Unlocking the Secrets of E-commerce Success: An Exclusive Interview with SYSO, a Shopify Expert

Shopify Staff

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Today, we speak with Mariko from Sell Your Stuff Online, who has been an active Shopify Partner since 2014. We talked to her about her experience in the e-commerce industry and how she built her business. Keep reading to see how Mariko can help make your e-commerce business even more profitable!


1. Where does the name SYSO come from?


The letters stand for Sell Your Stuff Online, which is quite generic, but we kept it that way. It's all about selling your stuff online.



2. Can you give me a brief overview of SYSO? What services do you offer to merchants?


We are graphic designers and have been building "love brands," as we like to call them, for years. 


Online entrepreneurs can come to us for branding, logo design, Shopify store development, and business coaching (especially in online marketing). Additionally, we have SYSO VIP, a monthly subscription that provides direct access to all our courses, programs, online chat support, and a private hangout.


Branding, store development, coaching, and SYSO VIP are often bundled together as a "Golden ticket." It's incredibly rewarding to help someone build a solid business from scratch with a thriving online presence.



3. When did you start your company, and what motivated you to do this?


In 2014, my Sell Your Stuff Online workbook was released. I wrote it based on my jewelry label and the webshop I had at the time, Applepiepieces. 


I had meticulously documented every step, action and figure related to our Applepiepieces adventure. Almost every day, I received emails from people who wanted to start their own webshop.To answer these questions, I turned it into a workbook: Sell Your Stuff Online. 


Fortunately, I quickly found a publisher, and six months later, the first webshop workbook in the Netherlands was available in all bookstores in the Netherlands and Belgium. The book has since been reprinted five times and is still available. SYSO has become a business through which we can help other online entrepreneurs on their path to success.



4. What did you do before starting SYSO? Did the decision to start your own business influence your work or creative process?


My husband Mark Naber and I have had a branding agency called Loaded Ink BNO since 1996. Entrepreneurship means freedom to us; freedom to organize our own lives and time. For example, we live very close to the beach in Scheveningen, and if the waves are good, we want to have the freedom to be able to go surfing.


When the graphic market collapsed around 2009, we were able to focus on Applepiepieces, and in 2014, SYSO was born, completing the circle back to branding. Ultimately, everything revolves around branding, even if you don't actively work on it, you're still doing branding. It's all-encompassing and defining. When your branding is in order, you're halfway through your entrepreneurial journey. 


You have a blueprint with goals, target audience, mission, vision, core values, and much more. It's incredibly useful and essential for every merchant.



5. What is a common request you receive from entrepreneurs who want to start an e-commerce business with your help?


In the past year, we have been migrating a significant number of online stores to Shopify. Until recently, this was not easy and sometimes even impossible from certain platforms. 


However, we have found a way to migrate the product feed from any imaginable e-commerce system to Shopify, and this news is spreading like wildfire. Here you can see our most recently built and migrated online stores.



6. If you could change one thing about the Shopify platform, what would you modify?


The biggest issue has always been localizing your store to different international markets, which for years could only be achieved through an app. But since last year, that has been completely resolved! 


It works perfectly with Shopify Markets, making it much easier for merchants to sell across borders. The request for a one-page checkout was also launched recently. 


That's what's great about Shopify; it keeps up with the times and grows with the needs. 



7. What are the most enjoyable requests from your clients?


Golden tickets are the most enjoyable because they allow us to provide the customer with everything they need. It's always amazing to see someone get genuinely excited about a new identity, including branding and a logo. Then, implementing it all into a shop that works much better and easier than they could have imagined is incredibly gratifying work. Once the business is fully established, coaching fits in nicely. This ensures that the merchant makes a flying (re)start.



8. What advice do you have for merchants who are considering starting a business on Shopify?


There truly is no other platform that is better and more effective than Shopify for e-commerce. Over the years, we have worked with various e-commerce software, but ultimately, Shopify remains the best in our opinion. 


So if you have doubts, don't hesitate, just go for it. You can easily get started with Shopify on your own. 


We have also had a Shopify course as a Shopify education partner. However, we've noticed that when you have an expert build your Shopify shop, you can be sure it will be fully optimized for conversions. Moreover, it's much faster than having to reinvent the wheel yourself. If you have the opportunity to have your shop built, I would definitely recommend it for faster and better results.



9. What have been some of the most exciting moments in SYSO's journey?


The release of the Sell Your Stuff Online book was an exciting moment. I never thought such a beautiful business would grow from it. 


Based on that, I am often asked to speak at events. A few years ago, I spoke at Shopify Unite in London, which was a special experience. But the most important one, every project we complete is a great moment and always exciting for the client. For them, it's often a new beginning or at least a significant step forward.



10. What are your plans or goals for the future of your company?


As Shopify Experts, we already work for many businesses outside the Netherlands. Therefore, we would like to make SYSO VIP available in English as well. In addition to SYSO, we also have Shopping Guide Happlify.


Happlify is a rapidly growing, high-quality shopping guide for women (30+ years old from the Netherlands and Belgium) who are looking for a positive and trusted place to discover fun, unique, and safe online stores. The content platform attracts daily visitors through inspiring articles about lifestyle, shopping, fun outings, and recipes. It's a great place to gain visibility in a positive and personal way with a high-quality webshop or brand.


Long story short: our goal with both SYSO and Happlify is to make the beautiful online stores out there as successful and visible as possible!


If you're interested in contacting Mariko after reading this article, don't hesitate and click here to start a conversation to see how you can make your store more successful! You can also visit the Sell Your Stuff Online website for more information about the services they offer!

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