Today I am presenting another written interview with Michael Lee of SolidLiftParts.com
Check out the interview:
1. What got you interested in selling material handling parts online? Share your story.
I believe material handling machines have a critical role in our society. It’s one that ordinarily is ignored by the general population. If you think about it, the items you order from Amazon or eBay for example, much of its delivery was due to a material handling equipment. Our roads we drive on would not have been built the way it did if a forklift was not there to assist by moving materials like structural components and utilities. When one of these crucial machines stop working, it has to get running again fast. Not only does the owner of these machine lose money and time, it fractionally slows down the growth of the economy. That’s why we love selling material handling parts! We not only get to help the machine owners who are generally extremely thrilled to get their machines running again, we feel that we are contributing and doing our part in our society.
2. What are a few challenges you have faced getting into eCommerce?
One challenge is making compromises between design, customer experience, and Search Engine Optimization (SEO). Sometimes, during website development, we get into a point where we have to make a decision based on one of those three factors. Customer experience is important because we do what we do for our customers such as making the buying experience quick and easy. Design is important because we want our website to look and feel like a solid and trustworthy website. Whereas, SEO is extremely important because if the customer cannot find us on the web, there is no customer experience in the first place. So, we have to make certain sacrifices to take the proper route. We make the decision based on what is the most important for us at that time and foreseeable, near future. For example, if we have a new feature added onto our site, then we would focus on SEO to make sure that this new feature / page is indexed by search engines and can be found right away (while working on the customer experience aspect). Customer experience always comes before web design because we not only value our customers greatly, our target market are most responsive to smooth and easy experience with us, rather than fancy designs.
3. Do you dropship or buy your products wholesale, what do you prefer?
We like to do a balance of both. Drop shipping products gives Solid Lift Parts the ability to provide the customers a quicker and speedy delivery of their items, depending on their locations. It also lowers our expenses associated to having a large inventory. On the other hand, buying products wholesale allows us to have larger savings, hence passing our savings to our customers. We must have a balance of both. We may not be the perfect company for our customers, but we certainly try our best to both save them money, get their forklift parts delivered fast, and/or ensure that they can get the part they are looking for.
4. What are some of your favorite online tools for selling online?
For web design aspect of SolidLiftParts.com, we love using ColorZilla add-on for Chrome Web Browser. ColorZilla enables the designer to pick, click and choose the color UI palette based on what they visually see portrayed on the web. This is helpful in allowing us to choose colors accordingly to provide the users a welcoming and trustworthy experience throughout our website, while helping us understand what colors works for other successful eCommerce sites.
Another one of our favorite tools in direct selling is MailChimp. This service enables us to optimize our email marketing campaigns by helping us mass email and track bounces, success rates and even mouse movement. It also helps us organize our emailing list.
5. What are your future plans for 2015 and beyond?
We plan on opening new and free features on SolidLiftParts.com for our customers. We can’t disclose the details yet, but we aim to empower our customers by providing more available parts and helping them with their tasks related to material handling parts & equipment. 2015 is going to be an amazing year!