Finding beautiful products for you and your family with keeping the magic of childhood wonder and imagination alive is online retailer and visitor to Life Instyle – Elk & Bee.
Elk & Bee adore contemporary design but are sticklers for authentic and traditional items. Always searching for nothing but the highest quality and design product we had a chat with Bianka, Co-Founder of Elk & Bee and found out a little more about the life of an online retailer.
1. How would you describe your businesses aesthetic?
We believe in bringing a spark of magic and adventure to your everyday. We do this through a clean, minimal Scandinavian style that incorporates animals and sweet childhood associations.
2. Why Online?
Online is where it’s at! I nearly do all my shopping online these days and I’m not the only one. Fortune magazine recently noted that for the first time ever shoppers are going to the web for most of their purchases. Online is easy. You can do it anywhere, anytime and it gets delivered to your door.
It was a no-brainer for us to follow this trend. And being mothers it gave us the flexibility to work at the strangest of hours. Often when I have to get up to feed my daughter at 2am, that’s when I respond to emails and browse the web looking for inspiration. It’s nice to be able to work to your own schedule.
3. How do you stay ahead of the pack and make your online store stand out from the rest?
To stand out you need to stand for something. Your core brand beliefs must filter through every aspect of your business. From the look and feel to the brand language, and the products you offer. It’s the consistency of knowing who and what you stand for that becomes memorable. Bringing this to life in a bold visual style and colour pallet can then become an iconic shortcut to your brand.
4. How do you deliver a 10 out of 10 experience to your customer?
Our customers are our priority. We want their experience to be as smooth and easy as possible. We do this by optimising our website to be easy to use and navigate and offering fast and affordable shipping. We offer gift suggestions for different genders, age groups and budgets, a 30-day return policy and are very quick to respond to any questions from our customers.
Anytime customers interact with us, we want them to feel inspired to ignite theirs (and their children’s) childlike imagination through new design elements for their home. We use our Instagram and blog articles to help do this.
5. For the digital novices out there, what are your top 3 must do’s when starting an online store?
No matter what channel you are selling through, success is heavily dependant on having a strong brand. Know what you stand for, your visual style and what story you are telling. Everything comes from there. If you understand all that, knowing what to post on Instagram, write an article about, or what and how to advertise becomes much easier.
Make sure you do your research up front. Check out lots of other e-commerce businesses to help determine what navigation style and content you like best, how you can differentiate and what to include in your own offering.
6. What do you look for when sourcing new products? Do products have to adhere to certain criteria?
Definitely. This is paramount to Elk & Bee.
What distinguishes our range is that it sparks the storyteller in everyone. It encourages people to think beyond the expected and keep their mind open. Animals, uniqueness, high quality, contemporary and designer are all recurring themes throughout our collections. When we are sourcing products they have to tick a lot of those boxes.
7. Let’s talk about social media. How important is social media in generating sales, exposure & awareness for your company?
Social media is just one piece of the ever-growing puzzle to success. It is great for exposure and awareness of your brand but you have to make sure it doesn’t absorb all your time and energy.
8. What is the best way to connect and engage with your customer?
I wish there was just one way, but really it’s a combination of various channels such as email, content, social media, and of course a great onsite experience. They are more powerful together and each offers their own benefits.
9. What’s next for your business?
To keep growing and doing new things. We are hoping to become Australians go-to destination for beautiful, hard to find designer homewares for kids and babies.
10. Finally, why do you attend Life Instyle?
A chance to get inspired by other brands out there and source some unique items to stock as part of Elk & Bee.
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