The Fab 40 worked hard to get their sites to where they are today. Here, Nett takes a look at their achievements and the advice that they have to offer those businesses that are just starting out online.
Take some time to see how their brands are represented online, and take note of how these businesses use online as an auxiliary engine to drive leads and sales.
Appetite for Excellence launched in 2005 to award and encourage hospitality education through support, opportunity and competition.
“We wanted to create a platform of engagement for the general public to be able to see and hear young talent online.”
An artery has been sending great designs and homewares across Australia since 2008. Note how the homepage lets you know exactly what their value proposition is as soon as you land on it, as well as the prominent newsletter subscription button.
“It takes months, years even, to build up a business profile and a loyal customer base… Use the slower trading periods to arm yourself; catch up on writing media releases and good blog content; send out newsletters, access whatever avenues you can use to engage with your customers and employ them.”
Battlefield Sports found a niche in unique gaming technology, and have used it to help revolutionise their industry, drawing in business from across Australia and around the globe. Their online success has a lot to do with the use of separate sites for different segments, and the effective use of social media.
“Keep your web content fresh and up to date. There is nothing worse than reading ‘the latest news that’s actually days or, worse, several months late.”
From the word go, Big Brown Box has been the go-to e-commerce site for home appliances and electronics.
“We are working with Acer Computers and have built an online customisation service, a first and exclusive to BBB. However, moving into social media is a big step. The opportunity for customers to connect with our brand is very exciting.”
Jac Bowie has created an online burlesque/vaudeville empire with the Bijou Group, translating her passion into online presences that assist her as a promoter and talent agency, and draw in the crowds, both digital and physical.
“Do your research and create a solid business plan. Never underestimate the importance of SWOT.”
With an eye for opportunity and a passion for fine biscuits, Gordon Slater has taken Byron Bay Cookie Company to dizzying new heights online, by shaping a series of complementary brands to fit under the company’s umbrella. Note how effectively the online branding ties together across Luken & May, Byron Bay et al.
““Your best friend is your bank account.” Sounds a little like Gordon Gecko from Wall Street, but that advice was actually what my Grandma Bailey told me. She was a student of The Great Depression but her advice has served me well in the Global Financial Crisis.”
Carcube started with a single innovative eco-friendly car-cleaning product, and have built their brand and online presence from there into national distribution.
““Whatever you can do, or dream you can do, begin it. Boldness has genius, power, and magic in it. Begin it now.” – Goethe”
Crust have shaken up the world of online pizza delivery in Australia, expanding the quality established in their flagship Annandale store across the nation using a strong, attractive and effective online shopping mechanism.
Find out how easily you can take your briks-and-mortar business into online e-commerce. Take a free walkthrough of Netregistry’s StoreXpress.
The success of Champagne Gallery isn’t solely because of its excellent prices and service. It’s to do with the way the site uses content and forums to inform and enlighten visitors about champagne. It’s engaging and welcoming.
To find out how to get your site to perform as well as Champagne Gallery’s, get a free site review from Netregistry, worth $75.
This company took a favourite product of tourists and locals alike, and made it ultra-accessible using the internet and smartphone technology. Note how seamlessly the online presence ties the business’s story in with its product using engaging content.
“Having an informative website allows customers to find answers about the business themselves.”
In the competitive world of online gift retail, Edible Blooms is a shining light of originality and personality. Their gift offerings are presented in an easily navigable format, categorized according to location, price, and occasion: simple and effective.
“Lead by example – never expect your team to do something that you wouldn’t do yourself.”
Noting trends in the US and the UK, Trudy Gilbert created a resplendent introduction agency for professional singles in Australia. The business stands as a testament to the importance of stressing the finer details in online customer service.
“Our greatest achievement? Becoming the leader in our field and the go-to place for executives and business owners to find a partner. We constantly receive referrals that represent around 45% of our leads.”
Envato is a thing to behold. Noting a lack of ways to sell digital goods online, the company’s founders decided to create an online community and marketplace that would empower digital creatives: a set of sites to help them learn and earn.
“When you add social elements to virtually any business, it has the potential to turn that business on its head. While much more mature now, the social web still has many more places to grow and I think it’s a very exciting thing to watch unfold.”
Eleni Mitakos, empowering and educating ladies in the details of car maintenance since March 2009. Like a number of Fab 40 businesses, the victory of Galmatic.com is how the quality of its content reinforces its brand, from compelling copy and quirky design, to engaging use of video.
““Know your brand and customer really well. Know why your customers purchase from you.”
Go Get joined the dots between the internet and Sydney’s need for a cheaper personal transport solution, creating a car share service that operates almost entirely via online membership.
“Make sure your capital model is as well thought out as your business model before you start”
The Groove Academy
Scott Pullen knew he had a strong value proposition as a booking agency for professional DJs and live party music, he just couldn’t understand why the traffic wasn’t coming. After a Kick Start with Nett, Groove Academy is pulling business from across Australia and even internationally.
What was the trick? Search. Pullen discovered how important SEO is and invested some time and money into making his business work harder in search engines. To find out how you could improve your SEO, take a free search ranking report from Netregistry.
Himage has created an impressive and extensive online catalogue of male grooming products, giving gents an efficient and unembarrassing method of purchasing moisturers and claymasks online.
The thing that really got Himage’s e-commerce store performing was the correct use of search engine marketing and online advertising. Find out how Netregistry’s AdManager can do the same for your business.
Like Big Brown Box, Hire One’s tactic was to create a site that was a one-stop-shop for customers after a particular kind of product. In this instance, it was hire equipment, from party gear and electric tools through to trucks and trailers.
“Diversify your marketing to include online. A good, well promoted website works a hell of a lot better than yellow pages and costs less half!”
Iggy and Lou Lou
There are many jewellery boutiques online, which is why it’s important that e-commerce ventures of this type have a strong brand to strike a point of difference. This is what impressed Nett about Iggy and Lou Lou: breath-taking web design that strongly reinforces the character of the brand and its products.
“Do that little bit extra to ensure your customers know that there’s real people on the other side’
It’s impressive for a clothing store that started with more business smarts than fashion sense (though plenty of that, too) to end up being the exclusive supplier for a brand as prestigious as Topshop. Their secret is audience engagement.
“The greatest lesson we’ve learnt in business is the importance of building a community with common interests.”
To find out more about how to engage customers online, read Netregistry’s free e-book: The Beginner’s Guide to Customer Engagement.
Le Black Book
It takes a strong sense of taste and a keen eye for branding to make a boutique fashion retail operation work online. Kath Purkis’ Le Black Book has achieved enormous success because of her attention to the feedback of her customers, along with her impeccable taste and functional, attractive site design.
You can create an online store that works just as hard for your business as Le Black Book does for Kath. Find out how with a free demo of Netregistry’s DIY SiteBuilder.
Max Walker’s transformation from sporting hero and media personality to speaker and author has been encouraged by his inviting online presence. Note the warmth and conciseness of his copy, and the extensive array of social media buttons for visitors to share it with their networks.
“You need to be constantly changing what you present into cyberspace. You can’t sit still because it will become stale and forgettable, so how many different ways can you describe what you do?”
Miss Money Penny
Recycled designer fashion has enormous appeal as an idea; Miss Money Penny has taken the concept online to enormous success, due in no small part to its emphasis on customer service and community.
“[Online] provides sensational reach at all hours of the day. Your market is increased and you can measure who is visiting, where they are coming from and how loyal they are – easily”
Mums on the Go
Calli Brown and Linda Anderson have worked hard to create an online community and resource to give new mothers a way of regaining a sense of self and ideas on how to incorporate their children into their own lives and needs.
“[An online business] requires constant and consistent attention to keep content fresh, up to date and relevant … and it will consume more time than you imagined actually ensuring this happens.”
My 247 has evolved into a comprehensive events listing service, keeping people from around Australia up-to-date on what’s going on near them, both online and now via mobile.
“Don’t change the course because of the next big thing. Just because people you think are smarter than you don’t get your ideas, doesn’t make yours a bad one.”
Night Light Studio
A small designer furniture producer with a superbly unique brand, Night Light Studio has capitalised on the possibilities of online with a simple, elegantly designed website that’s easily navigable, and gives a strong idea of the business’s brand and products.
An early revelation for Night Light Studio was the power of email marketing. To learn more about how to get email marketing right, read Netregistry’s free e-book: The Beginner’s Guide to Email Marketing.
The impressive Original & Mineral site acts as an online ambassador for the company’s designer range of ammonia-free hair care products.
“We realized that a website would make us visible to the world and we have ambitions for O&M to become a global company.”
Jeni Oye’s e-commerce store for her jewellery business is an unpretentious and effectively designed catalogue of her work. Note the currency selection tool at the top of the page, and the impressively punchy copy in the logo.
“I like [the internet] because our online business can reflect who we really are.”
The success of Pedestrian, besides their faultless good taste, is the diversity of content featured on their site, coupled with a sterling effort in social media and email marketing.
“Building a website is easy but building a brand online takes time.”
Pioneering a new marketing technology is no mean feat, but QM Codes has its bases covered with its online presence. It uses a simple site design and some impressive Flash to illustrate the appearance and functionality of the product.
“Face-to-face meetings always beat emails and Skype calls for overall impact.”
Qwoff has evolved from a simple wine retail store into a 19,000+ strong e-commerce community of wine lovers. The secret to Qwoff’s impressive community is content, and lots of it: Qwoff.tv, forums and blogs work to capture visitor’s attentions and keep them engaged and thinking about products.
“Social Media allows you to build and nurture genuine relationships with your customer base.”
Like Qwoff, Red Bubble capitalises on the possibilities that the internet presents for the fostering of communities. The focus of this site is its community members’ shared interest in art prints, photography and clothing designs. Red Bubble facilitates the exhibition of ideas and artworks, and provides the artists with a way of selling their designs.
“Have a very clear customer value proposition that you can articulate.”
Rising Sun Pictures
Based in Adelaide, and specialising in visual effects, Rising Sun has worked on many high profile projects, and is based almost entirely online.
“[We’ve delivered] more than 35 major motion pictures over the past 10 years, and with only a handful of clients ever having set foot in the building.”
Spank was quick to take their passion for vinyl and DJ products online. Their successful e-commerce store survived because of its willingness to evolve with industry trends like DJ software and digital music. Its website has played a huge part in the business’s longevity.
“Around early 2004 we anticipated the trend away from vinyl records to digital when many other record stores refused to see it. We managed to successfully transition our store from just records to one that now sells a wide range of equipment & software. Almost all of the other record stores that were around when we opened have now closed.”
Sporting Edge Australia
Sporting Edge Tested the online waters in February 2008. The company was featured in a Kick Start in October of that year, and learnt the importance of search.
“Just because you have a website, don’t think that everyone will know it exists.”
If you want to let people know your website exists, you need to get it onto all the right search engines, quickly. Search engine submission is a process that can take weeks; make it happen in days with Netregistry’s GoLive.
Strike Force Sales
An aggressive player in the world of B2B telemarketing, online lead management, and sales consulting, Strike Force Sales’s site acts as an efficient and compelling lead generator for its own business.
“The website is treated as an employee. It has revenue targets and gets a salary. It is reviewed regularly and has KPIs to meet.”
A veteran of innovation in online business, Tendersearch’s Joomla-based website is a triumph of compelling copy and reassuring, easy to navigate design. Note that on every page, there’s a method of contacting the business.
Joomla is a powerful CMS. Find out how Netregistry can help you create a dynamic website with it.
Top 3 By Design
The internet is saturated by choice, which is why Top 3 is such a brilliant e-commerce proposition. Only 3 best designed products in any given category. The site reflects the business proposition: it’s easy to navigate and purchase from, and is very elegantly designed.
“[Online Business] is constantly changing. There is no completion of an online store. ”
Just as video was becoming the desirable thing to have online, Viocorp created a suite of products that gave businesses the ability to create their own video channels, instead of reverting to YouTube.
“The objective of our website is ultimately brochure-ware which gets updated weekly with news, case studies, testimonials leading to lead generation.”