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ARTICLE InspirationApril 21, 2014

Shopping carts, the easy way to get online: Little Gecko


If you want to start an e-commerce business, using a shopping cart platform is a very simple way to create a professional-looking store fast. A business that’s taken advantage of the simplicity of a shopping cart is children’s clothing retailer, Little Gecko.

How, why and where did the business begin and what level of growth has it experienced?

"We launched Little Gecko from our own home in Joondalup, Western Australia, in May 2012. My wife Vicki has a background in retail and had always wanted an online kids clothing store and I’ve a background in building e-commerce systems so I could set it up myself.

"In terms of growth, we’ve gone from nothing to what the website is today in 22 months. We have in excess of 12,000 Facebook friends (many of whom are customers) and an average 400 transactions per month."

How has Little Gecko marketed itself? What channels work best?

"A lot of growth comes from word of mouth, plus we use paid advertising on Facebook for promotion of the page and individual posts, but not for sidebar ads. We also do a monthly newsletter with exclusive specials for subscribers. For us, Facebook is by far the most useful social media channel because our market is mums and Facebook is number one in that demographic."

What led Little Gecko to use the Shopify e-commerce platform, and what were the steps involved in setting it up?

"We wanted a fully hosted e-commerce system that would be easy and intuitive for Vicki to use. We researched and trialled several other platforms, before deciding on Shopify.

Shopify is great. You start by selecting a template and then use the graphical template editor to customise it to your look and feel. Then, you enter your store’s information, add your products and images and your site’s ready to go on PC, tablet and mobile. Mobile’s really important because probably 60 per cent of our customers access the site from their phone."

What are the benefits of the shopping cart platform?

"Shopify is an all-in-one package. Your Shopify site can be integrated with Facebook and can use gift cards and discount coupons to incentivise customers. Shopify also has very good SEO out of the box, meaning your site will rank well on Google without paying extra. You also don’t have any IT hassles. Being a hosted platform, Shopify looks after the hosting, bandwidth, backups and other IT stuff for you, leaving you free to concentrate on running your business. There is also a strong community of professional designers and Shopify experts to support you – we use eCommerce Mentor."

What are Little Gecko’s tips for other businesses looking to use a shopping cart platform?

  • Start by knowing your customer and structure your e-commerce store’s look and feel appropriately.
  • Test your site on a mobile phone. Can you read the text? Are the buttons big enough to press? Is the page too cluttered with unnecessary banners and ads?
  • Don’t pick a platform that is too advanced for you. For your first online business, you want something that works and is easy to use so that you can focus on running and growing the business. A lot of people buy something that is too fancy and end up spending all their time trying to work out how to use it.

Did you know?

SecurePay integrates smoothly with all major shopping carts.

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