Online retail is showing no signs of slowing down, considering an estimated $2 billion dollars will be spent online this Christmas/Boxing Day/Summer sale period. We caught up with Suzanne, owner of children’s online boutique Bub & Boo and asked how she maintains a 10/10 customer experience.
Bub & Boo was born following the birth of my little Boo – my daughter Maia. My big Bub – my son Oliver – is 2.5 years older. Hence, Bub & Boo.
I have always loved shopping for beautiful things that were different & new for myself and this became even more important when I started shopping for my bubbas. I would spend countless hours searching for those elusive brands and items that I had not seen before. So much so that I sent my parents on a day trip whilst on holidays in Canada to buy some baby bottles that I could not find here in Australia! Thanks Mum and Dad ♥.
My husband and I always wanted to create an online business, but we always struggled to find a concept that hadn’t already been done (we are not overly creative people!). I had toyed with the idea of an online children’s boutique a few times over the years, but finally thought – this is it! This is our idea! Our point of difference is the diversity of brands that we will stock and the experience that we will deliver.
I have enjoyed spending time researching brands and the story behind them to bring a fun and quirky mix to you. I have searched high & low, attended trade fairs and devoured Instagram in an effort to find those brands that you generally do not see everyday so your children can stand out from those around them.
I would like to be known as providing a quality product with the best possible customer service. The products I source for Bub & Boo must be amazing quality and I will only purchase items that I would dress my own children in.
As an Accountant, figures are never far from the front of my mind – along with a conservative nature! With the costs associated with setting up a shop front, along with the uncertainty of success, my husband and I thought we would build our business from an online presence. If we ever wanted to expand to a bricks and mortar store, we can go down that road and do so, but that is not the end goal.
It can be difficult to compete in a market where there are new stores popping up every week. I also know that there are stores out there who do have a similar aesthetic to Bub & Boo and that is hard to control. What I can control, is offering a superior level of service that will continue to bring our customers back to shop with us again and again.
As an online shopper myself, I know that product pricing is an important consideration, however I also know that it is not the sole consideration. I will always return to a store where I have experienced an outstanding level of service. I love the personal touch and ensuring that all my sales are beautifully wrapped & accompanied with a hand written note.
In the last few weeks we have had 3 sales in a 2 week period from the same city in South Korea! It has been amazing having customers refer us to friends who have then purchased from us. Word of mouth advertising is the best form of advertising and it costs nothing!
1. Research – it is important to identify your target market and know how your competitors are. What are they offering? What will be your point of difference? Why would someone shop with you over them?
2. Don’t underestimate the amount of time you will need to invest in your business.
3. Make it your passion. It is easy to feel that you are not “going to work”, but remember, the business will not run itself.
I try to ensure I have a mix of products across the store and my goal is to try and not stock products that are sold in every second store. Having said that, it is sometimes a positive to have those brands that customers know to get them to the store to being with. Quality is always a must.
Social media is so important in this current environment – especially for online stores. It is the primary way of attracting and maintaining your customers. Social media posting can be tricky. You need to find the right mix of timing and volume of posts as well as content
I don’t personally prescribe to posting every day at a particular time of the day. I will post when I have something to share. Having said that, I know that I can post more than I currently do! It is something I am working on!
Just because you see your customer face to face in a bricks & mortar store, it does not automatically equate into a positive experience. I know I have had some dreadful shopping experiences within a bricks & mortar store!
To me, the personal touch is a big way that I feel I engage with my customers. I do not want them to feel that they are just a number. I want them to realise that I – and my family – appreciate every purchase they make with us – no matter how much they spend.
We are still a relatively new business. Bub and Boo has only been live for 2 years now. We are working on making every customer who visits us smile and return to purchase. I am so flattered to see return customers shop with us time and time again, as I know they just get it!
I am always on the lookout for something, that you won’t find in every store. I have some lovely items coming very soon that I am very excited about!
Life Instyle was the first trade event I attended and I continue to return every year. I am able to meet face to face with a number of my suppliers, look at the latest collection and place my order. Each time I attend I do my research before arriving to target those exhibitors I would like to work with. The materials provided to attendees prior to the event makes this such a simple process. Can I also say, the locations the events are held at in Melbourne & Sydney are just stunning!