Woohoo! We are excited to post our very first Merchant Spotlight we got to talk to Nathan Tam from the Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu (BJJ) Brand Submission Shark.
Q: Tell us a bit about Submission Shark
Submission Shark started in 2017 selling martial arts apparel such as
- tank tops
- crop tops
- crop hoodies
- and more!
We also provide compression training gear such as compression rash guards and spats / leggings for both BJJ and MMA practitioners as well as BJJ gis for men, women and youth / kids.
Q: Who does Submission Shark Sell to?
Submission Shark sells to
- Martial Artists
- Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu Practitioners,
We are happy to sell to people of all ages since everyone can benefit from martial arts.
Q: Can you tell us a bit about using Fera for your reviews?
Yes, I've been using Fera for about 3 - 4 years now.
My theme came with a native app but there wasn't much that could be done with it.
What were you looking for in a reviews app?
I needed something that can help show pictures and or videos of customers using the products and have an automated way for asking reviews after delivery.
What specific results have you seen from using Fera?
An increase of revenue due to factors like social proof.
The other widgets available are also helpful for each process of the buyers journey. Like to communicating what other customers liked about a product and showing shoppers that we offer free shipping with orders over 95$ in Canada and USA.
Fera's customization of widgets allows me to show exactly what I need on the website. It also allows me to brand the widgets to go along with the rest of the website.
Q: Let's switch gears, tell us about your problems as a merchant
What do you see as the biggest challenges running your store?
Understanding exactly what might be causing a customer to be hesitant in buying and what widgets or retargeting would help with conversions.
How do you overcome these challenges?
By going through the Research tab in Fera and comparing it with the Order Journeys and seeing what widgets helped cause a customer to continue with their buying process and how to construct common journey's similarly for the best conversion rates.
Editor's Note: This feature is only available for legacy stores, if you want to enable these features, please contact our support team
What is some advice you can give to other merchants with the same problem?
Go through the Research tab and find the pages where customers often leave at and find a Fera widget that can help communicate your best offer to help them make the best decision.
Q: What has been your greatest accomplishment since opening your store?
Creating a community around the brand and helping other martial artists like me discover high-quality training gear and apparel this is both inspiring, stylish and showcases passion for this sport / art.
Q: If you had to start your business over again, what are three things you would do first?
1. Learn more about what converts
I would allocate more time to learning about a converting website tailored for e-commerce product sales.
Often I would just try everything and see what sticks. If I had to start again, I would have read a few books earlier in my journey on marketing and visualized exactly what aspects I'd need on each page to help guide a customer into making the best decision for them.
I should have used an app like Fera earlier on because it had all the widgets I needed instead of spending so much time testing different apps that only provided one function.
2. Focus on vision, community & niche down
Another thing I would do is focus on the niche I wanted to participate in.
Before, I focused heavily on community building, branding and marketing.
It started as a dropshipping store selling fitness products but I eventually began following my passion which is martial arts / Brazilian jiu-jitsu as I found it was easier to create content for what I enjoyed more and relate to my customers better.
Soon I scrapped the entire store because I wanted to have products that was more suitable for this community / niche.
I was very active in creating content and talking to people through social media like Instagram and my page quickly grew with athletes looking for apparel and sponsorships.
I created a demand before I was ready to serve it.
If I could restart, I'd focus and have a clear vision on the niche that I was most passionate about.
I'd have designs and different styles ready but slowly test them out, sending them to sponsors with medium to large following to help create the engagement and brand awareness and gain feedback.
Once I did that I'd reach out to individuals and start building a meaningful community around the brand with a clean website with all the features that Fera has. I was basically building the website live while driving traffic at the same time.
3. Learn Facebook Ads and Influencer Marketing
I would also learn FB ads step-by-step by someone that sells a similar product.
With the new website and not knowing anyone in my personal life in this space, it was a lot of trial and error.
If I could restart, I'd find a mentor and write down each individual step for certain skills such as FB ads. I'd also focus on collaborating with influencers and using their UGC as a paid ad.
If I could restart, I'd target more effectively with FB ads and worked with more influencers earlier to reach a larger audience quicker.
Focus more time to learn and apply exactly what a website should look like for my product rather than only creating organic posts and sending DMs and traffic while building the store. Realizing the exact niche and I wanted to serve in.
Q: If you had to start your business over again, what are three things you would avoid?
If I had to start my business again, these are the top things I would avoid:
- Making bulk orders from suppliers too soon and too big MOQ
- Trying to do everything myself
- Being hesitant with working with the right influencers due to a lack of capital
Q: What's next for Submission Shark?
There's a few plans but the top things are to
- sponsor more events
- sponsor more athletes
- develop Intellectual Property
Q: Any parting words?
Entrepreneurship is difficult when you don't apply yourself and have a passion for learning.
Things are changing fast and it can be overwhelming even if you are caught up.
Stay consistent with what's working and audit your time effectively, rest is important and remembering why you are doing it in the first place is as well.
There's growing pains but learn to have fun with it.