Welcome to this e-commerce business success story! In this profile, we interviewed James from Balance Coffee – a fascinating coffee brand that we think you’ll love. Our hope is that you find this interview to be enlightening and inspiring as you seek to start and grow your very own online brand!
Interview with James Bellis
Thank you for joining us for this e-commerce business success story! We’d like to start by getting an understanding of your backstory. How did you come to own your business?
Great to be here! I first launched Balance Coffee during the 2020 pandemic after a change of circumstances led me to fall back on my decade of expertise working within the coffee industry.
Coffee has always been a huge passion of mine so coupled with an active, healthy lifestyle in recent years, it got me thinking about how to bring a range of healthy coffee products to the UK market.
We started by sourcing some of the highest possible speciality coffee, grown in high altitude conditions, sourced and roasted for health.
We’ve got some fantastic customers who’ve upgraded their lifestyles by choosing a product that they can enjoy guilt-free.
Terrific! Now, this article is about profiling successful e-commerce businesses. So – can you share your top 3 keys to running a successful online brand?
- Understanding your unit economics – this is vital for understanding profitability, particularly when running paid ads.
- Talking to customers – If you’re focused on retention, then the feedback from your customers are the lifeblood of your business. Getting frequent feedback helps focus on the right improvement areas.
- Email Marketing – Using email has been a hugely powerful tool for us to support our traffic growth.
Excellent. Now, I’m sure it hasn’t always been that easy. Can you tell a story about one challenge, setback, or mistake that you’ve had to overcome on the road to success? How can others learn from your mistakes?
We’ve had many ‘mini failures’. The one that hurt us most was very recent in December. Sadly, we had our main couriers take a number of strike actions during the Christmas period and we simply were not prepared enough for it.
We faced a bunch of negative reviews which really hurt our online reputation!
But thankfully, there are always some silver linings. It helped us to set up new systems and add some additional Shopify apps to help improve our post-purchase experience for our customers.
Specifically, we’ve added SMS, Wonderment and Giorgas to the list to better manage customer expectations.
Others can certainly learn by focusing on customer experience as it’s fundamental to the success of a DTC brand.
Thanks for that. Now – we want to know what’s next! What new initiatives are you rolling out at your business and what results are you hoping to see?
We’re working on a series of developments:
– Expanding our range of UK mushroom coffee products in coming months. We recently launched one of the first Mushroom Coffees across the UK which we’re super excited about. It’s a Lion’s mane coffee made from healthy coffee plus high quality sourced mushroom extract to support brain function and support immunity.
- Ramping up our customer acquisition using paid traffic sources.
- Tackling Instagram and Tik Tok organic in a bigger way.
- Continuing to focus on CRO.
Sounds exciting! Any final words of advice for our readers?
Talk to the right people, who’ve been there and done what you’re going through. There are so many online guru’s that claim to have the fix to your problems but ultimately, you can save a lot of time by sifting through the clutter when it comes to commerce and marketing.
Brilliant! We want to thank you for participating in today’s interview. Hopefully our readers agree that there is a lot to be learned from your brand’s story. What links can our readers use to follow along with your journey?