Could you tell us a bit about yourself, what you sell at The Baby’s Brew and how you got started?
My name is Alaina and I created The Baby’s Brew when I had my first baby and could not find a portable bottle warmer. I searched for hours and hours and I finally said you know what, I’m going to make this!
My husband and I took out a loan and took a leap of faith. Little did we know how much it would grow and with crazy speed too!
The Baby’s Brew is the world’s first portable battery-powered bottle warmer. It also comes with a formula dispenser so no more pre measuring your formula!
What did it take to get your first products in stock? Has that changed since you started?
I found a manufacturer and told them my idea. From there we began exploring designs and we got our prototype a few months later!
We launched a Kickstarter to hopefully fund the first shipment but it sadly did not do as well as we had hoped. We were funded, but I had much higher hopes. Refusing to be defeated, I told myself you know what - keep going!
We took out a loan for the remaining amount and bought our first 500 units which we sold out of 3 weeks later!!!
Looking back, is there anything you think you could have done differently that might have made your Kickstarter campaign more successful?
I created my Kickstarter in no joke, 3 weeks…I had no idea how Kickstarter worked and just threw it up and tried to copy what the other successful Kickstarters had done. Little did I know that baby products really don’t do that great. However, there are some who flourish. I just wasn't one of them. ;-)
If you are trying to do a Kickstarter I would say do your research. Build an audience before you launch. This can be hard and scary since you haven't even launched your product. Create a blog surrounding what your product is about and get sign ups. Email lists are essential for crowdfunding! Building hype and an audience is ESSENTIAL. Yes, some throw up a Facebook ad and it blows up but let's be real - it most likely won't happen.
How did you get your first sale?
Our first sale was technically through Kickstarter, but after that our first sale was actually directly from our store.
What obstacles and challenges have you overcome along the way?
Our biggest obstacle is keeping inventory. We have purchased double the inventory on every order, but each time it only lasts us a month. Aside from that, Shopify and all of our systems have been pretty easy going.
What influenced your decision to use Shopify?
Shopify’s platform is the easiest and most adaptable platform. I have worked on and run websites on all types of platforms but Shopify makes it sooo easy. Especially once you start hiring people. There is hardly any learning curve and it makes training time just a few days.
What was the process like to get started? Is there anything you wish you had known then that you know now?
Getting started was a ton of work. I worked all night long building and creating websites, blogs, products, and emails. It took months to get everything ready before we launched. I come from a marketing background, so I knew making sure everything was in place was essential to our success.
For the most part, I felt really prepared. I had taken a bunch of classes before even starting the creation of The Baby’s Brew and we also teamed up with a lot more knowledgeable people in the business to help us with any obstacles.
Awesome! Any advice on how to find those types of resources for someone who is just starting out and may not know where to begin?
I actually took the Start & Scale course by Foundr. If you are curious about how to create a product from start to finish and beyond, this is a great course. The girl who teaches it has created so many successful businesses through Shopify and has won awards as well.
When creating a product, you want to make sure that there's a demand. So a couple good tools I used were Google Trends and the website Trendhunter. See what's being searched the most because, let’s be real. Google is where most sales come from.
What Shopify apps do you currently use? Which apps are most important to your business and why?
Top 3 is so hard I love all my apps! :-)
Fomo - This is essential because people feel more confident knowing others are buying too. Plus there’s always that fomo ;).
YOTPO - Reviews are essential not only for SEO purposes but also customer reassurance as well. This app makes it so simple and easy!
SMSBump - Our abandoned cart conversions went from 6% to 13% in just a few short weeks thanks to text marketing.
What theme did you choose for your site and why?
I’m actually using the free DEBUT theme. It’s easy to use and does everything I need it to so why change something that’s working? ;-)
What strategies have you used to attract more leads and grow The Baby’s Brew?
We believe heavily in influencer marketing! I have one person dedicated to reaching out, organizing, and managing our influencers. Once they post, we put those clicks into funnels which for the most part turn into sales.
Besides that, we do use social media marketing and blogs to help drive traffic to the site.
What are some of the most effective ways that you interact with your customers?
We use the Re:amaze app to consolidate our customer inquiries. This app allows you to connect all channels into one. Our customer service manager is a workaholic and loves helping and will help you at pretty much anytime of the day.
Are there any metrics you can share in terms of order volume, monthly sales, increased revenue, growth %, etc.?
We started in July, sold around $15,000 in sales and sold out. We were sold out in August and did not do pre-orders, so barely any sales then.
We restocked Sept 5 and had $8,000 in sales in that one day with a 12% conversion rate!
We finished the month out at $32,505, doubling our first month. As of October 17, we were at $34,000 and are projected to double our sales again this month!
That’s amazing! To what do you attribute those positive metrics?
Lots of SEO work, marketing, influencers, and most importantly is having a good team. There is no way we could have been this successful without our team.
What are you working towards now?
Now we are working on evolving into all different types of helpful products for on-the-go parents. We will be launching more adapters so we are compatible with even more bottles and the next big one will actually be with Como Tomo bottles. We have actually teamed up with the brand directly and are excited to launch in November!
Are there any blogs or other resources that have been helpful for you?
I took the Gretta Van Riel course through Start and Scale and that actually helped a lot! I also took every free course I could possibly find to help with manufacturing. Besides that, we had a group of mompreneurs who are all in different stages of their businesses, which was great for sharing ideas and getting help from others.
Based on your own success, what advice would you share with others who might be just starting out with Shopify (or with eCommerce in general)?
Test your ideas with your target audience - not your mom or your brother but people you don’t know. I used to - no joke - walk around the mall and when I would get near a new mom or pregnant lady I would bring out my warmer and every person would rave about what a great idea it was. I’m a little shy so walking directly up to people was not my forte.
Once you have that, don’t let anyone hold you back! Keep pushing, if we would have given up after our not-so-hot Kickstarter campaign, I would have never been able to quit my job and be able to spend so much more time with my family.
Also a quote I live by is “Don’t compare your beginning to someone else’s ending.” Not all stores will take off but as long as you are progressing, you are succeeding.
Where can we learn more?
~ Alaina Moulton, Founder of The Baby's Brew ~