“Listening to customers is really vital for improving and growing the business”
At Swym, we are all about making a difference – for a cause that feels worth, or for the greater good of the community in general. And leaving a green footprint is one such worthy cause that we are proud to support. With this edition of the Swym Customer Showcase, we are glad to feature Boondie Seeds – an Australian seed business providing gardening products for over 6 years now. Few things are more rewarding than growing your own veggies, and Boondie Seeds strives to be a one stop shop for all the seeds you need to get your garden growing. They are passionate about heirlooms – there really is no comparison in flavour and colour when compared to the varieties you’d find in the supermarket, and Boondie Seeds aims to find the tastiest types available and offer them to Aussie gardeners at a low cost. Their huge range of vegetable, flower and herb seeds, both rare and more common varieties, are 100% GMO free. Do check out the product descriptions, we think they really make purchasing decisions easier and can help turn even the brownest thumb green!
An Interview with Georgina McFarlane – Founder Boondie Seeds
Tell us about your business – your mission and what made you start this e-commerce website?
I initially started Boondie Seeds for some extra money while I was studying at university but it began to take off towards my final year, so I decided to continue on with the business after I graduated and haven’t looked back since. I’ve always been business minded, as soon as I was old enough to start selling things on the internet I was trying to sell everything I could find, from clothes and soaps to house hold knick knacks but I grew up on a farm and I’ve always been a keen gardener so selling seeds and plants seemed like a more natural fit. One of the best parts of gardening is sharing the harvest with friends and family and I always loved surprising people with all the colourful and unusual plants I’d been growing, many of which they’d never even heard of, so while we do offer all the more common varieties, I wanted Boondie Seeds to specialise in the older plants as well – veggies that were traditionally bred for flavour or cottage style flowers grown to attract bees, herbs that have medicinal benefits and other unusual plants that have become less popular in the modern world.
Which channels are bringing most traffic to your store? Which channels do you wish to use to reach more customers this year?
I started out using eBay which is a great source of traffic and a good way to learn customer service skills. It seems silly to admit it now but we were slow to jump into social media and took a while to set it all up but since then it’s been an excellent way to communicate and find new customers. Facebook has been a valuable platform for communication but I’ve also found Instagram to be a good fit for our business and the positivity there is fantastic. At the moment, my phone is filled with over 2000 pictures of veggies and plants from our range. So when I discovered Instagram, I was so happy that I finally had somewhere to share them and people to share them with! Going forward we’ve just started using Twitter and Pinterest and recently had our first mention on Reddit so we’ll try to keep on top of those too.
What made you choose Shopify for Boondie Seeds? How is it helping you accomplish your business goals?
I started the website on a different platform but constantly had problems with their outdated designs and clunky checkout system, so we finally decided to make the move late last year. We did the free trial with Shopify to get a feel for it and I honestly couldn’t believe how much better it was considering it’s much cheaper than the old website platform, I wish we’d moved sooner. The use of apps really helped with the decision to go with Shopify and they provide a lot of flexibility to the design and give the ability to tailor the backend to your business model.
Related Article : How to Start a YouTube Channel for Your Business by Shopify blogs
What is it that Boondie Seeds (as a business) wants to accomplish in 2017?
We’re always looking for more varieties to add to our collection so as always we’ll be expanding our range through 2017 and we’re also looking into upgrading our packaging and moving towards a more streamlined order processing system so that customers can receive orders as quickly as possible even in the busier times of the year. I’m also really eager to start a YouTube channel to create some ‘how to’ videos, to better help customers with starting seeds and all aspects of gardening.
What tools, apps, key metrics do you track and use to understand your business’ health? What apps do you use to help you with your backend?
Google analytics has been really fascinating in how much useful information it provides. It shows how customers are finding us so we know where to focus, and it’s a great tool to highlight what works and doesn’t work in our website layout so we can tweak things to improve customer experience. We’ve been using Wishlist+ for a few months now and it’s been great, a lot of our products are seasonal so allowing customers to create a wishlist and easily find items when they’re back in season is really useful. We also use Order printer, Consistent cart, Searchanise and Traffic control to help with optimising and running the website. Shopify also provides some handy basic information about sales, customer interaction and product performance as well so that’s another good way to keep an eye on how we’re doing.
We love sharing more information about e-commerce best practices that we come across, with our customers. Would you have any cool trick or best practice that you recommend?
On the website side of things, using discount codes is a great way to reward customers and drive sales. Everyone loves a bargain and I know for myself at least I’m more likely to purchase from a website if I can get a discount, and we’ve seen many of our customers feel the same way as well. In terms of running a business as a whole, I think a really valuable practice is to listen to and take on board criticism and feedback. When I was first starting out I was really devastated to get any sort of negativity from a customer but at the end of the day if one customer contacts you with a problem, there’s always the chance that ten other customers had the same problem but haven’t contacted you, so listening to customers is really vital for improving and growing the business.
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