When you want to grow a local retail company there will always be a wall. That wall is the number of LOCAL people. Your business, until you move online of course, will always be limited by the number of people living in or visiting your area. The bottom line is that to grow a company past the limits of its community, you must sell online. This can take many different shapes, and here we will discuss some of the ways the DEVUPP Studio worked with Toasted Pixie to generate online sales, and to drive products to a national market of buyers. This allowed Toasted Pixie to go beyond the 60,000 person population of the Grand Junction area, an the roughly 100,000 visitors who shop per year.
The Website and WooCommerce
Almost everyone has a website now. Even your mom probably has a website. They have become beyond easy to setup, including websites geared toward selling online. Companies like BigCommerce, Shopify, and Wix have made it easy for you. The challenge is building that website right. For Toasted Pixie we selected WooCommerce and WordPress. These two platforms made the website easy to maintain and presented a myriad of tools that we could use to integrate with their in-store point of sale solution (Square), as well as help them manage their inventory, sales, and promotions that existed both offline and off.
Although we recommend both Shopify (as a Shopify Partner) and WooCommerce, we decided that WooCommerce was a better fit for this particular store. The way we planned to tackle creating content, working with creators, and managing users access to the Toasted Pixie systems made WordPress a better solution for their CMS (content management system), and therefore WooCommerce the better selection for their e-commerce solution. The built in Square integration made online credit card processing much easier, as well as product and inventory management.
Our goal with Toasted Pixie was to create an environment where weekly written content, images, and video content could be shared quickly to keep the site fresh, and where product details including reviews could be added and curated easily. After 3 years of working with this site daily traffic went from the 10-20 person range to well over 3,000-5,000 unique visitors per day. Conversions on the website vary, and are the current goal, but some things to take into account when working on the website angle:
- Shipping costs are very big reason for abandoned carts
- Pages that have no way to get to a purchase are often a place where users abandon the website
- Slow pages are like death, there is no faster way to make a person leave the site
- Forcing someone into the shopping cart is a way to limit or eliminate your sale
- Equally, making the cart hard to find is a way to fill a cart and have it abandoned like clockwork
Contact us to learn more about how we can help you get more traffic and convert more from your website.
Reputation and Ratings
Have you Googled your store? Have you seen what people think of you on Yelp! or Facebook? Each of these three platforms has a methodology for acquiring and responding to ratings and comments about your store. We live in a very digital world and many people will check those ratings first, especially when purchasing online to see how reputable you are and what the quality of your products are. In some cases they will look just to see if you have friendly staff and a pleasant shopping experience.
For Toasted Pixie maintaining a great reputation online has been key to continued foot traffic from visitors. They currently boast a 4.9 star rating on Google and Facebook. To curate this we dispute ratings that looked bogus, and responded to each and every rating that were received. In some cases this meant a 3-star rating turned into a 5-star!
Discounts and Coupons
Groupon anyone? Many companies moving to sell online are unfamiliar with all of the coupon and discount websites that they can list their deals on. For Toasted Pixie, though this is not an enormous part of their regular marketing scheme, it has been a very effective tool to promote special discounts.
As a result of deciding to be closed in their first year for Black Friday so their staff and families could enjoy time together the promoted a “Surprise Wednesday 25% Discount Blowout” sale across Groupon, Coupons.com, MyCoupons.com and several other discount and coupon aggregator websites, resulting in the largest shopping day of the year for them.
Sales can be a great way to attract business, and if properly announced over websites like this and social media, and to email lists and other contacts you can generate online and foot traffic galore. As long as it falls in line with your product pricing and incentivizes people to buy TODAY you can create a massive winner!
Content, Creator, and Influencer Marketing
Writing articles, shooting videos, TikTok, and the like are some of the best ways to get your name out there. Influencers can be a MAJOR way to get purchases online. Toasted Pixie has used influencer marketing on several occasions to spread content, talk about products, and gain exposure (for more social media follows for example). In one influencer campaign Toasted Pixie was able to DOUBLE their Facebook follower count in the span of a week.
Toasted Pixie has also utilized influencer marketing to push products on several platforms. This has included TikTok, Instagram, Facebook, and even Pinterest. In these influencer campaigns we have utilized a person with a large following, and typically in exchange with sharing out audience, or payment in the form of money or product we are able to host a joint event, or even to just allow the influencer to share a message or product with their followers.
One Instagram campaign allowed Toasted Pixie to sell over 1,000 “mermaid pillows,” a sequined pillow that had a hidden picture of a unicorn or mermaid depending on the direction of the sequins. Simply sharing this product with the influencer’s audience created a tidal wave of new traffic to a simplified funnel, and allowed for users to see the product, details about it, quickly make a purchase decision, and then execute the purchase.
Online marketplaces like Facebook Marketplace, Instagram, Pinterest, and Mercari are also great places to list your products, connect with new audiences, and find new buyers online. Most of these marketplaces are great about their rules for shipping and product tracking and after some experience and ratings on those platforms as a seller your reputation can help increase the number of sales you get.
Between Facebook Marketplace and Mercari, Toasted Pixie has managed to sell over $10,000 of product with little to no advertising or promotional costs. As Mercari introduced Mercari Local and Local Delivery the opportunity here is growing even greater.
Marketplaces can also be a great way to temporarily boost sales. In inclement weather situations listing on Facebook Marketplace and various Facebook groups, online sales with specific products can close the gap of having your physical store with low or no foot traffic.
Marketing and Sales Funnels
One of the best ways, which is why we saved it for last is the marketing and sales funnel. Let me tell you a great story – Toasted Pixie has run several funnels, usually around holidays, that were designed exclusively for selling a product and introducing related products that it made sense to “upgrade” to. One of these funnels included a fountain pen, with an upgrade to a fountain pen set (which included ink and nibs), and finally another upgrade which included paper and carrying case. The initial funnel cost only $10.99. The first upgrade got the buyer to $29.99, and the full upgrade cost $99.99.
Want to hear the results? The numbers on the funnel were amazing. Through targeted Facebook, Instagram, and Pinterest advertisements the funnel which ran for about 3 months generated over 9,000 visitors, with less than $10 per week in advertising spend. This lead to about 500 people who made a purchase, or around a 6% conversion rate. From that group, most of them purchased the initial product – around 75%. That being said, another 20% purchased the first upgrade, and a final 5% purchased the full upgrade. On a roughly $400 advertising budget, spread across three platforms the results were amazing:
- Roughly 100,000 people saw the brand on one of those 3 platforms.
- About 9,000 clicked and learned more about the brand and what it sells, and saw the offer for the pens.
- Around 500 people said yes to the $10.99 offer, with that alone Toasted Pixie would have made over $5,500!
- From that 500 nearly 125 people upgraded to the $29.99 package, and that group represented $3,750!
- From that somewhere around 25 people upgraded to nearly $100 spend, adding in $2,500 to the total sales.
- A total of over $9,500 in sales (plus shipping and handling), which represented about 45% of that as profit on the product itself, with an advertising cost of about $400 – or about a $4,300 profit, that is more than a 10x return on investment!
The bad news with sales funnels is that they are not always successful, they must be very specific and well-time, and they do no last forever. Sales funnels have to remain fresh, as does the marketing avenue to drive leads into those funnels. That being said, they can be wonderful profit drivers for specific product lines where “upgrading” or purchasing offers that can be expanded or have a “better version” perform well. Our typical experience with Toasted Pixie was an average of 2-3 months per funnel before numbers started to decline. Keeping an eye on those numbers is vital, and tells you when it needs revision or when it is time to shut it down and move onto something else.
Putting it all Together
DEVUPP Studio was built as an organization to help your retail practice grow and thrive, not just locally but on the national stage. Our selection of products and services was designed to meet your needs an is limited to allow us to focus exclusively on retail operations who are branching into e-commerce.
Over the years of working with retailers, e-commerce companies and building our own operations in these fields we have honed in our expertise on what works and does not work, and the associated situations that factor into that.
The aim of all of our marketing services and packages it to create improved revenue, income, and ultimately profit for your store. Our dedicated team has specialized in understanding how retail and e-commerce operations work, and where the “biggest bang for your buck is.” We understand the nuances of driving traffic to your store, and selling product online. We understand the associated costs and benefits and where putting your dollars for will create the best increases for you.
Thank you for reading our story and about Toasted Pixie. As a reminder Toasted Pixie is owned by our parent company, and as such allows us unfettered access to information about the progress and development of their company. This allows us to experiment with new solutions, test and tweak old solutions, and develop new solutions without having to use you – our customers – as a guinea pig for our tests. You can rest assured that our collection of e-commerce companies, and our retail operation are where we have tested, validated, or invalidated practices that we use to generate traffic, increase sales, and grow online presence. This means that when working with our clients we are working with PROVEN techniques that work for us, long before we try them out on you.
Let us help you find the right pathway to sell your products online, increase your bottom line, and find the success you are looking for!