Before you balk at the increase shift from offline, to online, you might want to read Simon Street’s story.
Street is the owner of Online Auto Parts, an Internet retailer or automotive parts and accessories. The online business is just one of many businesses that operate online in Queensland and Australia, but for Street, business has been good—very good. In fact, he expects his books to come back to him showing an increase in sales of 100 per cent in February. Seeing as how he enjoyed a 50 per cent growth in January, it’s definitely not hard to be convinced of his optimism.
Not only is Street’s Online Auto Parts doing well, it’s one of the entire State’s top performers. Jenny Thomas, corporate communications manager for eBay even said that Online Auto Parts was one of the largest and best-performing businesses in Queensland to use its ecommerce platform.
So what exactly is the secret behind Simon Street’s incredible performance? Is he making use of savvy SEO techniques, or taking advantage of social media?
According to the businessman, there is no particular secret to this “phenomenon.” He said that he’s just taking advantage of a trend which has more people shopping online for convenience and efficiency. He understands that shoppers no longer have as much time to visit a store and browse through displays—almost everything is being done online, from the canvassing, price comparisons, to the act of placing the item in a shopping cart (this time a virtual one).
It also helps that Street has extensive experience shopping and selling items online on eBay, where he would dispose of extra stock to Internet shoppers. After doing this for 9 years, Street finally came to the realization that he could do more than sell old stock on eBay. Plans begun to formulate in his head, but one problem still remained: capital.
Perhaps the most amazing thing about Street’s success is that he practically started Online Auto Parts on his own, with his own resources. The idea of using the Internet as his main platform of business was something investors had difficulty getting behind, so Street decided to take his chances. Fortunately, setting up an online operation cost very little at the time, and thanks to his connections with the right suppliers, he finally got the ball rolling.
Just like with any venture, Enform and Street advises aspiring online entrepreneurs not to ignore the value of a good business plan and neglect to provide good customer service, or a real voice that customers can get in touch with. Customer service is the name of the game and Enform is just a call away to help you out with this.
Reported in the Queensland Courier Mail Feb 2011