How an App Almost Ruined our Ecommerce Launch- Revival Rugs
One of the most exciting days in an ecommerce entrepreneur’s life is launch day. You’ve spent weeks, if not months, making sure that every last detail of your store is perfect and you're ready to start fulfilling orders.
But for ecommerce entrepreneurs Benjamin and Amber Hyman, the days before launching Revival Rugs turned into a nightmare all because of an app integrated with their Shopify store.
We interviewed Ben to find out what happened, how they managed to successfully pull off their launch, and what he learned from the entire ordeal.
Building Revival Rugs
The story of Revival Rugs is a relatively new one that began with a honeymoon. During their trip to Turkey, Ben and Amber reconnected with two of their long-term friends, Kurt and Joyce.
Kurt had been working as an interior designer for the apartments located within Istanbul, where Joyce - with her keen eye for design - offered her expertise in selecting the perfect rug for each unit. Coincidentally, Ben and Amber had recently found themselves in a predicament of a similar nature.
“Last year, [we] were outfitting our apartment with a new rug,” Ben explains. “We thought finding a new rug would be a fun process, but it quickly turned into a stressful buying experience.”
“Everywhere we looked for a rug — whether in person or online — there was a general lack of transparency, unreasonable prices, and poor-quality machine-made replicas. We didn’t have the money to spend thousands on the handmade rugs we loved, but we also didn’t want to settle for something inferior.”
After discussing the matter at length with their friends, the four realized that they not only had a golden opportunity falling into their laps - but the perfect niche.
They found a gap in the market for customers who want unique, exquisite, and handmade Turkish rugs - without having to pay a month’s rent for one. By cutting out the middleman and getting each rug directly from its creator, they’d be able to save their customers hundreds of dollars for the exact same high-quality product.
And just like that, Revival Rugs was born. In the weeks leading up to the launch of their ecommerce store, everyone was alight with excitement. They had every reason to be; the concept behind their company is excellent, the products are stunning, and their social media accounts were growing with fans eager to start shopping.
But this was where things took a turn for the worst.
The Pre-Launch Inventory Disaster
While setting up their store, Ben and Amber were working with a third-party fulfillment agency for their orders, which had built and set up an API directly into their website. Now, the way their store normally runs is that all of their inventory (per rug) is set to 1, since each individual rug that Revival Rugs sells is 100% unique.
Because their inventory must be shipped from Turkey to the United States, it takes time for the actual products themselves to be registered within the warehouse. As a result, all of Ben and Amber's online inventory suddenly went from 1 to 0, preventing them from being able to sell any products.
"We had no idea what was going on and thought that someone might’ve hacked into our website!"
Ben describes that particular moment as "incredibly scary", adding: "We had no idea what was going on and thought that someone might’ve hacked into our website. Every night at 12am, the same error would occur across our inventory, over and over. And of course, this was all happening right before the launch of our live store - so needless to say, the entire experience was really unsettling."
Searching for Answers
Logically, the first place they turned to for help was Shopify's support team. It took them 2-3 days to locate the source of the problem: the API created and used by the fulfillment agency app.
This felt like an eternity to them given the level of stress they were under, but at least they were relieved that Shopify had discovered the issue and would be able to recover their lost data. Right?
"To our surprise, we were told that they couldn’t reset our system and correct all of the necessary data," Ben recalls. "While they do backup our shop from their end, they don’t actually provide a way for us to be able to access this information or restore it if needed. I had honestly thought they’d be able to do that, so learning otherwise only added to our stress."
It took a lot of manual hours for Ben and Amber to fix the problem themselves. With 500 one-of-a-kind rugs, having to fix each product's inventory kept them up until 2-3 in the morning for at least three nights in a row.
They knew this wasn’t realistic. They'd need a more convenient, reliable, and permanent solution - especially in case this ever happened to them again.
After some Google searches for backup apps that could possibly be of assistance, Shopify recommended Ben and Amber to Rewind - and they’ve been sold on the app ever since.
Rewind to the Rescue
"Rewind has honestly been a godsend to us," Ben states. "It’s quick, but what’s even nicer is that it’s very easy to use. We’ve actually had to perform a rewind since installing the App into our store, and the difference it makes in resolving any and all issues that come our way is astounding."
When asked about what he took away from this ordeal, Ben had this to say: "I’d definitely say that going through this experience has been a major learning experience: namely, that all it takes is seconds for a business to fall apart, followed by days - even weeks - needed to pick up and put back together all of the pieces."
He added: "Our website is the backbone of our business; if it fails or something really horrible happens, it negatively affects every other aspect of the company. We need a service that can not only cover us, but actually help us as soon as something bad happens. It’s been a huge relief knowing that if something ever goes wrong again, we now have a trustworthy system like this in place."
"In that sense, Rewind is the best insurance policy we could have for our store."
The Shopify App store is full of apps that help grow your business and save you time. But problems during integration do happen. That's why we always recommend you backup Shopify using Rewind when testing out new apps.