The story behind Suddora is a textbook case of e-commerce success. It features a young man in a band with a big idea, a friend who appreciated the entrepreneurial spirit, and an apartment with enough spare room to give Internet sales a go.
The idea came to Paul Serra during his musician days in Michigan, when he wore custom sweatbands to promote the band. Adam Topping, Serra’s manager at a video store, saw the potential and came up with a name based on the Spanish word for sweat, sudor.
Then they followed a familiar digital path to profitability, working long hours to build the business and eventually leaving their day jobs to scale it. Now they have a diverse line of sporting accessory products, U.S. and U.K websites, and a worldwide customer base. Their clients range from sports teams and apparel companies to restaurants.
“Our company wouldn’t exist if it weren’t for the Internet,” Serra said.
Suddora’s digital arsenal includes the email, calendar, and storage and sharing capabilities of G Suite, which Serra touted in a case study. The Nevada-based company, which has six employees, reaches customers via Google Ads and search engine marketing, handles orders through the Shopify platform and sells products on Amazon and Walmart.com.
“We focus on making our product available in as many places as possible,” Serra said
Suddora uses digital tools to collect and analyze data. This data, along with social media, makes it possible to retarget past customers and potential customers who didn’t place orders and to pinpoint peak sales periods. “Brick-and-mortar stores only carry one or two options,” Serra said. “Because we have good inventory data, we can carry a lot of options without a lot of overhead.”
Knowing his company’s reliance on the Internet and digital tools, Serra is concerned about the far-reaching impact of new regulations aimed at big technology companies. “It’s never been easier to grow a business than right now,” he said, “but that could change quickly and hurt small businesses like ours.”