by Tom Shackleton
Our client PoundToy, already a well-established marketplace seller, is now using Shopify to grow sales through their own store too, with some amazing results!
PoundToy has previously dedicated most of their attention to selling cheap toys through marketplaces like Amazon and eBay, but are seeing the next stage of their growth in their own Shopify store.
Now fast becoming one of the UK’s fastest-growing and popular discount toy stores, we caught up with PoundToy’s Marketing Director Rob Owlett to uncover the secrets behind their success.
What is PoundToy and what's the story so far?
“Founded in 2016, PoundToy is a new online toy store and is rapidly growing into one of the UK’s most popular stores to buy cheap toys and games for children.
We have an amazing selection of branded toys, ranging from action figures and building blocks to party supplies and educational toys. PoundToy sells mainly branded products and some of our most popular brands include Lego, Disney, Star Wars, Barbie, Monster High and many more.
We’re selling direct to the customer at the cheapest possible price through our Shopify store, Amazon and eBay.”
What's been the biggest challenge?
“Our biggest challenge so far has certainly been fulfilment. When we launched the website, we were expecting sales to start slowly, and begin to come in as awareness grew. How wrong we were!
In our first month of marketing the website, we generated 1,626 sales. What we didn’t account for was the high number of items per order. In the same month, customers ordered a total of 17,796 toys, which was on average 11 toys per order.
This meant that the time to fulfil each order was 4-5 times longer than we had anticipated, a great but costly problem to have. Ensuring customer satisfaction is our our primary KPI, so missing dispatch dates was not an option. We’re still introducing new technology and processes into our fulfilment strategy as we continue to grow and it is still our biggest challenge.”
After launch, PoundToy were faced with the kind of challenge every eCommerce store owner dreams of: higher than expected order volumes.
By being able to adapt quickly to high demand by implementing new processes, PoundToy were able to meet customer expectations, and ship out orders quickly.
It just goes to show how important it is for any eCommerce business to have strong processes in place, and to plan ahead so that these processes can adapt as the business grows.
What's been the most exciting part of PoundToy's growth for you specifically?
“The most exciting part of our growth has been the speed in which we have done so!
The decision to launch with Shopify has taken away a lot of the growing pains, and really allowed us to focus our efforts on the important parts of launching a start-up. Getting the key components such as product pricing, delivery, customer experience and marketing all working smoothly together is vital to generate sales and acquire new customers and Shopify and the apps available have made a lot of this a piece of cake.”
What are your ambitions and plans for the future?
“We have 3 new exciting projects in planning currently with Statement, which includes re-launching our current retail site www.poundtoy.com along with a wholesale project and ‘going international’.
We already have a strong wholesale and international presence on eBay and Amazon, so introducing new Shopify stores to strengthen our offering in these areas are already in progress for 2018.”
By complementing their existing Amazon and eBay sales with their own Shopify store, PoundToy are working to secure the position of their store in the future of the toy market.
Expanding internationally is the logical next step for PoundToy, taking a model that’s already working amazingly well in the UK and rolling it out across the world.
How are you using marketing to grow?
“We’ve adopted an omni-channel approach to ensure PoundToy is attracting attention from the places our customers spend time online, and most importantly browse and buy products from.
We spread our resources across a number of key digital marketing channels and a combination of savvy PPC, paid social, email, affiliate, SEO and social media have been our core revenue drivers to date. Targeting parents with our very competitive pricing and convenient delivery USP has been the key, especially on social and email.”
For any modern eCommerce store like PoundToy, a multi-channel approach to marketing is a must.
The PoundToy team are careful to spread their attention across every touch point, using their low pricing and delivery speed as a consistent message across all channels.
Any top tips for future scale-ups?
“The key for any ecommerce start-up is keeping the costs down until you have proven your model and products/services.
Shopify would be my first suggestion, their low cost service which includes very impressive hosting and full HTTPS allows startups with little or no design and development resources to put their products to market quickly and cost effectively.
Once you have a foot in, test multiple marketing channels to see which convert best for your products.
Finally, build trust in your brand! Acquiring customers is much easier if your website looks trustworthy. Customer reviews and solid social following go a long way when a potential new customer is deciding whether to purchase or not, and always answer any questions a customer may have during their buying journey such as customer reviews, delivery times and payment options - all important eCommerce components we’ve found along the way.”
Finally - how did you hear about Statement?
“Statement were everywhere when we started looking for help with our Shopify projects. Shopify’s recommended list, the top of Google searches, recommended by peers on LinkedIn, so we had to give them a call at least.
Their previous expertise in eCommerce was very interesting to us, combined with their impressive pricing structure and turnaround time made it a no brainer. We haven’t looked back since!”
A Family Run Toy Store
PoundToy started out as a family run business, and now sell toys to a fast growing customer base across the UK, and soon across the world.
An attention to every touch point and sales channel has helped PoundToy to establish both their marketplaces and Shopify businesses in what’s an incredibly crowded market.
Through their well planned marketing strategy and upcoming international expansion, PoundToy are sure to keep growing their low cost toy offering across eBay, Amazon and Shopify.
Interested in finding out how Statement can help your marketplace business grow with a Shopify or Shopify Plus store? Feel free to get in touch with our team, and we’d be happy to help.