Growing a Brand with a Personal Touch
Farm & Home Supply is a little old-school. It’s common for this Midwestern merchant’s customers and store associates to know each other on a first-name basis. This personal touch is reflected in the warm tones and down-to-earth language used on the products and website, avoiding a sterile or generic feel for shoppers. As a retailer who sells farm supplies and home goods, they’re always looking to make life easier for the people who rely on their products. Farm & Home Supply wanted to offer ecommerce and mobile capabilities to their customers, while still maintaining that personal touch and a commitment to great service.
“We’re not going to be taking down Amazon anytime soon,” said Michael Badamo, Farm & Home Supply’s Ecommerce Manager. “But we wanted to improve the online and mobile shopping experience for our customers. With the help of the Corra team, we were able to launch a fully functional, responsive site in time for the holiday season.” And they did this all while staying true to their value of placing the focus first and foremost on the customer experience.
“It’s not just an order to us, it’s a memory
and an experience.”
One of many stories about Farm & Home’s commitment to customer service took place during the holiday season. A customer placed an order on the ecommerce site and almost immediately called in to customer support. The customer on the line had tried to buy an item, a toy her son wanted for Christmas, on a competitor’s website. When it was backordered there, she searched online and found Farm & Home Supply.
When Badamo took the call, he did what his company always did: gave the customer an exceptional experience. After ensuring the caller the item was in stock, Badamo offered to personally drop off the order at the post office, since the cutoff time for same-day shipping had already passed. “She was so thankful,” Badamo said. “That’s going to make that kid’s Christmas. It’s not just an order to us, it’s a memory and an experience.”
This commitment to great service is the key to how a traditional, localized, brick-and-mortar retailer is growing their business more than they thought possible through mobile and ecommerce. As the holidays went into full swing, it became clear that their customer base was responding with excitement to the new and improved site. Over the Black Friday weekend, Farm & Home Supply sold out of a promotional item online in just 9 minutes. And when they ran their annual gift card promotion earlier in the fall, one of the most popular promos they undertake, they were shocked.
“In a single day, in terms of dollar amount, we beat what our flagship store sold,” Badamo said. “We also had a nearly 9% conversion rate, and all gift cards were shipped within one business day and most were delivered in time to use for Thanksgiving and Black Friday. The gift card promo was a massive, massive success.”
On top of that, 44% of traffic during the promotion came from mobile devices. In fact, they recently saw their mobile usage begin to surpass desktop. It has changed how the business has had to strategize. “We’re constantly thinking of how we can ensure those customers get the full experience. Usage of the responsive site has increased mobile traffic faster than we really anticipated, so we are off to a good start.”
As traffic has continued to grow since the launch of the new site in 2015, Farm & Home Supply is seeing their reach expand beyond their local customer base in the Midwest. During hunting season for instance, they shipped deer stands all the way to Georgia, Utah, Texas, and more. Farm & Home Supply was used to their customer being the guy down the street. As it turns out, their customer is also the guy across the country.
Farm & Home Supply is excited to give all those customers a rich ecommerce experience, anywhere and on any device. Now that the website has passed the difficult test of surviving the holiday season, Badamo and the team are once again looking forward.
“It was such a relief to stop watching the site,” he said. “Instead, we can say ‘Let’s get these boxes out the door. Let’s ship stuff and make people happy!’”
Ready to expand your traditional retail business online? Email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Sasha Butkovich is Marketing Copywriter at Corra, a New York, Los Angeles and London based digital commerce agency creating unified commerce experiences for fashion, lifestyle and beauty. With a team of 100+ ecommerce strategy, design and technology professionals, Corra delivers rich shopping and buying experiences across all channels and devices. Corra is trusted by retailers of all sizes to implement and support the Magento Enterprise, Demandware and hybris platforms.