Sir Vape is one of the most successful Shopify stores in South Africa to date. What started out as a hobby for Craig Stuart and Hugo Ross very quickly turned into a fast-growing business venture and within 18 months sees the pair selling vaping goods from both their online store and their Vapory & Coffee Lounge based in Morningside, Durban. We had the opportunity to catch up with owner Craig about how the journey has been so far, it’s safe to say they’re enjoying themselves quite a bit!
When did you start your Shopify store?
CS: We started our Shopify website in October 2014. Hugo (Hobbit) is a bit of a computer and graphic design freak so he set his goals high on having the best online vape shop in South Africa.
What do you sell?
CS: Our website caters for the ever-growing electronic cigarette community specialising in the Vaping enthusiast and high-end Vaping device markets. We ship countrywide in South Africa and have an ever-growing database of clients. Vaping in South Africa is a booming industry and with the passion that Hugo and I have for vaping, the goal is to convert as many traditional smokers over to vaping as possible.
We had set an objective of opening a bricks and mortar store after two years of operation but we’ve been able to move this goal forward and have achieved it within just one year. We’re pleasantly surprised at how fast the community has accepted us and how fast the online business is growing.
How long did it take you to setup your Shopify store?
CS: All in all I think it took Hugo about two weeks to set up our website, but he is always updating and trying to find other ways to increase the online side of our business. He is constantly looking at all the amazing Shopify apps that work in conjunction with the site to enable us to run smoothly in both our online and bricks and mortar stores.
How will you market your store?
CS: We are very conscious of social media. Both Hugo and I use every facility available and are very active in marketing our business. We see the results by the analytics we get back from Shopify and the backend data. Currently Facebook is our main marketing platform but we use several other social media applications such as Instagram, Twitter, Soundtest, Pinterest and YouTube.
What do you find is the most useful feature on Shopify?
CS: I am from a financial planning background and love the analytics side of the website to do forward planning and to gauge our growth, whereas Hugo prefers the newsletters we do and making sure that our site is always up-to-date.
What are you looking forward to by using Shopify over the next 12 months?
CS: Going forward we are aiming for our Shopify store to be in the top 100 stores anywhere in the world as well as being one of the best Vape sites around the globe. We are starting to get a lot of international traffic already so we’re on our way to reaching this goal. We’ll also be getting a blog up and running over the next few months which I am super excited about.
From the Sir Vape crew we would like to take this opportunity to thank Shopify for making this all possible for us.
And to leave you with our store motto: “Work in silence and let success be your noise.”
Be sure to check out Sir Vape’s goodies by visiting their online Vapory