Marketing Case Study
Simon Barnett has owned and operated the foam shop and supply business, Foam Sales, in the Perth suburb of Booragoon for over 30 years.
During 2015-16 Ryan Briggs, now Embrya founder and coordinator, provided transformational change services to Foam Sales over a period of 18 months.
The following case study distinguishes the successful process and outcomes administered
In March 2015 a mandate to upgrade Foam Sales’ technology and systems was defined which sought to; introduce cloud computing, improve internal systems, refine and significantly upgrade web presence & e-commerce as well as increase online market share/conversion.
Over 12 months, the initial phase was delivered in-house, project by project, via direct consultation with the business owner/director.
At the time, Foam Sales was running four old PC’s running Windows XP, MYOB 97 and Outlook desktop for email. This was not only a security risk, but slow and cumbersome, and lacking in many features.
By mid-year 2015 preparation was complete for a move ‘to the cloud’, adopting Google Apps for Work (now called GSuite), and Xero accounting. New Apple and other hardware were procured at the right time so as to benefit from discounted prices.
“From an IT standpoint, the Foam Sales business has become increasingly scalable through the reorganisation and migration of Intellectual Property (IP) online to cloud based platforms. Security risks with the previous desktop computing configuration have also been largely eliminated in the process, strengthened further with a move from PC/Microsoft to Mac hardware. In terms of business critical IT systems, the addition of another retail/wholesale outlet is now an easily applicable option.`` says Ryan
“Initially, Ryan came onboard to overhaul our IT and online setup, after being referred by a friend for whom he had done similar work. The mandate to Ryan was to upgrade our technology and update business systems to the best on offer, which he has done, plus much more!” Says Simon
Foam Sales’ online presence was falling behind and doing less for the business.
Updating the website over numerous stages, Ryan walked Simon and the team through options and comparisons, he made suggestions and gave expert advice, breaking down technical jargon and guiding decision making.
Migrating the website to Shopify in 2015 meant there was the capability to have an integrated Point of Sales system (POS). And by having an integrated POS in their retail business created a more organised approach to keeping track of their sales and stock items.
Hiring a product photographer to gain a professional edge, and the results speak for themselves. The overall result: crisp, clean, enticing product imagery, giving the Foam Sales website an aura of professionalism.
Users to the site now benefit from; improved usability, searchability, visual representation of products, product information, relative product suggestion, data/info downloads, checkout experience - all of which are ultimately contributing to the likelihood of conversion.
“Being found, at the right time and place with appropriate marketing/content is the crucial to selling products and services. Online, this means getting potential customers to product pages within your website, to consider a purchase. Converting leads/visits to sales is never a guarantee but with an optimised B2C/B2B message, the probability significantly increases.” Says Ryan
``Adopting the new technology has reduced internal errors, eliminated system-to-system bottlenecks and increased efficiencies across many departments, including: order processing, accounting, stock control, day-to-day business IQ.” says Simon
Foam Sales had an extensive catalogue of wholesale and retail products and services which was complex and unwieldy.
Together, Simon and Ryan refined the list down and implemented an inventory management system (IMS) - which was deemed a necessity given the store’s warehouse was at a separate location. Adding an IMS meant all the cloud based systems could be connected, enabling management of stock levels as quotes and sales orders are produced - as well as maintaining accurate figures whilst selling instore or online.
It’s a fact that good inventory management leads to what you are constantly striving for – repeat customers. By having the right products on-hand allows Foam Sales to witness and receive happy, loyal customers.
Building on the solid new web presence, Ryan then introduced new social media channels and sought to drive gains via SEO and SEM, managing organic and paid listings daily.
The implementation of online marketing systems has allowed a better, faster and friendlier website for Foam Sales users. When your users are happy, search engines are happy as well.
The business now receives leads and sells products direct via additional online channels which had not previously been considered, including EBay and Gumtree. Co-ordinating our old customer records, he set us up for email marketing and ran seasonal campaigns.
Since the new website went live in November 2015, organic search results have become the referrer of the highest volume (over 40%) thanks largely to refined content and targeted landing pages. This is followed by Paid search results (20%) and (Email Marketing) Campaigns (20%). Google adwords and merchant product listings, social media broadcasting, advertising (Facebook) and engagement, improved directory listings (Gumtree & EBay) are all contributing with inbound clicks, with constantly varying ratios.
“The current mix of online channels which promote Foam Sales to the public is now more diverse than ever before, more importantly, the quality of the message and resulting leads are stronger and more relevant also.” says Ryan
“Ryan’s work in online marketing has been an asset as we achieved amazing results and navigated a challenging marketplace in early 2016.” says Simon
The brand’s identity also became more cohesive than ever as Ryan brought a style together through numerous graphic design projects for; signage, price lists, product cards, fact sheets and business stationery. By developing a corporate style guide of selections, the team can now maintain the corporate aesthetic.
At the end of the day, the Foam Sales brand is been the overarching beneficiary of all the activity the transformation of the brand in both the service and product arena has created an awareness and perception; influencing the desirability of their offerings and resulting in positive conversion rates.
“My forecast for the next two quarters is that the business can expect growth of 20-30% in online sales, especially if digital marketing activity is continued, further refined and coordinated.” says Ryan
Mid 2016, Ryan and the team turned their attention to the in-store experience, as the interior layout and display of the premises was due for a renovation. Applying his knowledge of design as well as our customers and product range, he commenced evolving our shop into more of a showroom. Suffice to say, the products have never looked better in the space.
“Throughout the change process Ryan has demonstrated; on time and on budget delivery of projects, competencies in training, managing and hiring staff, an efficient yet detail focused workmanship, an aptitude for leadership in business discussions and a driven attitude to succeed. Ryan is liked by all our staff members.” says Simon