Legwear Safari Founder Tracy Kruger's Strategic Solutions To Starting a Successful E-Commerce Site
Tracy Kruger started an e-commerce site because she discovered that no one was selling what she was looking for locally. Having grabbed the opportunity, her business is going from strength to strength.
- Player: Tracy Kruger
- Company: Legwear Safari
- Established: 2013
- About: Legwear Safari is a South African company that sells superior quality legwear online.
- Visit: legwearsafari.co.za
Starting a business is all about solving problems. There is the main problem, of course, the one that you’re trying to solve for the customer, but then there are also a host of other challenges that crop up as you grow your business. Launching her online business, Legwear Safari, Tracy Kruger faced many challenges. Here is how she solved them.
How do you find a concept that hasn’t been done to death already?
For Tracy, it was all about solving a problem that she was experiencing herself as a consumer. The idea first came about when her husband Marius was looking for legwear to buy for her as a gift. There was nothing available that really suited her taste and style. “Everything was either very cheap or super-expensive. There was nothing for the average person. Also, there weren’t enough designs and colours to choose from. I’ve never been a black or beige person.”
How do you create a sophisticated e-commerce site if you’re not a developer?
These days, you can design some impressive websites yourself with the help of services like Squarespace. If you have time, patience and some solid computer and design knowledge, you could do it yourself. However Tracy opted for a professional design company. “With an e-commerce site, your website is everything, so it needs to look slick and professional. You can get a great site for around R20 000, and it’ll be a worthwhile investment. If you don’t want to pull the trigger too early, start by selling on Facebook, which is what I did.”
With so many websites online, how do you prevent your store from disappearing?
“You need to spend money,” says Tracy. “I underestimated just how hard it can be to get traffic to your site. Google and Facebook ads are crucial. You need a decent budget for this. You also need to be active on social media. When it comes to a fashion brand like Legwear Safari, Facebook and Instagram work really well.”
With so many products available on the market, how do you know what to stock?
Thanks to social media, customer discovery and market research is easier than ever. All you need is a poll on Facebook or Twitter. “People are very honest online. Face-to-face, people tend to be diplomatic. Ask a question on social media, though, and you’ll get a very honest answer.”
How do you go about finding suppliers?
“When I first started, I tried to find local suppliers, but I was too small. No one was interested, so I ended up importing product from overseas suppliers. This is tricky, since you need to deal with customs and exchange rates. Controlling stock is also hard, since lead times are long. If possible, find a local supplier. I did eventually develop relationships with some great local suppliers. Be tenacious and keep at it until you get a foot in the door. If using an international supplier, find someone with experience who can help you deal with customs.”
How do I grow my business and keep customers coming back?
Asking customers to pay money through a website and simply trust you to deliver the goods isn’t easy. Many people are understandably reluctant, but the solution, says Tracy, is great customer service.
“Customer service is everything. You need to respond to queries quickly and efficiently. Also, find a dependable courier company, since they become an extension of your business. If they drop the ball, customers will blame you. Also, with solutions such as Sage Pay, I am able to access all payment information in one place and easily prevent and detect fraudulent activity.”