Today we are having an interview with Jack, the CEO of The Online Cycle Shop. In this story, the online entrepreneur from the United Kingdom shares his path to the eCommerce business. Jack tells about the challenges of coming out with an eCommerce website selling bicycles and accessories.
Jack, tell us your story about starting your business online. How did you come up with an idea of an online store?
The online cycle shop was originally a UK based bike shop established in 2012. After years of success, we wanted to take the shop to the next level. We already had a large, expanding, and loyal customer base and to fulfill their needs in 2019 we decided to convert to a marketplace so we could bring on more suppliers and brands.
Why did you choose CS-Cart?
We chose CS-Cart for the marketplace as although it wasn’t the cheapest option it offered a lot of built-in features we needed and allows for.
When it comes to developing new functionality for your online business, you refer to Simtech Development. What are the reasons for that?
The marketplace launched in January 2020 and although we initially had a few minor teething problems with card facilities and finance we overcame them with help from our developer. Since March, we have successfully built and installed many custom add-ons, processed hundreds of orders, and expanded further.
Do you have any new projects coming up? What’s the most exciting thing on the horizon for your company?
Our plan over the next 12 – 24 months is to build a complete platform for cyclists to enjoy, whether than be to purchase new products, watch tutorial videos, read the latest news, and much more. The company has grown year on year. In 2020/2021 we are expecting to see a turnover of approximately £1,000,000 with increased sales 2021/2022 due to future plans, increased marketing & contracts we have coming in place.
What inspires and motivates you to do this business? What drives you to keep going?
There are always obstacles to overcome whether it is web development, stock, deliveries, or even keeping up with demand, but we learn from each experience and find a solution whether that be additional development or just advice and planning.
Is there any advice you’d suggest to other business owners based on your personal experience regarding e-store development?
We would always recommend (when possible) starting with eCommerce. We started this business with just £1500, no stock or loans, and have built it up year after year. If we had initially gone out and rented premises, taken on staff and the other usual overheads I don’t think we would be where we are today (if at all!). The eCommerce market grows year after year and will only get bigger whereas we are seeing many smaller physical shops shutting down.
Thank you, Jack, for your valuable insights. Insights of real merchants and eCommerce business owners are always helpful. Thanks to practical advice on running an eCommerce business from an experienced merchant, other online retailers could get an idea of what to focus on and what to skip. Anything that worked for you can be of great help with others. We address all our clients to share your feedback with us, give more customization examples so that more people could see and benefit from your experience! Together we can build more useful customizations to make shopping cart platforms even more profitable, handy, and efficient tools!