Three years ago, after making a few cards and gifts for friends’ weddings, Siobhan Elliott decided to test the waters of online retail by putting a few of her cards on Etsy. It took a couple of weeks to get her first sale, but since then her handmade cards have taken off. Siobhan now runs two online card businesses; Little Card Cupboard and Kiss My Card, selling on Etsy, eBay and most recently, Shopify.
Running the card business alongside a job and looking after her daughter meant that Siobhan only has evenings and one afternoon a week to focus on it. When she first started selling on Etsy, Siobhan was able to handwrite address labels for each order. As she expanded to eBay, she started to download order details, copying and pasting addresses onto labels to print. This process was eating into the time that she had to spend creating cards and marketing the business.
“Time was the biggest problem; spending too much time on managing orders when I needed to be making stuff”
During quieter times, Siobhan tries to build up a stock of the most popular cards, but for the most part, she creates the cards as the orders come in, especially as a lot of them are personalised. Each day she would download a list of orders from each sales channel - working through one list and then the next. This meant that she wasn’t creating cards and dispatching them in chronological order of when they’d been placed across channels.
Dispatch times were very variable, and the businesses growth was restricted, Siobhan desperately needed a better process for managing orders.
Siobhan came across a recommendation for Zenstores from Belinda Bowman (Lilybels) in an Etsy forum and checked out the free trial.
Straightaway, she found that having all her orders from Etsy, eBay and Shopify in one dashboard made it so much easier to keep on top of everything. Each time she logs into Zenstores she’s able to view all the orders, print address labels in bulk and print out a job sheet. Siobhan now works through the job sheet each day, creating the cards, packaging and dispatching them in chronological order - not one sales channel and then another.
“It pulls everything in and it’s so easy to navigate”
Not only does Zenstores make her day-to-day work more organised, she also uses Zenstores Insights to monitor which sales channel is doing best, which products are selling and who her repeat customers are - this helps her to continually improve, optimise and grow the business.
"It’s saved me an hour a day, if not more, just in terms of how easy it is to do things now”
With such a busy schedule and limited time to spend on her card business, every minute counts for Siobhan. Zenstores has saved her at least an hour each day, and getting that time back has enabled her to focus on creating cards, expanding the product range and setting up her Shopify site.
The new website has taken off quickly, and Siobhan is now looking to set up a Royal Mail account to integrate with Zenstores and automate her dispatch process even further.