Lowell Thomas Tool is a Bozeman, Montana based tool manufacturer. Our product, the JackClamp, is a patented clamp that can also jack, spread, hoist and clamp irregular shapes.

When we were awarded the patent, we began to refine and sell the product at local hardware stores as well as regional and national tool tradeshows. We source the parts we don’t make in house from U.S. manufacturers so we are able to claim a 100% made in America tool.

How did you earn your first sales? Which channels are now generating the most traffic and sales for you?

We earned our first sales by contacting everyone we knew who liked the tool but hadn't purchased one yet. Once we had a few online sales under our belts and were confident that everything was working properly, we began more aggressively marketing the JackClamp.

Our affiliate sales channels generate a lot of our traffic with social media coming in behind that.

Tell us about the back-end of your business. What tools and apps do you use to run your store? How do you handle shipping and fulfillment?

Our business is selling a physical product and manufacturing that product. We really enjoy using Shopify to manage our online sales – it’s got a great user interface and functions flawlessly.

The apps we use within Shopify include: Curebit (a referral platform that helps customers drive their friends to the site), PluginSEO (checks the store for search engine optimization problems), Sumall (provides an easy to understand summary of online activity), Shopify Facebook Store (lets our Facebook followers buy easier), Abandonment Protector (helps to recover abandoned shopping carts), We also rely a great deal on the traffic reports from Shopify and Google Analytics to see what’s working and what’s not. When you’re as small as we are, every penny counts!

What are your top recommendations for new ecommerce entrepreneurs?

Don’t rely on word of mouth to do your marketing for you. You need to get out there and be proactive – reaching out to interested people on social media and in person as often as possible. Building a business is hard work. Don’t expect to be able to “set it and forget it.”

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