There are dreams that come true. Magic isn’t involved though, it’s the right combination of passion, perseverance, hard work and commitment.
Arianna and Roberta know a thing or two about it. Two sisters with retailing in their family DNA that dreamed of opening a women's clothes shop together. They believed in it and started off in their bedroom, setting up a photo shoot and creating an Instagram profile. After a few months, they opened up a real store and, in the end, with Luca's help, they also opened up their online store.
Today, R&A SHOP is a successful reality that's been in business for five years. Their website, https://reashopmoda.it, is working at full speed. Let's learn how e-commerce has contributed fundamentally to their success.
Off we go! R&A SHOP was founded five years ago. Which goals have you achieved since starting off on this journey?
Arianna: "The biggest goal is certainly to have succeeded at what we love doing, which is managing a clothes shop. We come from a family of merchants, our passion comes from family tradition."
Roberta: "We started by creating a small photo shoot in our bedroom and setting up an Instagram profile. After a few months, we managed to open a real store, another important milestone!"
Arianna: "From that moment on, by combining real with digital life, we've watched our sales increase year by year. To date, our inventory has also grown in quantity and variety, and we can count on a loyal customer base to support us.
From May 2023, our launch date, to July 2023, we processed a total of 100 orders. This had never happened before, not even during a year.
Roberta: "Having started at ground zero, all our major goals have been achieved."
At a certain point, however, social media was no longer enough, and you decided to open an actual e-commerce store of your own. What convinced you to do it?
Roberta: "Our primary need was to broaden the audience to whom we could offer our products. We know how important it is to keep up with trends, and realized that we would need to add e-commerce to our business. Nowadays, online selling is essential as it allows you to reach potential customers even outside your area. And, a website allows you to be available 24 hours a day, which would be physically impossible."
“Our online shop is active 24 hours a day and allows us to reach a much wider audience.”
Arianna: "We were determined, but we had a technical obstacle to overcome. Neither my sister nor I had experience in this area. We needed a third person to take care of creating the e-commerce site. Luckily, we were able to count on Luca, my partner. I knew he would be able to manage this project. I talked to Roberta about my idea, and she agreed so Luca then became part of the R&A SHOP project from a purely IT standpoint."
And here's where you come into the picture, Luca! A few technical questions for you. How did you choose the tool you used for creating the site?
Luca: "Yes, here I am! As Arianna mentioned, I took care of the technical aspects of creating the site. I chose WebSite X5 because I had already been familiar with it for several years. I think it's a very good solution as it's extremely intuitive and easy to use.
I then jumped right in and put into practice all the knowledge I had accumulated from WebSite X5 as well as from the free webinars that Incomedia often hosts. I did a lot of experimenting until I found a result that was clear and usable for everyone."
Certainly challenging as a first experience since you weren't just creating a website for yourself, but a true e-commerce site on behalf of a third party.
Luca: "The fact that I wasn't creating a website for myself wasn't an obstacle. I simply got buy-in from Arianna and Roberta at each step, so the site reflected their expectations. I then embarked upon a "training" phase in which I explained to them the essential functions of loading products in the e-commerce manager. These days, I take care of the data, analysis and maintenance of the site, while the girls do order management and online exporting."
However, we know that webmaster isn't your main profession...
Luca: "Actually no, I have always worked in travel and tourism. However, I have a great passion for IT and for the internet in general. The R&A SHOP site is actually my first experience in creating a full website.
The fact is that during the pandemic, as for so many others, my main line of work was put on hold. However, this forced period of rest gave me the opportunity to reinvent myself and cultivate this passion of mine, turning it into something more. I also obtained a certificate as a Social Media Manager and today, despite the tourism industry having returned at full capacity, I view the internet as a resource that might materialize into a new profession."
From a certain point of view, the internet and WebSite X5 represented a challenge for all three of you, but also a resource that allowed you to reach a turning point.
Luca: "Exactly. For me, it represented a potential new job opportunity, while for Arianna and Roberta, it resulted in the achievement of a new goal for their business."
Roberta: "We're very satisfied. Our e-commerce site has been online since May 2023, and just a few months later, in July 2023, we reached a total of 100 orders processed, something that had never happened before, not even over the course of an entire year.
Thanks to the website and our social media pages, we have managed to reach more people and establish a relationship of trust with them. For example, on our Instagram profile, which has seen a 5% increase in followers since the opening of the website, we publish stories with customer reviews and feedback in order to increase transparency between us and our audience. Obviously, it's also important to link marketing activities such as promotions, discounts and tailored advertising campaigns. In short, there's always work to be done, but we're definitely seeing results!"
So, the e-commerce experiment was successful, and I would imagine that the website will also play a role in future successes. Do you have any other plans?
Arianna: "Certainly, our main plan is to continue to grow online. We would really like to be able to differentiate our inventory, so we can have one for the online store and one for the physical store."
Luca: "As far as I'm concerned, I hope this passion of mine will lead me to invest in a project similar to that of Arianna and Roberta, which will enable me to grow in this as well."
Thanks to Arianna, Roberta and Luca for telling us their story and explaining how important creating an online store was to the success of their business.
If you have a professional goal similar to theirs, find out how WebSite X5 can help you turn it into reality through the many e-commerce features included.