Down a small alley in Madrid’s Conde Duque district, Brazilian entrepreneur and design aficionado Priscilla Meireles is scouring the web for the latest product trends. Together with her partner Daniel Ruiz Boto, Meireles runs How Shop, a cosy repository of European designware, furniture and graphic design that has slowly garnered the attention of buyers from around the globe.
“It was also a business decision; in Spain people also like to touch the things they buy. Face-to-face contact is really important here.”
A little over a year ago, Meireles was happily watching her web-based business grow but felt there was something missing from the equation. “I was tired of being cooped up and only having interaction via a computer screen,” she confesses. It’s a sentiment that is often shared by internet entrepreneurs, but Meireles decided to make a bold change; moving the business out of a secluded space and into a street-level shop in one of the Spanish capital’s most up-and-coming neighborhoods.
Despite the practical, and somewhat sentimental, move to bricks-and-mortar retail, Meireles and her partner Ruiz Boto are keenly aware of the importance of the international marketplace. Around 95% of How Shop’s sales are made through their website, with customers harking as far as the United States and Japan.
“Although, there’s a disadvantage to having such a broad reach when you’re such a small shop; sometimes sales fall through because a lot of overseas customers are reluctant to trust a website that doesn’t look perfect,” she explains.
After downloading the Bloombees app, Meireles has discovered how useful it can be to stimulate sales and lure more customers to her web-store. “I like to post new product arrivals to my social media networks to show the growing evolution of the shop,” she explains, “but by using Bloombees as the tool to post across all of my networks in one go, it takes the value of each post one step further; giving my followers the opportunity to purchase items almost instantaneously.”
“I like to post new product arrivals to my social media networks to show the growing evolution of the shop, but by using Bloombees as the tool to post across all of my networks in one go”.
Meireles’ tactical use of hashtags has seen the number of her followers grow on both Instagram and Facebook and she is now more motivated than ever to see this base grow, in light of the new instant commerce potential enhanced by Bloombees.
This Brazilian-Spanish entrepreneurial duo may preside over an unorthodox fusion of bricks-and-mortar and web-based retail, but their willingness to embrace new technology is a key component to increasing enthusiastic How Shop’s exposure in an increasingly international market place. “You have to be prepared to experiment and embrace new ways to sell,” says Meireles as she gift-wraps the last remaining teddy bear from Danish brand Lucky Boy Sundays (the 40 she had in stock sold online like hotcakes; all to international buyers). “You can’t just sit around waiting for customers to happen upon your shop – you have to take the shop to them too!”
*This blog post was written by our guest writer Liam Aldous, journalist and Spain correspondent for the publication Monocle.