Gracie Academy - Eric Somodio

Gracie Academy Store

1. Eric, you did a lot of work on your online store at this year, what would you say has had the most impact on your site?

The most impact would have to be since the inception of our catalog site. A big impact on functionality is the drop down variations, as well as, the review features. We attract clients through networking. Facebook generated a lot of traffic to the site because the facebook feature which is integrated with ultracart allowed users to see it.

2. Have you found Facebook to be really valuable?

Yes! We're listed as a store/website on our facebook account; thus, generating traffic from our internal team of instructors and employees that post new products, seminars, promos etc. It generates a lot of traffic and gets a lot more eyes on our site, which eventually will turn into a converted sale!

3. Your store is unique in that you display your items and allow your checkout process in 6 different languages, English, French, Spanish, German, Portuguese, and Japanese. What has been your experience in running 6 different language checkouts?

We have a lot of international orders coming in everyday; so our clients use the different languages to navigate through our store. Managing it is not as cumbersome as some may think. Due to UltraCart's "item assignment" functionality, allows catalog users to add/remove items easily with just a couple of clicks. Especially, since we like to keep adding items for our customers.

4. Gracie couldn't have been positioned more perfectly for the impact of MMA going mainstream, but with the advent of so many competitors, how do you keep your offerings new and exciting for your customers?

All of our offerings are done through facebook, youtube, twitter, instagram etc. to promote new products coming into our store. So they are prequalified before they even see the store but when they do a search we are high up in the organic listings as well. And with the name of Gracie which is a well-known brand in MMA, it's just a matter of time until clients take the time to check out our store. It's been a good experience as MMA has increased in popularity. Using UC's marketing tools, as far as, coupons, autoresponders, and gift certificates makes it exciting for our customers.

5. You have facebook buttons on every product page giving customers the ability to "like" "send" a message to a friend, or to see how many people have already "liked" it. Can you tell us how you track the effectiveness of Facebook?

The report feature for advertising sources works well. It breaks down which sources are being tracked. We have multiple members on our team that manage the Facebook account so they always try to keep items up to date. They then see a lot of people reposting those onto their own pages and that in turn increases their eyes on it. Most people in MMA are friends with other MMA people on Facebook so a lot of interested people are clicking on to our Facebook account/uc store.

6. You have been with UltraCart for a long time, what can you tell new UltraCart merchants to help them grow their business?

Ultracart possesses a very strong platform and merchants should wield the capabilities and functionality that can further benefit their business. Find ways to help make your site/store more efficient. We've used UltraCart's Pro services a lot to help us use a lot of tools that we either didn't have at the time or manpower to put it in place. Then through trial and error we just kept working at it and eventually worked out for us.