Case study – Quirky Purple
Quirky Purple is a small online business that sells vintage, handmade and remade items online. They started by selling a few items on eBay., but wanted to expand out and be a true online company. But, and this is the important bit, they wanted to do it in a way that didn’t cost a fortune and was quick and easy to look after, but was easy to expand if the business took off.
Being online, they needed to use the full web-scape to get out there, found easily., and network.
They were already selling on eBay, but without any real brand.
First things first – a spot of research was in order. This involved a brainstorm around that sort of look and feel would suit the business. This would help to define the brand look and feel. So, a branding was pulled together to include logos, colours, banners, and tone for the online side of things.
As Quirky Purple os purely online it was decided pretty quickly that they would need to made full use of as much social media as possible.
The domain name had already been purchased, but was inactive.
Wordress was used to set up the website. Basic WordPress is free. It’s also relatively cheap to map your domain name to Worpdress and use it as a full-blown website. The standard free templates are pretty good and there is usually something to suit most types of website. Of course it’s well-known as a blogging tool and this means your website and blog are all in one place. You can also purchase templates for something more specialised.
Apart from setting up the structure for the site and populating the pages with branded images and content using the agreed tone, it’s really useful to get a few blogs written and posted before you officially launch.
An email address was set up utilising the domain name, to give a more professional look. This was done using Gmail’s tool.
Facebook and Twitter would be key to networking with customers, potential customers and other similar businesses, so these were set up pretty quickly. The new branding was used across both of these. To boost up the likes on Facebook, some cheap and simple Facebook ad campaigns were utilised over peak customer interaction times. Small competitions were also run, with the giveaways being branded items. Twitter updates were also set up to distribute to Facebook. This means that one update in Twitter would also update on Facebook – a little timesaver!
The online selling portion was also reviewed. The number of items being listed on eBay had reached the stage where it was now worthwhile opening an eBay shop. This allowed for the Quirky Purple branding to be used in a nice clean and simple was on eBay too.
eBay is not always the best solution for a specialised online seller, selling unique vintage clothing or handmade items that take skill and time. It became apparent that Etsy would be a much better solution for the specialised selling, so a shop was set up here. The clean and simple Quirky Purple brand was added here.
Pinterest is becoming more and more of a useful tool. A Pinterest site was set up and a number of boards created based on the themes of the branding for Quirky Purple. Time was spent on populating these boards, not with Quirky Purple items, but with items from other websites and shop. It’s considered bad form to populate you Pinterest boards with your own stuff and people will turn off your boards pretty quickly if you do this. Sharing your new boards or updates to boards on your Twitter of Facebook is a good way to churn some traffic around.
Clearly as an online business, the majority of marketing needs to be online. For a small business Google Adwords don’t always drive the right traffic for the amount of spend. For this business, Facebook can be a big driver of traffic and getting more ‘likes’ opens up the potential markets. As mentioned previous, Facebook ads were the best solution to increase the potential market. SOme offline marketing was also done during vintage and craft fairs.
The final thing really is that it’s alright putting n place your website, email, Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and your selling capability, but as a business owner you need to put in the work.
Once all this was in place, there needs to be time devoted to networking and sharing. Not just sharing Quirky Purple goods, but other shops on Etsy selling similar or admired items. Networking on Twitter works well between similar business. Facebook works well with customers and trying to engage and interact with them works better than simply posting stuff every day.
Have a look
eBay – http:/stores.ebay.co.uk/quirkypurple
Etsy – http://www.etsy.com/shop/QuirkyPurple
Facebook – http://www.facebook.com/QuirkyPurple
Pinterest – http://pinterest.com/quirkypurple/
Twitter – http://twitter.com/Quirky_Purple