In this PrestaShop success story, we look at a shop that spans across 3 countries in a way that’s different from any other story we’ve heard. Discover how Güsewell vestidos de novia, an online wedding dress boutique, has cultivated a thriving business across Germany, Argentina and China.
Discovering a Passion
Our story begins in the Argentine province of San Juan, with a 24-year-old-web developer named Jorgelina Jorda Güsewell, the future founder of one of Latin America’s leading online wedding dress shops. Her training as a web developer included PHP, the technology PrestaShop is built upon, as well as best practices for online websites, like SEO. Jorgelina was happy enough building websites…until she met a young German named Ferdinand Güsewell.
After a whirlwind romance, Jorgelina and Ferdinand got engaged and started to plan their wedding. It was during this planning period that Jorgelina’s dreams started to unravel, as she struggled to find the perfect wedding dress.
Jorgelina didn’t find her dream dress -- so she had it custom made. A courageous bride, she ordered her dress through an online portal from a seamstress in China. It was a risk, but one that ultimately paid off. When the dress arrived, it was everything she had hoped for.
The dress was so well-tailored that brides-to-be came to Jorgelina for help ordering their own gowns. After helping several people find the perfect wedding day attire, Jorgelina’s clientele grew and widened through simple word-of-mouth testimonials. Jorgelina had found the perfect business plan for her next project -- but not all projects go according to plan.
Moves and Changes
Jorgelina made the tough decision to move 7,626 miles away from her customer base to live in Germany with her husband. Her clientele would no longer be just around the corner; they would be thousands of miles away. In the beginning everything had been done with spontaneity, intuition and little planning. Now this wedding-dress matchmaker had to rework her business plan to ensure long-term success. She decided she could still help brides find their perfect dress by running an online shop from her home in Germany, catering to Latin Americans seeking wedding dresses custom-made by a seamstress in China.
Following the birth of her first child, Jorgelina spent time researching the best ecommerce platform to support her new business venture. She shares, “I chose to use PrestaShop because it was a free platform available in Latin America and was actively supported with a lot of members on the forums. I’ve never experienced any other software where the community responded to me in a less than a day, with concrete solutions to problems I encountered.”
Güsewell vestidos de novia is the top distributor of affordable, custom-made wedding dresses in the region. But what has made it truly successful is the personalized customer service – provided in Spanish! The company also adapts to its target audience by offering several communication options: customers can talk with sales representatives directly via Zopim Chat, WhatsApp, Skype or even by sending a simple email. Being able to speak with customer service in their preferred language gives buyers confidence in the dress, even though it is being stitched thousands of miles away.
After the website launched in 2014, Jorgelina focused on fine tuning her website for SEO. She used the smart blog module to create engaging content for new clients. Some articles feature previous clients who’ve had a great experience.
Appearing at the top of search results is Jorgelina’s way of ensuring she never has a shortage of new clientele. Finding the exact keyword combination took some time, but in January 2015 her hard work paid off with a sudden increase in website traffic. Within the month, the number of average monthly visits jumped from 200 to more than 10,000! That’s 4900% more traffic than she experienced previously. Jorgelina had expanded her market beyond Argentina and into the rest of Latin America.
Work life Balance
The increase in demand may make it seem difficult to balance a career, baby and home life. Jorgelina’s shares, "It is not easy, but when a woman is as passionate about her work as she is about her family, then she is able to give everything and more to achieve success in both. I am fortunate that most of my consultations from Latin America are between 9 pm and 8 am in Germany. So after I put my baby to sleep, I can work with clients until I go to bed. When my baby takes his nap in the afternoon, I have additional time to do market research, update the website, and write interesting blog content to build customer loyalty. My husband is home during the weekend, which gives me all the time I need to do any programming and development work on the website.”
She goes on to share, “I owe much of my success to PrestaShop. The software is not only free, but provides important features including mobile-responsive design and great SEO features. All I’ve had to invest in is hosting and a domain name. Everything else I was able to build on top of the default software.”
What problem does your online shop solve? Iron out your business plan and start building your online store with PrestaShop’s free shopping cart software. Not quite inspired yet? Check out other success stories from merchants around the world.