2022 Success Story - 100%+ YOY Growth
Written by Sam Barnes, Floodgate Client Success Manager.
As an ex plumber who also has experience working for Shopify in Canada, Floodgate was hired to help take the building supplies business to the next level. The business is located on the Gold Coast and has the Queensland distribution rights to some popular landscaping products.
Admittedly, it was a slow start as I struggled to understand how the small building supplier and Ecommerce business competed with big players such as Bunnings and other large landscape supplies businesses.
It did take 2 or 3 months before I implemented any changes that would make a real impact. The benefit of having full control of where I spent my time was that I got to really analyze the business in a way that no busy owner operator would. I began to notice small inefficiencies and reoccurring customer questions. These micro problems were kept in mind as we zoned in on our main Goals:
1. Conversion Rate
2. Average Order Value
I chose these two numbers as I was of the belief our S.E.O and site traffic were totally fine, the business simply struggled to convert the traffic into sales. With all of this in mind, here is a list of the most effective changes that ultimately lead to a 100%+ increase in Ecommerce revenue, year on year.
1. Google Merchant Account
Getting the products listed on a new Google Merchant Account was the single most effective task I completed this year. Simple on the surface, but Google can be an absolute nightmare if your product or shipping information is not correct. I spent a long time optimising products and we are still fixing some SKU’s (Some products have hundreds of variations that need to be adjusted) This task did not directly improve the two main goals, but it did drive more traffic to the site in conjunction with the further improvements below.
2. Tidio Chatbot
I quickly noticed how often people were calling for clarity on product information. As the office is only open 8am – 4pm weekdays, I could only imagine how many people were looking for those same answers outside of office hours.
The solution was to build a Chatbot that basically tried to answer frequently asked questions in a conversational flow. I also built in a notification alert when the chatbot flow could no longer answer customer questions. Customer service are then able to take over the conversation on a computer or even an easy to use phone app.
I was proven correct when a vast majority of the alerts were between 5-8pm From the conversation data, we were able to adjust and optimise our product pages and website content.
The chatbot notifications have been on a downward trajectory since.. That is a good result!
3. Improve UX (New Website Design)
The website user experience was very poor in my opinion. It took me a few months to build up the confidence to make this opinion clear. Eventually, I was given the green light to revamp the whole front end of the website. It is now much cleaner, easier to navigate and matches the value of the items we are selling.
4. Product Photography
I noticed competitors had much nicer lifestyle images of some of the competing products. Our products had poor images that were cropped in all different shapes and sizes. Instead of hiring a product photographer and an expensive shoot location, I reached out to past customers to offer a large discount if they were to send in any lifestyle images of our products.
One product has increased more than 10 fold since implementing a customer’s lifestyle photo.
5. Google Ads
Google Ads have been running at a positive ROAS for 6 months now. We are yet to push the boundaries of the daily spend. Supply chain and fulfilment issues have stopped us from scaling any further with these ads. Something we are looking to get on top of in the new year.
6. Supply & Install Form
Some of the products, the business offers supply and install services that are outsourced to a local installer. The process was quite clunky. Potential customers called direct to book a quote inspection but also asked technical questions that are best kept for the installer.
To streamline this process, I built a detailed supply & install quote enquiry form that gathered all the information the installer needed.
The customer and installer are then automatically notified of each other.
They then speak directly and the installer simply orders the products needed if/when they win the job.
We also have the enquiry details in case we want to follow up with the enquiry.
7. New products
I noticed we were receiving quite a lot of traffic for some products that could easily be altered to expand our product offering. This helped improve the conversion rate as by separating products that had too many variations into different stand alone products, the customers were less confused and the conversion rate increased slightly.
8. Email Marketing
Although the business did have a small Email list, there was no new subscriber strategy and our abandoned cart orders were only sometimes manually sent the generic cart reminder Emails from within the Shopify dashboard.
I ended up migrating our small Email list to Klavio and quickly set up an automated discount offer pop up, abandoned cart reminder flow, discount offer pop up, and some other upsell flows from Klavio suggestions. The data from the abandoned cart conversions has clearly helped improve the conversion rate and is now running on autopilot.
As you can see below, we achieved a 41% increase in conversion rate. The Average Order value ended up slightly down as we offered some slightly cheaper products. But the sessions were up 32%, which resulted in a 106%+ increase in revenue.
For those who are aware of the 80/20 rule, the above are certainly the 20%! It would be ingenuine for me to not mention the time wasted on ideas that did not produce the desired results..
1. Distributor Agreements
One of the first things I tried to do was to convince some small landscape supplies businesses in North Queensland to stock our landscaping products. The pitch was that we are selling products Australia wide already, but the freight to North Queensland is deterring more people from completing their purchase.
A stockist that bought in bulk from us would be able to increase the sale price because a customer would still be getting the product cheaper from them than online. After 2 – 3 Weeks, I realised the business owners I reached out to had no interest in dealing with an area distributor. They want to deal directly with the manufacturer or nothing at all. In my opinion, it is their loss as the products have been steadily increasing sales to the areas that I tried to offer the area distribution.
2. Recycled Timber Homewares
I spent far too much time trying to expand our recycled timber product offering. The idea was to take the recycled timber from our timber supplier and create some niche products that would supplement another similar product. In reality, the products required much more tools and labor than I had anticipated. We did receive some interest in the sample products, but not enough to warrant the time spent so far. We may come back to this in the future but use a product partner.
3. Affiliate Program
From the small success in getting past customers to send in some lifestyle images, I thought we might be able to get an affiliate program set up, where customers show off their products with an affiliate link that they would receive a profit share of any sales that came from their unique referral link. In reality, our Branding is not quite ready for that.
4. Flyer Drop
Yes, I pitched a physical flyer drop. The idea was that Flyer drops have been neglected and online marketing has become super overcrowded. Additionally, everyone now understands how to use a QR code.
So I had some flyers designed with a 5% off discount QR Code (I could monitor how many people scanned the code). I was excited to see how many scans we received from having 500 distributed to the highest value zip code in the city..
Not. One. Scan. I called the distribution company to query the legitimacy of their operation and they responded with a screenshot of the delivery boy’s GPS history on the day. Case Closed.
5. Improved office display
As a new supplier agreement was signed and I was working on improving the recycled timber offering, I thought designing a nice display in the office that would replace the basic samples from each supplier would be a smart move. In reality, the factory is in an industrial area that really only receives 2-3 walk-ins per week, none of which are interested in the products in question.
As you can see, there was quite a bit of trial and error that went into the development and growth of this interesting business. The momentum from the second half of this year paired with some new ideas around optimising fulfilment and increasing sales channels should give us plenty to talk about in 6 and 12 months time.
But the main message here is that until someone is able to come in and work ON the business, not simply keeping up with day to day operations, the business is not likely to experience rapid growth.
Although we do not currently offer all of the services mentioned in this special agreement, Floodgate aims to be more than a web development and S.E.O agency. We experience much more satisfaction when we are able to advise and implement genuine business development procedures that are geared for growth. If you are interested to see how we might work together, please reach out!