RETAILER PROFILE: POWERBUTTON Shopfloor So the new website name Powerbutton
came about. But it wasn’t just a two minute job to come up with a new online brand, it took quite a few weeks of researching and brainstorming ideas. Powerbutton is a completely new entity
from what we had before; with Freemans Online we didn’t even sell online, it was more a catalogue-based site. The products were on there just as information for users in our immediate catchment area, we weren’t coding them nationally like we do now. We also didn’t use Google Ads or Search
Words to help support the website or anything like that – it was just a static site really. Now, though, anybody within our catchment area will see the Powerbutton name but they’ll see our Freemans store address if they want to physically pay us a visit. We put a lot of time and investment into
the new brand and Powerbutton became a driver to help our in-store growth; footfall was falling so we had to look at alternative means. So, as well as full manufacturer warranty
and free 30-day returns, we also offer free next day delivery, which we do across the board, regardless of the product value, simply to be competitive. It’s another string to our bow and it’s brilliant.
Q: Do you or did you have any issues offering this facility? JB: There are always a few stumbling blocks, especially around Black Friday and Christmas time, for example, where the couriers couldn’t meet the demand. If customers are chasing their products that is the sort of thing you’ve got to be hot on! But as long as you manage the situation
and communicate with the customer, rather than them having to chase you, then that’s good customer service.
Q: How do you compete with other retailers locally and nationally? JB: We are governed by the brands that we sell in respect of price reductions but these are also dependent on what they want to do with the market forces at any given time. Yet we still have to be competitive. Our biggest competition is Amazon and it will continue to be. So if a customer sees a product with an
attractive price on our website, they can either come into store or purchase online just as easy there and then, just as they would with Amazon. We have to be as easy as any of the big online players. Today, mostly, it’s down to pricing – it’s unreal!
Q: And now you sell on eBay, too. How did that come about? JB: Well, to be honest, in the early days of Powerbutton site growth was a little slow so I wanted to explore other platforms with a selection of our products. Then it suddenly took off big time – especially since we became an eBay Premium Member! Our daily transaction rate is ridiculously high, often outstripping our main website! But while eBay and Amazon are great for
volume selling, offering our customers the ultimate online experience is so much better via our website of course. Where Powerbutton will still shine is through offering that premium level service with premium products. It’s the only way forward.
Q: Is it easy to set up as a business on eBay? JB: It is getting easier and believe it or not, 80 per cent of what eBay sells now is brand new. They are actually trying to position themselves against Amazon more and more every day, especially the way their algorithms work and the standards they expect from retailers. So they’re levelling up. Some companies still won’t touch it
because of the type of platform it is, but for us it’s brilliant and it’s worked out really well and I think you’ll see more and more businesses trading on there in the future.
Q: What are your plans to develop the Powerbutton website? JB: At the moment, especially with what’s going on in the wider world, everything is non-stop but I think ultimately we’ll be looking at new product lines and trying to grow our existing product offering. For example, TVs are moving all the time so we’ll be stocking those accordingly. We will just keep moving forward as
much as we can. We are looking at other avenues – even thinking of perhaps going into the world of laptops, because that is still a big in-demand type of item. Although, it would open a whole new can of worms in terms of service and everything else! We also need to focus more on our social
media channels. We already do Facebook advertising with posts to our national audience. Video content is the key really, on Instagram as well; it is something we plan to do more of when we get time! It’s a huge growth area with live videos and product demonstrations; the feedback we get from doing it already leads people to make a purchase, so we want to build on that for sure.
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