Julie and Derek Hoare run PzPalmtree, an online shop selling affordable and useful everyday items. They sell via their website and eBay.
Why did you start selling online?
After working in the mail order and now e-commerce industry for the last 30 years and being made redundant a couple of times as companies were sold and moved, we decided to do a little bit for ourselves, as a side line, a ‘bit of fun’!
That ‘bit of fun’ was nearly four years ago but within a few weeks it was obvious that we had hit on something and it was time to get serious. We had to sort out things like a Royal Mail contract as the Post office don't like you trying to stuff 100 large letters and packets into their post box and filling it!
What have been your biggest challenges selling online, and how have you overcome them?
Our biggest challenge has been trying to keep things in stock as suppliers will tell you what you want to hear, not what is happening. It got to the point that we decided to get some of our lines made for us, so we now have total control over the supply chain.
Why do you use Zenstores?
When Royal Mail announced they were going to introduce 2D barcodes we wanted to be one of the first to use the system as we could see the benefits to us and our customers. We did some research and Zenstores came up in a number of conversations with great comments, so I contacted Ben and we were up and running in a couple of hours.
We sell through eBay using Selling Manager that links directly into Zenstores and then on to NetDespatch and to the Royal Mail, so with a click on an order in Zenstores we can produce an invoice and a thermal postage label.
"It has a great straightforward layout that can be customised to suit single users or multiple staff."
Zenstores saves us a number of hours a week, it’s always up so we can work when we want too, and it has a great straightforward layout that can be customised to suit single users or multiple staff. If we pass a comment about an improvement or a tweak, it’s always received positively.