In just ten years, Solo Stove went from offering a simple camping stove to a wide range of camping products that frequently show up on lists of the best outdoor equipment. Between listening to their customers and increasing their product base along with upgrading their ecommerce site, this Texas-based company has more than both their web traffic and overall sales.
When founders, and brothers, Jeff and Spencer Jan created their simple camping stove in 2010, it was their only product, but they quickly found a growing following that demanded more products and more ways to engage with the company. As they added more products, their simple form-based one-page website didn’t cut it, and ultimately chose BigCommerce as their website builder.
Learning From Trial & Error
2019 was Solo Stove’s biggest year yet. It surpassed its total 2018 revenue in July, and its web traffic grew 60 percent year over year. BigCommerce was very cost friendly to help Solo Stove get started, and even let the company start allowing international sales.
“Our strategy since day one has and always will be a relentless focus on driving traffic,” John Merris, CEO of Solo Stove, said. “We learned from 2019, through lots of testing and failures, that the more you can drive value to your prospects and existing customers in content, the more likely you’ll get people to share their time with you.”
In 2019, Solo Stove mastered creating beautiful content on social media and got more and more shoppers excited to see their website, ultimately leading them to double their web traffic from 2018-2019. So many businesses utilize social media to grow their business since almost every consumer now has an account on one of the sites.
John said that the company uses social media as well as paid advertising as a way to get their brand name out there. “Facebook, Pinterest, Yahoo, we’re on just about every platform you can think of. We’re also utilizing Google to help drive web traffic,” John said.
Solo Stove has recently started dabbling in activity events to advertise their brand. It’s easy to connect consumers with your brand online, but bringing people together offline is the main goal for the company. Solo Stove has started collaborating with Ski Resorts, so when skiers come down the hill, there are s’mores kits at the bottom. This allows people to gather around the fire pit, have s’mores, and make memories.
“This is our second year now collaborating with Ski Resorts,” John said. “It’s one of those things that’s hard to measure since it’s offline, but we have noticed a 15 – 20 percent increase in online traffic through offline events. It’s still early to know for sure, but those statistics are definitely favorable.”
Don’t Just Focus on Spending a lot on Advertising
It can feel daunting when brands first start their company and think you need to spend crazy amounts of money on advertising in order to get your name out there, but that’s simply not the case. “There are all sorts of tactics out there you can use to get traffic and it’s a matter of getting eyeballs to your site and converting that traffic into a sale. If you just break it down instead of thinking too much on the cost and focus on conversion, everything will fall into place,” John said.