nick/gehring

Growing an alternative

Helping a business expand from a home garage to millions of dollars in sales

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The challenge

A trio of friends, who were longtime dipping tobacco consumers, invented a unique tobacco-free product. To test market interest, they decided to sell online first. Would consumers embrace their invention?

What I did

To test the waters for this new product, we quickly assembled a WooCommerce shop. But as business gained steam, WooCommerce did not scale in a way we were comfortable. We wanted something that could handle product sales easily without configuring an endless number of plugins and customizations.

Concurrently, we received an education on how payment processors do not work with certain products. Stripe and PayPal quickly ruled themselves out, as their policies do not permit this kind of "high-risk" product.

Two solutions presented themselves: Shopify Plus would accomodate our growth, and a local bank would help with payment processing via Authorize.net.

A custom Shopify-based experience

I created custom templates in Liquid, complete with features that support age verification. As sales grew, we added a searchable map of retailers that sell the product that syncs with Shopify-based data.

Keeping track of inventory

With increasing sales, I crafted the first web-based product inventory system. Although Shopify has inventory tracking, it could not track products in the particular way they needed in their new warehouse.

Expanding into wholesale, Canada, other products

I created a membership-only wholesale store, which allows approved retailers to order product in a streamlined way. An energy pouch was launched in late 2020. Additionally, we forked the main site's design and launched a Canada-only shop in 2022.

The outcome

Since its founding in late 2018, the firm has blossomed from a small operation to millions of dollars in online business.

Fully Loaded Canada home page

Map of retail locations

Drvy Energy, an energy pouch product

Fully Loaded wholesale portal

Industry:Manufacturing

Tech:Shopify, Vue, Laravel, PHP, HTML, CSS, JavaScript

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