Published on May 9th, 2015 | by james0
eCommerce Case Study Australian Woodword
Australian Woodwork has been operating since 1997 as a traditional bricks and mortar retail store, starting with a stall at Sydney’s Rocks Markets aiming to bring together Australia’s finest woodwork products from Artisans and Woodworkers around Australia. Run by my parents Greg and Sarah, it then grew to various stores around Sydney including two at Sydney Airport, one in Darling Harbour, and a store at Broadway in the CBD. Today we operate solely out of our purpose built Gallery in the Hunter Valley and the Online Gift Shop. Our motto is Eco-friendly Gifts & Homewares Made by Hand the core focus been on showcase only sustainably sourced products, made in Australia, and by Australian craftsmen, and this proved very popular with both local and International customers.
In around 2011 I (Ben) was becoming very interested in the world of online marketing and ecommerce, and so kicking and screaming I forced them to agree to me creating an online store which they never thought would work because our products are so unique. The online store was created in March 2011 and we made our first sale shortly after–a big surprise to my parents! Since then the online store has grown steadily each year to the thriving success it is today. I manage the entirety of the online side of the business.
What Marketing strategies did you use to grow the business?
Initially the website was primarily generating sales via customers who we were walking into the stores and then coming back online by searching for us or typing in our URL, and repeat customers who now could save themselves a trip into the store. However overtime as we continued to add more products, and content about our products and their uses, our search engine traffic grew considerably–mostly Google, but also Bing and Yahoo in smaller quantities.
I became very interested in SEO and Ecommerce so optimised the website ongoingly as I continued to learn, and this allowed us to start receiving natural links and referrals from other websites who loved our content and products. We placed a huge emphasis on high quality photos, and well written product descriptions to maximise both search engine visibility, and sales. We also use Google Product / Shopping Ads with various levels of success across our product ranges.
Starting a couple years back we began placing a heavier emphasis on Social Media as we noticed an ever increasing share of our sales and website visitors were coming from these channels. Today we try to be active in all the major Social Media sites like Instagram and Twitter, but the bulk of website visitors come from just our Facebook Page and Pinterest. This year we have a plan to do a big push into Video, and will be focusing on adding a lot more content to our YouTube channel. Today we still see most of our sales being generated via Search traffic, but Social is persistently on the rise so we definitely feel a ‘shift’ in the online world is taking place.
What tools and software are you using in your business?
Our store is built with the Ecommerce platform Shopify. We use Google Apps for Work for Email. We use Trello to manage business activities and plans. And Skype for communication. We also utilise many wonderful Apps that connect effortless with Shopify such as Yotpo product reviews, Out of Stock notifications, and many more. We have thought about moving the store to either WooCommerce, or Magento but are unsure as to if it is worth the migration–perhaps you guys can help us with this decision! 🙂