure out if we click.

Tictail is built primarily with Python and Javascript, but not exclusively. Most importantly we use the right tool for the job and are happy to learn new things.

Right now, we are especially interested if you consider yourself a full stack developer, aspiring devop, an Android specialist or frontend magician. But if you’re smart, get things done and can’t wait to join Tictail, get in touch no matter what!

Please take a moment to reflect on the above, and send us an email if you find yourself imagining what life at Tictail might be like. We’d love to hear from you.

Please email jobs+tech@tictail.com with:

– GitHub profile or equivalent. Please point out some code, project or open source contributions you are particularly proud of!

– Resume. A link to your LinkedIn is fine

– What interests you with Tictail?

Print Packaging Slips with Ease

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It’s exciting to launch an online store. Once available to the world, more and more people are starting to pay attention to it. You see them go from being a visitor to an admirer – all thanks to your creativity expressed through beautiful products. You know their admiration has turned into desire when you get a notification about an order being placed. It’s an empowering feeling, but all of the sudden you’re faced with the new challenge of shipping several orders at once.

Can you identify with this? Then Printout Designer is just the app for you! Within minutes, you can easily design your custom packaging slips and address labels. Once you’re happy with their appearance you can print one copy for each order you need to ship. Greatly reducing the amount of manual labour required to get your products delivered to the right customer – in time.

Furthermore, you can create and use design templates for any given purpose. Need to print each order in a special format for bookkeeping purposes? No problem. Need to re-stock on the products you’ve sold from a third-party vendor? Create a template for generating a PDF which you can e-mail to them immediately. You’re in charge. Printout Designer will keep track on your inventory and allow you to be creative with what you need to print on a daily basis.

If you have any questions, leave a comment below :)