Chapter 13 Neon Poodle: International expansion on steroids
Why they won
Neon Poodle was a finalist for the Innovation Awards.
For expanding to 3 continents in 18 months with a team of 2 (and a full-time job!).
- Founder: Sammy Gibson
- Who submitted (and is quoted below): Jason Gibson, Director
- Year founded: 2015
- Headquartered: Newcastle, Australia
- Ecommerce vertical: Home & Garden
Business outcomes of the innovation
- 3 sites for selling to 3 different continents
- +232.14% increase in revenue
- +11.21% increase in conversion rate
What they do
The idea for Neon Poodle came from wanting a lighting solution for my daughter Pepper (4). I really wanted a neon sign with her name and it was so difficult finding someone that could help us and even harder finding a safe product for a kid’s room.
After much research, we came up with a fabulous solution for any room that is beautiful and is extremely safe for everyone. Today, we sell neon signs for just about anyone to use absolutely anywhere.
The challenge behind the innovation
The biggest challenge for an Australian business is the ability to tap into a global market.
The cost of shipping and the logistical nightmare are the biggest burden for us to grow our product in both the retail and wholesale markets.
How they make it work
Through the functionality of BigCommerce, we have able to set up three business structures across three continents (with three different BC stores) to tackle both the distribution challenges as well as open our door to new clients worldwide.
As a business owner, I can use BigCommerce to manage my inventory for all three companies from my home, have my distribution teams in each continent send and track the orders and can meet any custom needs for clients through the portal.
The ability to use customer groups means I can use BigCommerce for all retail and wholesale ordering and stock management. This way I keep the whole business in one application.
There are various features I have taken use of through BigCommerce, which help me single-handedly manage three continents:
- Customer groups: This is how I manage my retail, wholesale and dropshipping customers, all with various pricing models.
- Use Xero integration to manage all my invoicing: I also use Xero to now manage my shipping and distribution labelling to my external courier company.
- One-click labels and courier arranged: I use ShipStation for U.S. orders and Avalara for tax management across U.S. states.
- The inbuilt inventory management features: These allow me to manage stock across three continents.
- All my keywords for site ranking are set and forget: This makes my life very easy with regards to website and growing organic traffic.
- Create products ease-of-use: This allows me to create products at the touch of a button for my custom orders and pricing.
- International payment options sans fees: This allows my clients to use Stripe for payment.
- Easily switch dashboards between international sites: The ability to easily switch between continent stores is a feature I use all the time. I need to manage my inventory quickly, so selecting different stores is great. Also being able to manage all costs under the one section makes life easier too.
We have expanded across half the world in a little over 18 months with BigCommerce.
Having these abilities, as mentioned, allows me time to build my business and not worry about the little stuff. We wouldn’t have been able to expand and have a happy client base without the inbuilt features in BigCommerce because my administration time would be obscene. This way, I can manage my clients instead of the paperwork.
Oh, did I mention: I still have a full-time job while building this business — that’s how much time BigCommerce has saved me!
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