Eating Tools is a NYC based PrestaShop store that sells handcrafted, well, eating tools. This online store was created by combining, owner, Abe Shaw’s ecommerce experience with his passion for handmade cutlery. After graduation, Abe managed ecommerce departments for several high-end beauty brands. Although he enjoyed working in ecommerce, high-end beauty products weren’t his passion.
Abe was always interested in the art of handcrafted products, knives in particular. For 15 years running, he has attended every Blade Show – the largest knife show in the world. During these exhibitions, he met craftspeople who specialized in creating stunning knives. These talented artists inspired Abe to build his own ecommerce website to showcase their work. Let’s see how he became our ecommerce success story.
How did your passion for handmade cutlery help you start your online business?
Each year I attend the Blade Show, I would meet more amazing craftspeople who I now call friends and mentors. As I created Eating Tools, these amazing craftspeople transitioned into my partners and producers. I would not be part of this community if it weren’t for my passion. I enjoy working with artists and designers to help tell their stories and present their work. True appreciation for the products I sell makes setting up my online store feel less like work.
Having worked in ecommerce, how long would it take you to create an online store?
Getting an ecommerce site up and running can be easy with a platform like PrestaShop. PrestaShop is as intuitive to set up and as easy to use as it gets. It’s open and flexible with a massive and active developer and user community. I can have an ecommerce site online, with my logo, my products, and all the necessary components in a matter of hours / days. However, I took my time building a website with a completely custom design.
How long did it take to create Eating Tools? Was it worth it?
From start to finish, building Eating Tools took several months – and it was worth it. As I like to say, the devil is always in the details. Eating Tools, like all ecommerce projects I’ve worked on, had its own unique challenges and required thinking about certain things in new ways. With Eating Tools, I wanted to create more than online store, I wanted to create a brand. My main focus was user experience. I worked with a professional to photograph each and every product and create a uniform look across all product categories. Selling one-of-a-kind products is a challenge because each one requires new photography, new descriptions, and new SEO considerations.
So now what you have your online store set up, how did you find customers?
Word of mouth, SEO, Social Media, Email Marketing – ideally in that order. PrestaShop is incredibly SEO-friendly out of the box. I supplement that with ongoing content updates, on-site optimization (front-end keyword work, internal links, meta tags, URL redirect, etc.) and strategic outside link building.
Then once a visitor lands on the website, I aim to convert them with exceptional customer service. There is a no-questions-asked return policy. Customers need to feel safe that if they’re not happy, I’m not happy and that I’ll do whatever it takes, including giving them their money back. Also, to a degree, the product selection is exclusive to Eating Tools. Advertising that fact throughout the site is important. All the time spent on photography and writing strong product descriptions helps convey that message.
What do you do to keep customers coming back?
My team and I follow up with current customers – via social media, through email (including email marketing) and even personal phone calls – it’s how Eating Tools works. As an online merchant, we want to develop a relationship with our customers. We really do love providing incredible, handmade, one-of-a-kind tools for people to appreciate and use. We’re confident that when customers experience our passion for the products we sell, they’ll come back.
Do you have any advice for new online merchants?
My advice would be that, like any business relationship, when you work with a developer, you’re working with a person, just like you. Find someone who understands your goals, not just on a technical level but on a business, brand and customer level. Specifically, look for a developer you can bounce ideas off of and will be proactive about suggesting a better way to do something.
What’s next for Eating Tools?
I’m always looking to expand the product selection. At the same time, I would like to continuously update features, content, design and the user experience (UX). There’s always more to do! It’s a process and that’s part of what makes owning and running an online store so much fun!
Abe turned his passion into a beautiful online store. What’s your passion? Turn it into an online store with the PrestaShop ecommerce software.