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With new smartphones being released every year and fast-fashion cheap enough that it doesn’t wholly matter if you wear it only once, today’s shoppers have gotten pretty used to replacement rather than restoration. But the ecommerce repair industry is booming, especially when the item to be fixed is small, affordable and necessary.
After all, few consumers want to walk into a brick-and-mortar for a small fix. That doesn’t mesh well with today’s quick and convenient shopping preferences. And for an item like a laptop key, online commerce is a perfect fit.
“People don’t come in locally,” says James Lee, founder and owner of Replacement Laptop Keys. “But, we have a ton of customers that come in online. We started as a laptop repair company, but then the laptop key part just kind of took over. Once we started getting worldwide orders, we began focusing on the laptop key replacement side of things.”
And that focus is certainly paying off. Replacement Laptop Keys boasts an impressive 5.2% conversion rate, and that number is steadily growing. According to Lee, SEO and ad spend allocation to Google AdWords is what brings his site so much traffic, and help from international sellers like Alibaba is what helps him to keep inventory steady even when orders are particularly high.
We decided to catch up with Lee to find out what exactly makes his niche business so profitable, how he maintains such high conversions and why, even when it comes down to detailed replacements like laptop keyboard keys, it is so incredibly important to be customer-centric in your business practices. According to him, relevancy is all the consumer really wants.
Read the full interview below.
Bigcommerce: How did Replacement Laptop Keys get started?
Lee: We started as a laptop repair company, but then the laptop key part just kind of took over. We were getting orders worldwide, so we just started focusing on that.
Not everybody walks into a brick-and-mortar store because they need a laptop key replaced. So, we built up our inventory and launched our website. It pretty much became our bread and butter.
How did you build up inventory and where do you source your merchandise?
From everywhere, really. We get stuff from China. We get stuff from the U.S. We source pretty much worldwide, actually. We’ve been using Alibaba and AliExpress for the last three or four years. We were using them before they went public.
Back then, having to deal with a foreign country and the language barrier was difficult. There’s no problem with it now though. They’re really good. They have the money back guarantee and if you have any issues with the transaction, you can contact them and they can help you out. It’s a great resource if you need to source original equipment manufacturing (OEM) parts.
Thanks for the tip! Let’s talk about this conversion rate of yours. What are you doing to successfully push so many customers down the sales funnel?
Honestly, you just start out with knowing what your customers want and then focusing on that. For example, we sell laptop keys, so we have to figure out what the customer will type into search engines and then tailor our content, blogs and social media postings to be relevant to his or her needs.
What are the buying keywords? In other words, what are people in a buying mindset typing in to find you?
For us, buying keywords include “replacement or “buy.” If someone types in “buy laptop key,” we focus on that rather than focusing on just building SEO for “laptop key.” These people are looking to buy rather than to do research, and we want those customers.
Then, once you have your customer on your website, make sure it’s easy to navigate, to add product to cart and have a simple and easy checkout page. The customer just wants to buy the product and then go. Let them do that.
Smart strategy. How did you find those keywords?
Easy. You find them in your analytics –– in Google Analytics and also the Bigcommerce analytics. You can see how a customer found the site based on their keywords, and then you can see which keywords are converting the most people. For us, again, the most common keyword is “buy” or a specific model number of a particular laptop key.
After you find these keywords, are you using them in any specific ways, like in product descriptions or any of the metadata?
Yep, in both of those. To bring in more traffic, you have to use those keywords everywhere –– in your advertising, as well as in your metadata and in your product descriptions. Wherever you can, include the keyword there. It will give you better results.
So, with that in mind, where is most of your traffic coming from? Do you just optimize SEO or are you active on social, too?
We try to ramp up Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest. I would say if you have to break it down, organic traffic is our number one. Then we have Google AdWords traffic, where we spend about 90% of our marketing budget. Then, behind that, is our social traffic –– and most of that comes to us from Facebook.
We put the remaining 10% of our marketing budget toward Facebook ads and target “laptop key.” Anytime people talk about “keyboard keys” or “laptop keys” on there, we have a little ad that pops up.
Google and Facebook really take the cake for you guys. I’m guessing that Google converts better for you since you allocate so much of the budget toward it?
That’s because Google controls everything. But, seriously, Google is the major player. We do see better conversion coming from Google. Once our Google advertising is setup, though, we copy and paste that over to the Bing side. Bing is a really, really small part, though.
Do you have any best practices for how to set up successful Google AdWord campaigns?
The way Google is set up is that everything has to be relevant. The more relevant your information is to what your customers are searching for, the higher up you’re going to appear in the results.
For example, let’s take “Apple laptop key.” You want to have the keyword “Apple laptop key” in the title of your ad, or somewhere in the body of the ad text, and make sure that when someone clicks on it, the link is taking them to a relevant page that talks about Apple laptop keys –– whether that is keyboard replacement or key replacement or how to install laptop keys.
Relevant information is what everybody wants and you want to make sure you have that.
And you guys definitely do. Your product pages have tons of information, including videos. Do those get a lot of engagement, too?
Those are our installation videos. That’s something we have on all the product pages because when people buy a product, they obviously want to know how to install it. That’s something we’re constantly working because there are always new models coming out.
And, we do see a lot of engagement before purchase and after purchase on those videos. It’s nice for customers to have something they can look at before. They can kind of see if they can tackle this on their own. Then after purchase, you can send them a link showing all the resources we can provide.
Of course, I think the video is more of a customer confidence tool rather than a conversion tool.
Right. Confidence matters. Trust matters.
Yeah, trust definitely matters. Trust logos on checkout help and making sure your website looks nice. Those things are pretty obvious. As far as those conversion rates, though, the content just has to be relevant so that once a customer lands there, they find everything they need.
Other than being relevant, do you have any tips for product descriptions on how to write them to keep them as relevant as possible without overusing a keyword and making it seem like a human didn’t write it?
That is something I struggle with myself because there’s only so many words and adjectives you can use to describe a product. What I try to do is follow the best practices out there. That means changing it up. Not using the same phrase all the time. Trying to be descriptive and trying to be different, but staying within what you want to talk about. It’s always about staying relevant.
Do you have any other advice you’d want to add for other small business owners?
Don’t be afraid to try different things. A website is a virtual store, it’s easier and cheaper to renovate than a brick-and-mortar. So, try out different things like wording, layout and checkout pages. Do A/B testing and see your conversions go up.
And, finally, what are some reasons people come to you for laptop keys?
People buy laptop keys for obvious reasons like their kids wiggle with the keys, and they fall out, yes. But then, we have corporate people playing baseball in conference rooms –– calling to get a key replaced before someone finds out! They are just throwing baseballs back and forth, breaking keys. We even have people who have pet pigs and pet monkeys. You’d be surprised what people keep in their houses, which is good for me, I guess. Everyone should get a pet monkey!
Have any questions, concerns, something you’d like to add to this story or know of a cool store you’d like to see featured? Leave us a comment below!
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