March 31, 2020
Digital Business Case Study: Bungendore Wood Works Gallery

Digital Business Case Study: Bungendore Wood Works Gallery

[Music plays] (Phil MacLaren) When I try to
describe it to people I often say, we represent the
best of Australian-made in wood and that’s what we’re always
trying to do We’re trying to be the best
specialist wood gallery in the world We have amazing furniture,
beautifully hand-crafted giftware and local artists, fine artists The Bungendore wood works gallery was opened
up 30 years ago by my father, across the road. He opened it up as a place to sit
and sell his woodwork. Bungendore Woodworks Gallery has
a very unique set of products. Everything is different,
everything is handmade, made of different timbers, a variety
of timbers by over 250 makers. So setting up an e-commerce website
posed a lot of challenges like supply descriptions.
It wasn’t like anything was the same. It took a lot of maintenance
and we had to be very careful about what we were going to put online
and we had to ask ourselves the question if we would gain a return
on investment In late 2011, we decided to
do a proof of concept and set up a test e-commerce website
using an out-of-the-box server system just to see if our customers
would buy anything online So that’s been running now for six
months and sales have been steady Not dramatic, but we’ve now proven
to ourselves that people are willing to buy these
unique products online Possibly the most powerful
marketing tool of our website and our digital online presence
is our e-newsletters It was quite surprising how well
they worked for us In late 2010, we decided to try and
save some money on our printing costs and move to an e-newsletter system
and not print and not mail out our quarterly newsletters. E-newsletters, they’ve been around
ever since the internet’s been around and it’s a pretty low-fi way
of connecting with customers The interesting thing with us is it’s
definitely our most powerful way People really respond to it.
We can create a newsletter in a couple of days;
we can send it out whenever we want. We can schedule it
to come out on Tuesdays at 11am and we can get a whole range
of statistics from it about how many people clicked through,
how many people unsubscribed how many people shared it on
Facebook or Twitter and it’s just mind boggling
to see the impact that this very simple low-fi technology
has in connecting with our customers As a small business we have to be a
bit wary of where we invest our time when it comes to an online presence and obviously there’s a lot of hype
about Facebook and Twitter and various other social media platforms. So we were waiting waiting, so
we were late to the party on that mainly because we weren’t sure
if it was going to work for us on a business point of view About 12 months ago we finally set
up our Facebook profile page I think it’s a nice way for
us to connect with people but we haven’t yet seen any
result in sales. That said, we’re pretty
excited about Pinterest Pinterest is a really nice, interesting new social media that’s gained
a lot of press recently and I think it’s very uniquely
suited to our business Pinterest essentially is all about sharing
images with your friends and your family and your social network that
are really beautiful and I think we have an abundance of
beautiful products and images The Café Wood Works is
a business next door that is even though it’s a separate business
from the Bungendore Wood Works Gallery it’s a very symbiotic
relationship that we have So we have a café
section on our website where we show their menu
and promote their events In terms of resources that we put
towards out digital online presence it probably averages out at
about two full time days a week I primarily do the majority of the
work updating the new sections putting new products online
Facebook posts and the like however other staff will pitch in
wherever and however necessary and by being willing to get
in there and just have a go and try our best and punch above our
weight, we’ve learnt a lot of things and I think we’re stronger for it So I guess we’ve made many mistakes
but I’d do them all again because we wouldn’t have such
a good online presence without making those mistakes [MUSIC PLAYS]

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