Talking to MOD&SOUL Founder Jay Zulic About Building a Successful Business on Shopify

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We had a chance to speak with Jay Zulic, founder of MOD&SOUL, an online store offering a great selection of fashion clothing and jewelry, to learn more about what it takes to build a successful business on Shopify. Here’s our interview below:

Q: When did you start and why?

A: I have always been a very creative person and an entrepreneur. I started a jewelry line around four years ago, as a part time venture from my home, in addition to having a full time career. It seemed more like a hobby, and I was selling my items wholesale to small boutiques around the world. I started looking into selling to customers directly, so I created a Shopify store. I kept getting requests from our customers to add some cute clothing that would go with the jewelry, so I did! It turned into Now our focus is on cute, great quality clothing and jewelry for women, and we hope to soon expand into more products, such as shoes, accessories, and more.

Q: Why did you choose Shopify as the platform to run your store?

A: I looked into several platforms before deciding. Shopify just seemed very easy and simple. They were very upfront about their fees. I also loved that it offered such a great selection of free and paid pre-designed themes you can pick from, and that’s very important for branding purposes. The customer service and help I have received from Shopify is absolutely amazing. Anytime I have any questions or issues, I go to the “chat help” and someone immediately provides me with a solution.

Q: What do you enjoy the most about running your store?

A: I really enjoy the creative and customer service aspect. There is no better feeling than making someone’s day by dressing them for an event or helping them with a problem. Most customers do not expect an online retailer to be as accessible, and we do this well. Our new customers are usually amazed by our quick shipping and we always receive great compliments on our quick and personal replies to customer service inquiries. We also love interacting with our customers on social media, especially Instagram. We follow back, comment on their photos, and really get to know our target customer.

Modsoul Dress

Q: What’s your biggest challenge running the store?

A: My biggest challenge is marketing, as we are in a very competitive category. Advertising is expensive and getting more and more complicated. From the absolute beginning, I have committed myself to never compromise the quality of our products or customer service, so I have taken the slower route on growing the store. I like to be hands-on with everything and make sure that every customer is 100% happy with their products and service. There are days when you are ready to give up and return to corporate life when you are able to clock out and go home. The key is to not get frustrated even on the worst days. One thing I read on a Shopify blog is “It’s a marathon, not a sprint”. And I have to remind myself of this every day.

Q: Do you use any apps to enhance your store and customer experience? What are some of them?

A: I tried many but I only stuck to using a few very useful apps — SpentlyGoShippo, and SimpleSale.

Q: How do you get customers? How do you get existing customers to return?

A: We get most of our customers through word of mouth, working with bloggers, social media, and email marketing.

Q: How has the Spently app improved your business? Any examples of how you use email notifications?

A: Human interaction and personalized service is very important to me. Spently has taken so much work off my hands and automated and personalized my most important communications with my customers. Now my customers are receiving brand personalized order and shipping confirmations and self-generating promo codes instead of the plain Shopify provided emails. I no longer have to create discount codes, and I can include images, links and offers in my email notifications. The templates are so easy to create, just by drag and drop. I am able to use my own images, colors and fonts, and change them up all the time, depending on season, and what I want to focus on.

I use Spently for including discount codes in notification emails, as well as linking to important sales and products. When customers open an order confirmation email they may see a recommended product they missed when they were shopping. The product recommendations are generated by Spently. I am also able to track what customers are clicking on and ROI.

Another thing I absolutely love is that they do not set a customer limit for the basic plan. It is $19.99. Period.

Q: Has it provided an ROI?

A: Spently has definitely provided an ROI. I am also able to track what amount of my transactions are coming through Spently. My sales have significantly increased since installing the app. I believe it made my store look more professional and trusting. Plus it gave me more time to focus on other aspects of the business.

Q: Would you recommend Spently to other shop owners?

A: I would highly recommend Spently as one of the first apps to install when you create an online store. I installed other similar apps to try before Spently, but none of them were as easy to use, or provided the same features. Also, nobody offered a flat fee for the basic plan of $19.99. Most other apps base it on your traffic or emails sent. The customer service has also been above and beyond. You can email them suggestions or ideas you come up with to help you with your business and they take them into consideration when they update the app!

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