November’s Website of the Month winner is a fantastic geek-themed delivery service based around collectible figures. We caught up with founder Ed to learn more about the company and his tips for running a successful ecommerce website.

Hi Ed, tell us a bit about yourself and POP IN A BOX.

There are plenty of geeky subscription companies in the USA and UK – I was subscribed to one and quite liked the Funko POP! Vinyls, yet I didn’t always get one and I found this to be quite disappointing. After a few months, I noticed a lot of people felt similar, in the sense that they just wanted the Funko POP! every month. This is when POP IN A BOX was born – we keep it simple, shipping only POP! Vinyls.

We’ve created something we call the Collection Engine, created with the help of Ian and Olga. It uses a very clever algorithm which decides what POP! Vinyl to give them each month, based on which ones the customers already own.

What advice would you give to someone looking to create their own ecommerce website?

I’d advise to get a professional web agency to build it bespoke. After all, a template is something anyone can obtain and you won’t really have anything unique unless it’s bespoke.

POP IN A BOX has a very unique look. What do you like about it, and what (if anything) would you change, and why?

The first iteration of the POP IN A BOX website was quite rushed  – it’s more a prototype we put out to see if the idea would work before putting all our efforts into building it. We’re currently building the finalised site and we have changed quite a lot of things based on our customers’ feedback. 

How do you use social media and what benefits has it brought to your business?

Social media is a good source of traffic in the early days of any website and the advertising on these sites is very low cost. Once the traffic starts flowing to the website, your SEO will start standing up for itself and you can reduce the amount of spending on social media, as most of your traffic will generate organically. 

POP IN A BOX has a great loyalty points scheme. Can you explain a bit about how it works and how it’s helped you as a business?

People are more than happy to advertise POP IN A BOX and tell all their friends, and we wanted to reward people for doing so. In return, people get the chance to get games consoles, tablets, Funko POP! Vinyls and a free POP IN A BOX.

What tips would you give to someone looking to market their online store on a budget?

If you’re on a budget, you want to start from the ground up – start with a template, then run it alongside an eBay or Amazon store, then save up and get a website that is tailored to your needs.

Your website has a low-maintenance but appealing community section. Where did the idea for this come from and what effect has it had?

Funko have made thousands of POPS!. We have allowed our community to upload any we have missed. Our community is run mostly on social media via a Facebook group and page.

What’s the most important thing you’ve learned running POP IN A BOX?

Let the community and your customer base help drive your direction – they are the ones buying from you, so it’s only fair you let them influence the direction you take. Lots of market research helps, too.

How do you see POP IN A BOX growing further in the future?

We will be soon expanding into all geeky figures and starting other subscription companies.

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