Local retailers Nick and Tracey stay ahead of the competition

Nick and Tracey Bishop, Owners of LatticeStyle Furniture

Nick and Tracey opened their furniture store in Brisbane over 15 years ago as a family operation. Business has been going well, but they recently watched some of their friends and neighbours shutdown shop because of rising rents and cutthroat competition from cheaper overseas competitors.

‘Because our products are unique and handmade, we’ve maintained a loyal customer base, but the pressure is still there,’ says Nick. The couple knew that in order to survive, they needed to take their store online.

Nick and Tracey didn’t know the first thing about eCommerce, but they knew what it took to run a successful business. ‘The thing I was most worried about was marketing,’ explains Tracey, ‘how to get our products out there in front of the right customers.’ She’d read a little bit about search engines and online advertising but it all seemed quite complicated.

Together, they did their research and tried a few different shopping cart platforms. In the end, Nick and Tracey decided to open an online store with Ashop.

‘I really liked that Ashop actively marketed our products for us,’ says Tracey. ‘I know of other small businesses that have spent thousands of dollars on Google Adwords or paying an agency to improve their search engine rankings (SEO).’

‘The software was easy enough to figure out and seemed to have a lot more features than some of the other(s) [shopping cart software],’ adds Nick. ‘I liked that it was already integrated with our bank’s payment gateway, so we didn’t have to set up another finance system.’

By the end of the first week, Tracey and Nick had taken their first large online order. ‘She was all the way from Perth and was looking for something special for her first home purchase,’ says Tracey. 'It was great to expand our audience reach so quickly.’
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