The story of Obio began in 2012. Back then, Adrian Cadar created his ecologically certified, bio products based brand store. The new beginnings were a continuation of an offline business formerly established in 2008. Adrian talked to us about the past, the present and the future.
How did the business start?
I started the business in 2008, with a bio products online store. Four years later the Obio brand was created, and along with it the Obio.ro e-store, concentrating exclusively on ecologically certified products.
What problems or challenges were there in the beginning and how’d you get past them?
Hardest part was adapting an open source platform to our needs, since we had no programmers around. This was partly solved through our own efforts and lots of documentation, and partly by hiring a programmer.
How did you decide to migrate to Gremini? What were your goals?
Once sales grew, the decision was only natural. The open source platform didn’t correspond to our needs anymore, and adapting it would have meant very high and unjustified costs. We mainly needed to be relieved of the website’s technical maintenance, so that our focus could shift towards client support, broadening our product range and marketing strategies.
How did the migration go?
Very well actually, every piece of information – customers, products, orders – was successfully imported from the old platform to the new one. The team handled every aspect of the migration, all we had to do was facilitate access to the old platform’s database.
Felt improvements in business after migrating?
The platform in itself was an improvement, containing many facilities we needed, such as the implementation of online payment, or the AWB automated generation, or the in-house automated newsletter tool, etc.
Did the migration reflect in sales, conversion rate, etc.?
It’s hard to measure exactly what percentage of sales increase was due to switching the platform. The market we’re in is generally growing. However, your platform significantly contributed in sustaining sales, building up clients trust in our online store by offering professional services.
What kind of marketing tools have you been using?
We’ve externalized digital marketing to a specialized company. This includes Google Ads campaigns, Facebook and newsletter marketing, creating banners, images, etc.
Give us three pieces of advice or recommendations on how to make it in online business.
First and probably foremost is that you like, even love the niche you’re about to go in online business. Then choose a professional platform run by people who know what they’re doing. At the very beginning an open source platform might be OK, yet if you’re entering a strong competitive market handling everything in-house is no longer a solution, unless maybe if you have a programmer along. Third piece of advice, invest in marketing as much as you can and go for professionals in the field. I strongly disagree with the ‘I can do everything myself’ mentality. Your online marketing budget should be significant, because the shop’s success is going to be directly proportional to it.
What are your plans for future development?
We’re planning to continue expanding the range of bio products we offer our clients, think up and implement new functionalities within the platform and, why not, try and break through on the international market where there’s greater customer potential.
If you could once again start with the online shop, what would you do differently?
I’d probably migrate to your platform from the open source one a lot quicker.
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- DyFashion – we joined forces to achieve more than 100% increase in sales
- Guara.ro – the website started selling after migrating to Gremini