We get asked a lot on the transition process from a Kickstarter project (which offers just about zero help post project) to using an e-commerce platform such as Shopify. Can anybody here shed some light on your experience transitioning form a successful Kickstarter funding project to shipping your orders using a fully featured platform such as Shopify?
Kickstarter Shipping and Order Fulfillment
I've had the good fortune of working with a bunch of stores which started on Kickstarter and transitioned to Shopify.
Their focus once the Kickstarter campaign closes is on production and fulfillment, especially if things went better than expected (Coffee Joulies, Pebble Watch).
During this time before shipping products, the important thing is to be gathering email addresses. People won't be able to buy via Kickstarter anymore so they need somewhere to go. Some companies used other shared hosting companies and had sites go down multiple times before switching to Shopify.
Once production is complete, you can use the email list you've built up to quicky build sales as soon as you launch.
Rob Ward of Annex Products (Opena Case and Quad Lock Case, both launched on Kickstarter) has some great articles on his blog about their journey: http://www.robyward.com/
Thanks for your feedback...
Getting Kickstarter orders into order fulfillment shipping queue is usually a nightmare for most people. For post Kickstarter buyers you can just send them directly to you Shopify website. But the critical question is how to you get all those thousands of orders from Kickstarter to Shopify/ or fulfillment center to get it shipped?
You mentioned e-mail lists, which may work if you have a few hundred orders, but if you have thousands that will be quite a cumbersome project.
So if you're using Shopify one solution I've seen is that Kickstarter Backers are offered a custom coupon code which they then can use on the website to place a regular order just like anyone else. The difference to the Kickstarter customer would obviously be the price, and the customer would also have peace of mind knowing the status of their order. For the project owners it would also save the hassle of dealing with the barrage of order related questions they get upon closing of their successful project.
Kickstarter Shopify Order Fulfillment
Just a heads up for people looking to use Kickstarter + Shopify that we launched the Kickstand Theme recently. It's designed specifically to help entrepreneurs who are currently running a Kickstarter campaign or just finished one keep selling.
You can find out more info here :
Joe - I have the same question.
I did a successful Kickstarter campaign. Fantastic! But, fulfillng the orders, as you say, is a nightmare, and Kickstarter's backend tools are unconscionable.
I made the decision to bite the bullet and do all of the Kickstarter fulfillment "manually," which meant using a spreadsheet and importing addresses into Shipstation for fulfillment.
What I didn't anticipate is the several hundred people who never completed the sizing surveys. They write to me now and ask if they can still get their stuff. And, of course, I want them to be able to get it! But, what do I do?
Options under consideration:
I could give them a coupon for the amount they pledged, but Kickstarter backers got significantly more with their dollars than they can currently buy on our web site. So, this options seems too much like punishment.... although this seems like a reasonable solution after about 6 months.
I could give them a coupon for the value of what they ordered, but this is complicated by several factors, not the least of which is that I cannot offer both free shipping and free products.
I have considered creating a collection that is hidden and had different prices, but collections have to be made up of actual products, so this idea is dead in the water.
What I'm doing now is to respond to them only when they write, and offer to give them a coupon for the items (rewards) plus shipping, but they have to use it within a week - so I don't have a bunch of these outstanding.
Instead of giving them a coupon for the value, why don't you just give them a special Kickstarter promotional code which they could use at checkout to get the product for the price that was offered on Kickstarter?
Some of our Kickstarter order fulfillment customers who are using Shopify use this set up once the project is over. Where instead of collecting the information then compiling all of it into a spreadsheet. They just create a special Kickstarter coupon code which could then be used at checkout to give their Kickstarter backers the price they were offered. This makes the whole order fulfillment, shipping, customer relations part of your business a lots easier. It also keep your customers up to date on the order status, which is usually all they want.
Hope this helps.... Please don't hesitate to respond with any additional questions.