Running an online store sometimes can be tough but with the best product idea and with great solutions the business becomes successful. Sándor Barna has experienced a lot with his e-shop and he has an admirable story that you should hear.
Sándor Barna is a founder of an online sex shop called Sexylife. It’s most important message, the slogan is to feel the passion, it tells a lot. The entrepreneur—who lives in Switzerland—has an exciting story behind his Shopify store, it has been a successful and inspiring journey from the beginning. He still has big dreams, and about to make all of them come true.
The owner sells many kinds of adult products, lingerie, sexy clothing, massage accessories, several kinds of sex toys to male and female and for couples, also offering sets. You can find products from the ordinary ones to the most extravagant in the store.
He is satisfied with Shopify since he has been using this e-commerce platform, he said the system is flexible and it feels like it reads minds. He feels like a new man now. About the work Syncee does, product management, he has considerable thoughts, he says the importance of item importing is very critical. The application is a good partner on his road. “Syncee took loads of stress and problems of my shoulders by managing the import of my products in a highly professional and flexible way!”
Furthermore, it seems like, one of his most motivating thought and saying is to be not like others. So let’s note: be different and become successful!
Let’s see how the work you have to do with your business can be a piece of cake by forgetting manual product management!
Introduce your online store! What is your background story?
It all started in the summer of 2016 at the beach of the Croatian sea, beside a nice glass of wine. I have been planning to start my own business for a couple of years, but I was without idea and decision. Then, I’ve made my decision, ok, let’s start my own business. Let’s start to sell something. Then, the question came, ok, but what. After some searching, the idea of starting an online sex shop came to my mind like a lightning. It was completely logical to sell goods which are not perishable, not going out of “fashion”, goods which are quite small, ex. compared to a 65” screen, so the storing, packaging, delivery is quite simple and they are not really fragile. This product range has a quite low warranty issue rate as well. Last but not least, it builds on a basic human need, which comes from deep instincts and this need is always renewing like seasons.
What are the tendencies in your e-commerce activity so far?
I’m selling sexual accessories. I do believe in this product range. I do believe in a new approach to online sex shops. All the shops are with a pinky, reddish, purplish designs, kinky lightweight, an unserious approach to the topic. I think sexuality is different, the real sexuality is much different. I want to represent my thoughts, feelings with the design of my shop and with the product range as well. And soon with the content, blog posts are related to my business.
What were your main struggles in the beginning? How did you overcome them?
There was a lot! First of all, there were human-related topics. I chose the wrong partners, I had to take the responsibility for my decision and change my attitude, change my strategy and quit this cooperation.
Second, when I started all this, I knew nothing about e-commerce, nothing about laws, business plans, financial things, how to find a company, and which shop, shop system to choose, what are the limitations. So, during the last 1 year, I consumed 3 shop systems, WooCommerce, OpenCart, and now I’m very satisfied with Shopify, it is a dream. I’ve learned to collect as many information as possible about the technical parts, about my competitors, and combining all these with how to listen to my business instincts. Now, I’m after a tough period and I feel I’m in a very good way to success and Syncee is a very good partner on my road!
Why you chose Shopify? Since when have you been using this platform?
I chose Shopify based on my 4 weeks detailed research of webshop systems and after using two platforms without success. Shopify is the very best system. In fact, it has no limitations, the performance is excellent and the support is first class. Whatever questions come to my mind, whichever challenge I’m facing, I always find a solution and I feel that there is a huge team supporting me, to reach my dream! I’m using Shopify since 27th October 2017. Makes my life much easier and I can focus on the really important things!
Where did you find Syncee? Since when are you using the app?
I have found Syncee in the Shopify App Store. They had very good recommendations and straightforward features that the application declared in the store. I did a try and to be honest, I don’t mind at all. First thing I’ve realized is the quality, speed of communication. The team of Syncee is always up-to-date, competent and I had a feeling that there is a personal team who is working only for me to help me in my success. Very good job! Thank you Syncee!
How was your e-commerce business before starting to work on Shopify, after starting work on Shopify, then before using Syncee application and after that?
I was using WooCommerce and OpenCart systems via ShopRenter. The very first thing besides Shopify is the performance, there is a huge difference, Shopify is much faster and stable. I had loads of compatibility, performance, flexibility issues with the other systems I was using, not to mention the stress. It has all gone with Shopify, I’m a new man now! The system of Shopify is flexible and it feels like the system reads my mind. As I was going further configuring, using the system, I always found settings and solutions which were exactly what I would have been imagined before. So please take all my respect!
How did you manage your online store, and products before you started using Syncee?
I was using unique excel sheets and used the shop’s own system for import. It was a nightmare and took loads of time and energy from me. Syncee is a dream, it took loads of stress, work off of my shoulders and the import of my products was done within 24h. I’m amazed!
How many products do you have now that Syncee is managing?
The number of products managed by Syncee is 870. For now and for the closer future this product range is pretty enough. Although, my future plan is to extend my shop to other countries than Switzerland as well, such as Germany and the Netherlands. The wholesale partner there offers a bigger range of products, so who knows. Anyhow, I wouldn’t want to manage more than 2,000 products, I see no sense for it.
What can you thank to Syncee?
Syncee took loads of stress and problems of my shoulders by managing the import of my products in a highly professional and flexible way. The app and the team behind are very professional and there is no impossible for them. Many thanks to Syncee for the first-class communication, for the excellent support, for the up-to-date competence they are delivering to me at a very reasonable price!
What would you tell about product management and the importance of doing it well?
The importance of product import is very critical. Imagine an excel sheet with 1,000+ products, you have got from the wholesaler, it is full of unique parts, full of different data types and you can never know what will go wrong during the import using the given import system, not to mention the time, energy to convert the sheet. It consumes loads of time, loads of trials, faults, and stress and after all, this is “just” the products import. Syncee wipes all of these problems away completely and makes this process a pleasant thing!
How did you earn your first sales? How you generate the most traffic now?
I’ve opened my shop on the 15th of February. I cannot tell you much about this topic, but about my plans. I’ve started my marketing campaign on the 1st of April. In the first months, I will use highly combined guerilla tactics. Combining offline-online tools, using local newspapers, using social media posts, generating hype around my shop, exploding a scandal. I’m open to getting back to this question in the next 6-12 weeks.
What was your first or biggest success with your online store?
My biggest success key is to be different. Be different with the design, visual expression, with the message, the slogans. Be different with the services, with the warranty possibilities. Be different with the communication, using other communication channels than the others.
What are the main lessons that you’ve learned in e-commerce?
Always check the support first! Support is king! Without support, you don’t even reach the next step of your travel in e-commerce. Choose a system, theme, framework, CRM etc. which has excellent support. A support, which is open making the “impossible” for you as well. Choose the team behind the app, not the app. Choose the competent people behind a shop system, not the system itself.
What are your plans for the future?
I’m planning to extend my shop to two-three different countries besides Switzerland. My dream is an online sex shop brand which is well-known in Europe and contributes to the healthier sexual lives of people.
What advice would you tell to new Shopify and Syncee users?
Choose the support, not the app. Always look very carefully at what you get for your money. If you don’t get, ask back and ask for compensation, always! Be different, be special, be better than others. Check your competitors first, know your competitors better than yourself. Make trial shopping, check, take a photo, try, do it, keep up and collect every information what you can get about your market. It is loads of job, but it does worth it!
Senior Content Manager, Syncee