Ask most entrepreneurs what their hopes for their business are and they’ll probably say growth, so The Swank Store founder, Aaron Kay has some words of advice; it’s really all about your customer. By keeping front and centre of mind at all time, whilst also encouraging advocacy in the marketplace, they’ll choose to buy from you, over anyone else in the market, time and time again.
What follows is the full interview on Co-founder and Creative Director of The Swank Store as he shares his final words with retailers looking to supercharge their business.
What is the one thing you’d say to someone complaining about how hard it is to run a business in today’s retail environment?
Business is hard. You really got to be in tune with what your customers want and what you’re selling. You also need to juggle so many different balls at the same time and its never going to be easy but there are more people buying stuff today than there was 10 years ago, so there’s always going to be room in the marketplace for new players that are selling stuff – whatever they might be. They have to buy it from somebody. Why won’t they buy it from you? There’s no difference between you or David Jones or Myer. You just need to have a point of difference and be proud of what you’re doing and be focused on delivering for your customer.
What would you want to say to a retailer who would want to double or triple their business size?
If you’re trying to grow your business, market communication is the key. So you need to be on Facebook, you need to be on Instagram, you need to be on Google Adwords, you need to be front and centre at all times.
They should know about your business. Everybody should know about your business. What we then do is use some intelligent audience acquisition strategies: lookalike audiences, high level retargeting. We use e-marketing very very aggressively. We use social media as a platform as a way to communicate our products as well as communication messages in the marketplace. Front and centre at all times to the audience that you’re trying to engage – that’s where it’s at.
What do you think has been the biggest contribution to your success? Why do you think that is?
Fashion is a very fast-moving business. Trends change quickly, and if you’re providing the same old thing month on month on month. It gets stale and your customers don’t want it
We learned very quickly to listen to what our customers needed. We put a survey out in the market and with that survey, we learned what it was that our customers needed. Did they need items delivered quicker? Did they need new styles? Essentially we learned that they wanted maxi dresses, they wanted playsuits, they wanted jumpsuits and a whole wider birth of products. We had the ability to provide that and use that to monetise and grow our business as well so hearing what our customers need so hearing what our customers need and being able to deliver on that – that’s really important to us.
If you could do it all again, what would you have done differently?
The aim of our business is to keep on growing so we’re always looking at new ways for us to be able to plug in new technologies to streamline our system or to hack growth – that’s really important for us.
Along the way there haven’t been systems at all times so we reached out to different groups and different developers and ask them, can you do this, this and this? Or how can this work help us get these new customers, that’s been essential for us because that’s allowed us to drop in new technologies to our site to be able to keep on growing at a steady pace.
Understanding retargeting technologies, we were able to drop in an application that helped us streamline our retargeting through Facebook and through Google. Along the way, we’re able to drop in exit intent strategies so when people want to leave our site we could provide special discounts and special codes. In order to make our logistics far more efficient we used Shippit that would allow us to streamline that whole process with two simple clicks. These sort of systems make our business more efficient, allow us to generate more of a margin and also create more of an audience we can reach
Are you happy with the business you built today? Why? What are you most proud of?
What are we most proud about of our business…I think it’s the customers. We love them. We want to give them what they want and we want them to love us as well. The thing we love most about our business is our customers. There’s never a dull moment. From answering emails, talking to them on our phone, they’ve always got something to talk about with you. Sometimes you sit in front of the computer all day and it feels like there are not real people in the world. Sometimes the customers walk into the studio, sometimes they call us up. We love that interpersonal relationship that we have with our 1000s upon 1000s of customers and it really is heartwarming. It feels really special for us to have those relationships. Without them, we’d be nowhere. We learned very early on how valuable they were and how they could be our advocates in the market place.
To see the rest of Aaron’ story, head to Shippit.com/Hustle.