We are proud to announce the launch of our brand new sister website www.ihearttops.com!
After a week or so of modifications and updates, we’ve transported the same system as www.iheartmugs.com over on to our new site which is selling customised “I Heart” t-shirts (£15) and hoodies (£18).
This is quite an exciting development as it quadruples our product range from just 1 mug to 1 mug and 3 different clothing items! A lot of our work in the next few weeks will be on SEO (Search Engine Optimisation) so that people can quickly and easily find our website when looking for customised clothing.
Hopefully we’ll be able to create an even better shopping basket soon that will allow you to purchase both mugs and clothing at the same time, and we’ll be hooking this up to a discount system for larger orders.
So it’s been a little while since I last wrote anything here and a few things have changed since then.
Since May (it’s now the end of July) our profits have doubled, and we’re now officially registered as a partnership: Two Mugs LLP. We’re also finally offering next-day delivery as requested by a few of our customers.
It’ll be essentially the same as iheartmugs.com but obviously items of clothing come in different sizes which needs working into our shopping basket system and I’m planning on allowing users to have different designs (or no design) on one or both sides of their chosen apparel too which adds a wee bit extra complexity.
We’re also in the middle of discuss and debating on updates to the aesthetics of the site – particularly focusing on incorporating the basket onto the homepage, which seems a bit more intuitive. (Do let us know if you have any smart ideas!)
That’s all for now, keep an eye out for announcements (and discounts) on the release of ihearttops.com!
So how did this amazing venture and magnificent website begin?
“Dude, y’know this mug… the one with ‘I heart spreadsheets’ on it, why don’t we make a site so you can customise the text on it?”
And a few days later Ali had purchased the domain, I (Jon) had designed and coded up a basic half-decent looking website, hooked it up to Paypal’s shopping cart system and launched it with no real expectations or business plan.
The very next day we got an order!
We had no idea what we were doing, it was all just a bit of a joke, but someone had paid us money and we had to deliver! So I quickly scrambled around creating an image manually on my laptop and placing an order with YourDesign.co.uk, keeping no centralised record of anything, and having no idea whether it would work or not! (I didn’t even create an account with YourDesign.co.uk for our first order…)
Now, in its 6th month of operation, we’ve had 80 transactions for a total of 104 mugs, most of which are completely unique! Profits are nearing the £200 mark and we have an awesome CMS to track sales on cool little graph. It also tells us how much we’ve profit we’ve made and allows us to place orders and notify customers of delivery status. We’ve had orders from Credit Suisse in London as well as from as far away as Philadelphia, USA.
Ali completely redesigned the site not long after our first few orders so that it looks much slicker and I wrote some code (a few times) to generate the images automatically.
We now get an SMS message each (via Google Calendars) every time someone places an order with us and our database is magically filled with transaction details every time anyone buys a mug or two from us. Having said this, we don’t actually store any personal information about our customers – that’s best left up to Paypal!
Having played with a Google Adwords voucher back in February and March this year, Ali’s spent quite some time writing out a list of words in the English dictionary for SEO purposes, and wrote code that enables our site to spy on the words you put into Google and places them on the mug automatically for you!
Here’s a pretty picture of what happens if you Google for I heart David Cameron and click on our link:
At the moment I’m developing some scripts to completely automate the process between us and YourDesign.co.uk as well as tweaking the CMS and eventually I’ll get around to fixing some bugs with our automatic image generation, but that’s a story for another day.
As for expansion, keep your eyes peeled for developments on ihearttops.com any week now