We always like to hear of businesses that are doing well and especially businesses who started their online presence on marketplaces and migrated to a successful standalone ecommerce website. Storm Trading a Bradford based packaging company, have done just that – they have grown from a small beginning to become one of the leading suppliers in the UK.
Storm Trading’s growth has been immensely helped by the recent internet boom and the company has an ever growing inventory listed on their own website and marketplaces such as eBay & Amazon. Today, Storm Trading’s marketing manager, Chris Roche, has detailed how the company was started and the key stages that helped with its growth. As well this, he has also included some of his top tips for succeeding in making the progression from eBay and Amazon to running your own online store.
The Storm Trading business started out in the packaging world as a completely offline entity back in 2005 dealing with companies who needed protective packaging in our local area. It was at this time we had found that local companies around Bradford were struggling to purchase good quality packaging at competitive prices and this enabled us to establish a solid customer base, as we were able to meet their needs.
After building up a local customer base, we decided to give things a try in the online world and around 4 years ago listed our first items on eBay, these were initially mainly just bubble wrap, cardboard boxes and packaging tape, with a few other items included as well. We saw that there was a huge potential online for our products and, within a year, decided to get our own website set up to expand on our product offerings and reach a whole new set of customers. As well as creating the main Storm Trading website, we also ventured into the Amazon market place to reach a new customer base which we would not usually be able to reach just selling locally.
Within just a couple of years of having the website set up, we found ourselves with thousands of packaging and stationery products listed online and are constantly increasing this number as we try to provide our customers with even more reason to come back to our store. Through focusing on the benefits of using multi-channel sales avenues, we have managed to build up a trusted brand in what is an extremely competitive market.
Storm Trading’s Top Tips for Success
Use as many different sales platforms as possible
Make use of as many different sales platforms as possible, especially when you are just starting out, as this will enable you to reach a much wider audience. It is through doing this that we have been able to expand our business further online.
Start your own website as early as you can
Not only will this mean that you can eliminate some of the fees associated with other platforms but it will also enable you to build up a loyal customer base. This doesn’t need to be an expensive option, there are many ecommerce platforms available which can cost as little as £20 per month to set up and run.
Monitor your market
We constantly check our prices online to make sure that we are offering our customers the best deal’s possible. This not only entices new customers to purchase in the first place but also encourages them to come back again in future.
Evolve your product range offering
We are always looking to add new products and build our inventory, we already offer a large selection of packaging and stationery products and this helps us to grow, as well as giving customers more incentive to return.
Make customer service a priority
Every customer, no matter how big or small, should be given the same level of service. In the online world, bad reviews can spread like wildfire and even a few negative feedback scores on eBay can have an impact. If you provide your customers with top quality service and deal with any issues efficiently then chances are they will come back and may even tell others about you as well.
Storm Trading Offer
Storm Trading are offering a 5% discount for Tamebay readers who spend more than £20 + VAT on their website, just enter the offer code TAMEBAY5 when you check out.