Welcome to Kudobuzz. This year, as a part of our plans to build more tools that will help merchants make more money and enhance the existing products to better serve their purpose, we’re starting this e-commerce success stories blog series to know more about successful merchants and their stories.

We’ll speak to merchants selling varying products to try to understand their entrepreneurial journey and share their stories with you. If you’re a merchant, these stories will serve as inspiration for you as you walk on the path to a successful ecommerce store.

In our very first episode, we share the story of Shapewear USA.

Can you tell us about your store and what you sell?

Our store is Shapewear USA. Shapewear USA connects women with the world’s most in-demand fashion shapewear brands. We are a leading destination for sophisticated fashion that features the latest trends and collections for body shaping garments that improve posture, boost confidence and highlight a more contoured shape and sleeker physique. Shapewear USA is headquartered in Illinois (IL) with offices across the United States.

What was the motivation for starting up Shapewear USA?

Most women dread publicly shopping for shapewear garments. It takes confidence to face the potential for body shaming, as well as good investment of time and energy to manage the confusing array of shapewear styles and find anything amid the usual small selections

We started Shapewear USA to reverse these experiences and transform shapewear shopping into an event that is enjoyable, instructive and satisfying. We are inspired to help women find shapewear clothing that accentuates their most attractive traits, including the unique beauty that radiates from within.

How did you get your first products stocked?

For any company this is a major challenge. First we had to decide on what vendors we want to work with and make direct outreach to them. Surprised as we were, many vendors would not even return our calls or emails when we wanted to partner with them. When vendors did return the calls it was all about understanding their products, what makes them unique, and how their products fit our vision. Presuming the products were a good fit we requested samples of the products to make sure that the quality of the products is best in class. We then negotiated terms, many vendors expect upfront payment for products and had us order minimum quantities to stock our store.

We now connect customers with some of the world’s most in-demand body shaping garment brands, including Annette, Body Hush, Co’Coon, Equilibrium, Euro Skins, TrueShapers and Vedette.

Inventory is a major expense and every starting business needs to calculate those costs into their starting budgets.

How are you building a good brand for Shapewear USA?

We are actively working to make a positive impact on the community. The company donates a percentage of its profits to Believe in Yourself, a nationwide non-profit charity dedicated to providing brand new, unworn designer dresses for girls to wear at school functions, as well as mentoring events that promote positive body image and self-confidence.

Shapewear USA’s donation is aimed at supporting the Believe in Yourself mission of enabling advancement and empowerment of young women.

What are some of the ways you’re using to drive traffic to your site?

We started this business few months ago and in order to put our name out there, we sent out a press release. Press releases help draw quick attention to your brand especially if you’re just starting out.

We also produce useful content for our blog. Shapewear USA has produced a highly useful shapewear guide that helps potential customers select their style. Our shapewear body shaping guides are designed to help women make more informed decisions about fit and style

What are some of the challenges you’re facing now or have faced?

The biggest challenge is being price competitive in a business that has very tight margins.

What apps/plugins are most useful to you?

Our ecommerce platform is Shopify so we use a number of third party apps made for Shopify. We also use Google Analytics for website traffic analysis.

Are there any personal business strategies you’ve developed with time?

One of our business strategies is to always place customers first even if it means losing money.

Any advice for upcoming e-commerce entrepreneurs?

For the upcoming e-commerce entrepreneurs, remember to always innovate and don’t give up on your dream.

About Merchant Stories

Merchant Stories is a blog post series by Kudobuzz (an apps company that helps you to grow your ecommerce business with social reviews, product listings, and AI-powered SEO tools) that highlights the success stories of online merchants to serve as inspiration for the new ecommerce sellers.

This is the first post of this series. To read more stories like this click here.

Want to get your story featured? Reach out to us at hello@kudobuzz.com.

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