Two entrepreneurial brothers who launched an e-commerce site providing fitness clothing bearing motivational quotes have increased international sales by 22 per cent thanks to tailored support from Superfast Business Wales.
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Nicholas and Michael Pinocci set up V3 Apparel in 2014, and despite having no experience in online marketing have seen their brand muscle in on a competitive market.
“Our Facebook and Instagram content that focused on motivational memes and quotes was gaining a lot of traction. Our goal was to convert that interest into sales.”
Michael said: “Our Facebook and Instagram content that focused on motivational memes and quotes was gaining a lot of traction thanks to the growing popularity of both fitness, and of people wanting to feel inspired when they scroll through their feed. Our goal was to convert that interest into sales.”
The duo approached Superfast Business Wales for free support and have gone from strength to strength since implementing the changes put forward in a digital marketing workshop and follow-up 1-2-1.
Michael said: “The results have been amazing. Comparing the stats before and after the advice, we have increased organic traffic via search engines to our UK site by 120 per cent and our US site by 140 per cent. In terms of US sales from search engine traffic, this grew from $194 in the six months before to $1,696 in the six months after.
“We introduced a local Shopify site for the US and increased our sales by 22 per cent.”
“Focusing on the customer journey to create a tailored, localised shopping experience for different markets has also been key. We identified that US shoppers were dropping out of the sales process at the checkout stage because the currency switched back to pound sterling. We introduced a local Shopify site for the US and increased our sales by 22 per cent.
“The fitness market is incredibly competitive but social media has allowed us to strengthen the brand by becoming a part of the online fitness community to build trust with customers. Targeting platforms outside of the main ones has yielded incredible results, with our free downloadable wallpaper for mobiles generating one million monthly views on Pinterest.
“And we’ve achieved our target of sales via social with a combination of organic posts and advertising: Instagram accounts for 70 per cent of our turnover, with boosted posts on Facebook also leading to purchases.”
“It’s not often you get to speak to experts for free, but that’s exactly what Superfast Business Wales does. We’ve learnt a lot but more importantly it’s increased our sales.”
Interestingly, results from the Digital Maturity Survey for Wales 2018 corroborates this. As one of the most active users of social media and with ¾ selling online, small Welsh retailers like V3 Apparel are successfully using digital to turn customer engagement into sales and referrals, the report says.
The next challenge for the business was dealing with shopping cart abandonment – the global average for this being 75 per cent. Advice from Superfast Business Wales once again provided the solution, enabling the brothers to pick up the buying process with customers who abandoned their order part way through check out.
Michael added: “Setting up structured email marketing and re-marketing based on people not completing their order has led to $1,400 of sales. It’s not often you get to speak to experts for free, but that’s exactly what Superfast Business Wales does. We’ve learnt a lot but more importantly it’s increased our sales.”
And their Superfast Business Wales adviser Shawn also worked with Michael and Nicholas on integrating offline activity with their online efforts to supercharge results.
“We want to complement our website sales with an offline presence, starting with selling our products in local gyms,” explained Michael. “Shawn suggested we exhibit at the Body Power Expo to see how people respond to being able to see the items in front of them and the feedback was very good and has given us the confidence to press ahead.”