When one of his employees successfully started an eBay business, Jeff Willis got inspired to launch a home based business of his own. Pet supplies seemed like a good fit; it was a growing market and after all, he and his wife Jo had a furry family of two dogs and three cats.
So they launched Lucky Pet, an online store for pet products. But after a few serious technical issues, they realised they had been barking up the wrong tree with their ecommerce platform and needed a solution they could rely on.
From home hobby to ‘brick and click’ and beyond...
It seemed Jeff and Jo had struck upon a successful niche with their living room business. A year after launching, Jo resigned from her job to help with picking and packing. Two years later Jeff followed suit and the pair opened a ‘shoffice’ – a showroom with a small office out the back. Over the next two years they expanded the business further – moving into a larger shop, opening a puppy school and launching an importing and wholesaling side of the business.
Lucky Pet had grown to three channels – website, eBay and their warehouse. And then just in time for Christmas, they experienced a retailer’s worst nightmare: their website’s payment gateway collapsed. While working around the clock with outsourced help from India, Jeff realised it was time for a new ecommerce platform. “It wasn’t just reliability I was after. I had purchased a lot of plugins to build my store so I needed a solution that offered those capabilities. And now I also knew I wanted a local support centre,” says Jeff.
Putting Neto to the test
“I wanted to be sure that my next ecommerce solution was going to be ‘the one’,” explains Jeff, who spent three months testing Neto to ensure their custom template was going to work as expected. And it exceeded those expectations.
“Neto’s POS (point of sale) is great; if a customer buys something in the shop our stock is instantly updated across all our sales channels. Likewise, the Inventory Management System has been a huge timesaver for us because there is no need to do manual updates. We receive minimum quantity alerts from Neto and from there sending a purchase order to our suppliers is as simple as ticking a box.”
Jeff has also found Neto’s shipping plugin dramatically cuts time spent on mundane admin. “The labelling, picking and packing process on our old platform was laborious and confusing; staff would easily make mistakes, but Neto’s labelling system is so simple – that saves our team a lot of time.”
Better still, these days he has the peace of mind that if something was to go wrong, he won’t have to leave a message in a different time-zone. “The people at Neto listen to feedback and continually update the platform so that it delivers. The fact that they are local is the icing on the cake."
Attracting and retaining customers
Neto’s ecommerce solution has made delivering exceptional customer service easy. Jeff uses the platform’s cross-sell functionality to help buyers pick out the right products as well as increase the store’s basket value. “If someone adds a dog fountain to their cart, the system will recommend an extra filter and a new bowl. People find that really helpful,” he explains.
“Our customers also really appreciate that we offer ‘play now, pay later’ payments, such as Afterpay and zipPay. And with that payment flexibility 80 per cent of all basket sizes have increased.” Making it easy for customers to find the right products on your store is only half the challenge for business owners; it’s also critical the store is easily found on the internet. Neto’s platform has powerful SEO capability and its integration with Google Marketplace helps customers to find what they want to buy.
“Our website business has increased from 5-10 per cent of the business to 50 per cent,” explains Jeff. “But it’s more than just traffic, Neto makes it easy for us to spot business trends and insights and simplifies our marketing strategies.” Through his Management Dashboard, Jeff is able to see how the business is tracking year on year and month on month. And if the business happens to be in a quiet patch Neto gives him the power to change that by creating a flash or coupon sale at the touch of a button.
Neto is designed to make growth easy. And it’s proving to be so easy that customers like Jeff find it hard to stop at just one business. “We’re expanding Lucky Pet and we’ve also launched another online store recently too. Getting a new business going is now so fast, easy and affordable and you can upgrade later as your business grows. Why stop with one?”
Neto is an all-in-one ecommerce, point of sale, inventory and fulfillment solution. Sell across multiple channels, centralize your inventory, improve your efficiency and more! Start your free Neto trial today.
I spent 3 months testing Neto to ensure their custom template was going to work as expected. And it exceeded those expectations.