In the heart of midtown Memphis, two young entrepreneurs are building an eCommerce empire from the ground up. Keep reading to learn how they scaled their sales to 7-figures in less than 18 months.
Coleman Whitsitt and Phillip Irwin, childhood friends and college roommates, started Grivet Outdoors less than two years ago.
In that short span, they’ve managed to grow their business from a couple hundred listings to a couple thousand, generating seven figures in sales and hundreds of thousands of dollars in profits in the process.
How were they able to scale their operation so fast?
That’s what we wanted to know after Whitsitt wrote this kind note to our Customer Success team:
“I just wanted say how thankful I am for Informed.co. This software rocks in every way possible! Informed.co's complex algorithms know how to optimally price products, keeping them in the Buy Box longer, and getting more sales. I don't know how I would run my business without it. Thank you, Informed.co!”
We emailed Whitsitt back to thank him for taking the time to write us, and inquired to see if he’d be interested in speaking with us about his experience with our product. He then referred us to Irwin, a former professional baseball pitcher who now manages repricing (among many other things) for Grivet Outdoors.
From Grivet Outdoors’ Instagram account
How Grivet Outdoors started in eCommerce
We spoke with Irwin, who told us the story of how Whitsitt started dropshipping while living in Mexico after graduating from college.
Whitsitt had moved abroad to play online poker in a house with some friends while trying to figure out an alternative plan for making a living. One roommate happened to be heavily invested in eCommerce, who showed him the ropes and taught him how to dropship.
When Whitsitt moved back to the states, he stopped selling for a while, even though he had over 100 products sitting in a room upstairs in his house. That’s when Irwin got involved.
Irwin made a deal with Whitsitt to allow him to sell those products on his behalf. When he quickly proved to be a successful seller, he and Whitsitt decided that eCommerce may actually be the best business move they could make- if they partnered up and went all-in.
Nearly $2M in sales later, we’d say they were correct.
The automation tool that Grivet Outdoors used to fast-forward growth
Irwin related the extraordinary run of Grivet Outdoors to realizing early on that automation would be a key driver of profitable sales. He identified Informed.co as a vital component driving its success:
“We wouldn’t have nearly as many sales without [Informed.co]. If you don’t use repricing you’re going to be left behind. There’s no other way to do it, I couldn’t imagine a better alternative.”
Whitsitt had tried manual repricing for a few weeks when they only had about 150 listings. Keeping up with the competition was impossible, not to mention completely ineffective.
As Irwin remembers:
“We quickly found out that manually changing our prices is just the worst thing that you can do, especially at scale. We have a lot of products in there, so it’s just impossible.”
Whitsitt then went to eCommerce groups on Facebook seeking advice and discovered that he could automate the process with repricing software. The general consensus was that Informed.co was the best repricing platform to go with in terms of capabilities and ease-of-use. They signed up for a free two-week trial to test it out and quickly saw the value: “It was the first one we started using, and we have not found a single reason to go away from it,” Irwin explained.
Now that he’s in charge of managing Grivet Outdoors’ prices for thousands of products — and with a lofty goal of having five-figures’-worth of listings by next year — Irwin is thankful for the workload that Informed.co takes off his hands.
“When I open Informed.co and it says ‘10,500 prices changed in the last 12 hours,’ I’m like ‘okay, that’s why I need this.’”
How Grivet Outdoors uses Informed.co's automated repricing platform
While some sellers create custom strategies, Irwin relies predominantly on Informed.co’s algorithmic repricing strategy, known as “Get the Buy Box.” This helps power Grivet Outdoors’ listings into Amazon’s most prized real estate at the most optimal prices for profitability at any given time.
Having signed up with Informed.co from almost the very beginning of their online selling adventure, Whitsitt and Irwin are happy to give credit where credit is due. According to Irwin:
“We’ve been using Informed.co for nearly the whole time, so it’s responsible for driving almost $2 million in sales.”
How Grivet Outdoors spends their newfound free time from using Informed.co
Having freed themselves from the tedious work of manual repricing, Whitsitt and Irwin can focus on other activities that are necessary for scaling Grivet Outdoors.
The dogs of Grivet Outdoors, symbolizing the partnership between co-founders Whitsitt and Irwin.
They use the extra time to research new product categories to expand into and new items to source for FBA. They’ve also been able to hire and train employees to further remove themselves from everyday operations.
While Whitsitt and Irwin don’t plan on taking any time off in the near future, they understand that automation tools like Informed.co are the easiest way to achieve an ideal work-life balance in eCommerce.
Whitsitt and Irwin also credit their emphasis on developing a fun, positive work environment and company culture for the rise of Grivet Outdoors. Their office has a “bring your dog to work” policy (just like Informed.co does!), and they do their best to keep employee morale high.
Bear, one of the office dogs at Grivet Outdoors, just being himself.
We can’t help but admire the entrepreneurial spirit of Whitsitt and Irwin, and we’ll be actively following them to keep up with their success as they continue growing Grivet Outdoors.