YUU co-founders Gill Hayward and Kellie Forbes talk to ShinyShiny.tv about how to sell products successfully online
Last Christmas, for over four weeks, our website and the Amazon site were consistently delivering a YUUbag sale every 12 minutes. With all hands to the pump it was a mixture of exhilaration and determination from the entire team.
So how did we do it? And what advice can we offer you? Here we give our top 8 tips to achieving online business success.
1. Put your customers at the heart of everything you do
It might sound trite but for us this has been the cornerstone of the business and our success to date. In the early stages of the business deeply engaging with kids and their parents during the design process of the YUU range resulted in real gems of insights and product suggestions, which we worked hard to incorporate.
2. Get your branding right – right for your product and your target audience
In early 2016 we undertook some soul searching and concluded that our brand positioning and look and feel needed a complete overhaul. In preparation for Christmas trading that year we spent several months going back to basics.
Engaging again with children and their parents in focus groups, surveys and telephone interviews with previous customers we began to unpick the core brand pillars and touch points. In late spring 2016 we re-launched our brand – logos, straplines colour palettes and more. A newly refreshed YUU was launched alongside a new web platform.
3. Study your sales data – don’t let it collect dust on your hard drive!
Running parallel to our brand development we scrutinised our extensive sales data over the previous years. Some clear patterns emerged and we started to see parallels with our customer feedback and surveys. With this data to hand it was easier to make decisions about the changes that were needed to increase our sales.
4. Take time out to work ‘on’ the business
The early months of 2016 we took regular time away from the day to day to dissect the business from the top down and the bottom up. By scheduling time to re-focus back on our customers, by engaging with them directly and through a data driven analysis of our e-commerce stats there emerged a number of simple steps to help make a step change in our sales.
5. Refine your targeting
By using our data more effectively and being smarter in targeting our messages to customer segments we increased our sales conversion significantly.
6. Offer ‘bundles’
Customers told us that they were happy to increase their basket size and spend more with us provided that there was a value offering. And our data backed this up. By simply creating a range of great value ‘bundle’ offers across our most popular ranges, we successfully converted over 40% of customers at Christmas to purchasing not just a YUUbag but instead a bumper Christmas bundle of 7 gifts in 1, featuring a range of matching accessories.
7. Add a LiveChat service to your site
This one simple addition on our site immediately generated a marked increase in conversion. Our customers told us that the ability to ‘talk’ through the product range and have questions answered instantly was really important. And the results were clear – around 60% of product based LiveChat interactions resulted in a sale!
8. Don’t rest on your laurels
Christmas 2017 is already on the horizon for us and we are projecting our biggest sales yet. This year will see us bring to market our most exciting product to date – a GPS enabled backpack, the YUUgo.
Our customers and fans, the heart of our business, are helping us bring this to market and we are Crowdfunding the launch – and rewarding our supporters with up to 40% pre-orders.
Although you may not be selling into the children’s market, the principles remain the same if you want a successful online business – all year round.
YUU was founded in 2010 by Gill Hayward and Kellie Forbes with the launch of the first range of kids’ activity backpacks. In 2012, YUU appeared on Dragon’s Den in 2012 and secured investment from Peter Jones and Deborah Meaden. The YUU range is aimed at children aged 7-12 years. See www.yuuworld.com for more information.