Personal experiences often lead to successful business ideas. Baby Needs is a great example of what migration to a specialized platform delivers. This online store is an exclusive importer for several baby goods manufacturers. It targets recent or soon to be parents who aim to provide their children with the best available products.
Paul Mihalache, founder & manager of BabyNeeds.ro, reveals how he started the business and what challenges had to be overcome. Paul also talks about the online store migration to the Gremini platform and benefits of this move.
Q: When and how did it all start?
Paul: It all started in the fall of 2012, when I became convinced that online stores are the future of commerce. I chose this niche because I was at an age when parenting began to have a different meaning, along with the understanding of what parents need for their children.
Q: What kind of problems/challenges did you come across while developing the online shop and how did you overcome them?
Paul: I don’t know which one to talk about first… I guess he biggest challenge was choosing our collaborators. We were supposed to choose a platform for website development without really knowing what we wanted from it.
Then, there was the issue of uploading our products on the website and making the necessary updates. We had multiple suppliers sending information about stocks, prices, special offers or new products exclusively by e-mail so we had to upload everything manually.
Q: How did you decide to migrate the store on the Gremini platform? What were your objectives?
Paul: In the four years that had passed since the launch of our store, we had learned a lot about what an online shop can deliver. The decision to migrate became natural: we had to change the old platform because it was not suitable for growth. In other words, we migrated because our initial platform only turned out to be fit for the first stage of e-shop development.
There was more and more dissatisfaction, yet the old agency seemed less and less involved. Implementing new functionalities often took too long or wasn’t possible. We decided to migrate to Gremini after we analyzed our options thoroughly. We approached two more agencies at the same time, yet it was Gremini that had all the answers to our questions and also lots of initiative. From the very start, we also loved the people we came into contact with.
Q: How did the migration go?
Paul: We had several requests that needed to be solved after the re-launch, and even so I can say it went very well. Also, out of their own initiative, the people at Gremini solved several issues that we hadn’t even mentioned before signing the contract.
Ever since we decided to migrate the store, we wanted to find something more than just a regular IT service provider. We needed a partner we could interact with, and we found a great one. It’s because Gremini offers consultancy services in addition to promptly working out issues that came along.
Q: How did this migration improve the business?
Paul: For us it certainly did, because on the former platform we couldn’t develop what we had started. Migrating the online store meant processing more orders and managing our stock better with the same number of employees. As most visible improvement, I have to mention the ease of adding and updating products on the website.
Q: Could you give us a few numbers that would reflect the changes brought on by this migration (sales growth, website visits, conversion rate)?
Paul: Well, just one year after migration sales volume increased by 25%. Number of visits on our website increased by 40%, just as much as the number of transactions. We are now working to increase the conversion rate and average shopping cart value.
Q: What marketing tools are you using?
Paul: As many as possible. It’s mandatory to use a good mix of tools when it comes to marketing. You can’t rely on just one or two channels. We use AdWords, affiliation, newsletters, SEO, etc.
Q: Some advice or recommendations for online sales success for our readers?
Paul: One thing we always have in mind is to be fair to our employees, our clients and partners, so that we can ask to be treated the same way.
Q: What are your plans for the future of the online store?
Paul: Currently, we are exclusive importers of several brands and manufacturers for a number of products under our own BabyNeeds brand, so what we want to keep developing is the B2B line.
Q: If you could start over with this online store, what would you do differently?
Paul: Well, we would do much better in choosing initial partners, that’s for sure.