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Bricks and Clicks Episode 4: Making the move to selling online

Posted 3 months ago in Small business by Abby Hempfling
Posted by Abby Hempfling

On this week’s episode of Bricks and Clicks, two weeks have passed since the retailers’ last session and they’ve been making headway on getting their businesses up and running online.

As the teams arrived back in Sydney for their second sprint weekend, many of them already had their website builds underway and were busy getting their online stores ready for launch.

Ray Herman shared how his whole family has gotten involved in the online process – even his young daughter Grace, who has been giving him some expert tips (she’s currently learning how to build websites at school).

This week, we got to hear more of the backstories behind three of the program’s retailers.

Kellie Jackson, owner of  The Mosh Pit, is based in Newcastle and loves the atomic retro era which has been a big influence on her business. She jokes that she is still “stuck in the 80s and will never leave”. After quitting her job of 13 years, Kellie began selling handmade handbags with vinyl records on them. People started asking to buy the actual records, which motivated her to take the full leap and morph her passion into a vinyl record store. One of her greatest joys is watching young kids coming in and buying their very first records.

Adam Wilton, owner of Poplar Pet Food lives just outside Wollongong with his wife and three kids, including a set of twins. His business started in the 1950s with the purpose of serving the racing and equestrian industry. While this is still a core part, Adam has since expanded into the domestic pet industry. This move was prompted by a shift that has seen customers treating their pets more and more like part of the family – and wanting the higher end options to match.

Finally, Samantha Tollis of Overboard Surf lives with her husband in Sydney while running her Wollongong based business. Surf shops have always been the family business, and she took over back in 2000. Since then, she has downsized from 14 bricks and mortar stores to one and is keen to grow the online side of the business. She thinks there is a real opportunity to cater for beginners and intermediate surfers who want to move past their foam boards, but aren’t ready to spend $1,000 on a surfboard.

The retailers’ chief focus in this episode was learning how to take their websites to the next level and learn how to successfully sell their products online. The guests included Nick Wilson, Head of Marketing from Netregistry and Mick Spencer CEO and Founder of On the Go Custom Apparel.

Key takeaways from this week’s episode

  • Identify your customers and where to target them.

Understanding your customers and their behaviour is critical to your success. Where do they shop? What do they do online? What channels do they use? What are they reading or looking at while they are there? Nick Wilson detailed how to know where to look for your online customers, and how to use social media and options like pay per click advertising to successfully reach them.

  • Choose your social channels and do them well

A common sentiment shared by the experts has been not to try and do everything at once, but rather start small and get it right. When it comes to social media, don’t try and master every channel straight away. Instead, pick one or two and nail them. Being smart about how you use content on social can help drive engagement and amplify it throughout networks to find target customers. This can then reduce ongoing costs for customers.  

  • Get the logistics right

A customer’s experience can be ruined entirely by logistics. Mick Spencer shared how his company guarantees that their items will always be delivered within a certain timeframe. He encouraged the retailers to set a delivery and time score, and measure themselves and suppliers to it.

  • Build a supply/freight partnership

Form deep relationships and be clear on the service you expect right from the very beginning. If these people are going to move your products, be very clear on your non-negotiables.

  • Consider the experience of opening the package

Consider how the customer will find the package opening experience. What does the satchel or delivery box look like and how will that influence their experience on the other end? Paying attention to details drives repeat customers.

Missed episode four? Catch up here.

Are you a small business that wants to learn to transform your business from bricks to clicks and kick goals in the online retail market? The online e-learning platform designed to help local Australian businesses is free. Get started here now.

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