Right now, Redsbaby is kind of a ‘Big Deal’ in the pram market – they’re also a great Aussie, e-commerce success story. Even before having twins of their own, Megan and Brett Redelman were aware of a glaring gap in the Australian market for quality, affordable prams and strollers. In just a few short, years they’ve gone from a $40,000 start-up to a multimillion-dollar business – but how did they do it?
Know who your customers are and what they want
People think Meagan and Brett came up with their idea because they had kids of their own and created what they needed to fill their own gap. However, it didn’t actually play out that way. Instead, they spent ages doing their research. They started with market research.
Where do you get that data? Well, there are a number of options (case studies, statistics, paid reports, using Facebook groups, etc) but your first stop should always be to ask the people most familiar with your products – potential customers (people who already have experience of the product you’re thinking about) . Send out surveys – offer vouchers for (significant) feedback, find out what parts of your e-commerce process were intuitive and what parts almost made them call off a potential sale. You know that part of every survey ever made where they ask you how you heard about Brand X? That’s the kind of information you need. From there, it’s as simple as tailoring your customer experience to the needs of your market.
But Megan and Brett didn’t stop there – just looking at gaps in the market. Obviously when you’re coming up with your product range you have to know the market exists to support it. However, unlike many first foray-ers into ecommerce, of critical importance to them was looking at whether the idea and market could sustain an ongoing business – ie: they looked at their margins from the outset. Knowing their customers and then looking at possible margins, which then turned into price points, meant they had a working business model from the start.
Find your people and do what needs to be done
Brett and Megan knew meeting customers where they are was critical for a high involvement product like prams. Mums (and dads) wanted to see and test it prior to purchase – so it differed somewhat from the usual online purchase. Brett got around that by starting with showcasing the product in people’s homes if they wanted to see it first, then meeting people in a local park and finally by setting up a demonstration office. After that, word spread like wildfire from mum to mum and Redsbaby moved a more traditional e-commerce business.
Recognise the importance of a professional e-commerce experience (for your customers and your business).
Once you know your market exists, your business model works and you’ve found your customer tribe, then you need to delight those customers – every time. Not only does word spread like wildfire, social media can be a cruel beast if you get it wrong. Customers hate waiting weeks and weeks for a seller to ‘batch’ their orders, get that order incorrect or lose product in transit. Rather they want swift delivery, easy returns if necessary and for the whole experience to be as easy as possible.
But it’s not just customers that benefit from a professional e-commerce experience, your business can too. Brett and Megan knew they couldn’t be experts in all things e-commerce and outsourced shipping and logistics early in their business’ development which allowed them the time to invest in strategy and growth of their business. Far too many business owners get stuck working ‘in’ their business, rather than ‘on’ their business. Outsourcing to a 3PL partner you can really trust, is something Brett and Megan found to be critical for growing their business to the multi-million dollar success it is today.
A good 3PL partnership can, and should be more than an afterthought in business – it must be part of your marketing strategy. Think of it as part of the opportunity to create a more engaging customer experience – whether that be through your user experience, your product pages or just making the entire sales process hassle-free.
If you’d like to chat to someone about how to get the most out of a 3PL partnership, we’d be delighted to hear from you. You can always give us a call on +61 2 9828 0111 (Sydney), +61 3 9240 300 (Melbourne) or +64 9 263 8855 (Auckland) or drop us a note via the form below.