A Burleigh Heads-based online beauty and kitchenware retail business is encouraging shoppers to buy local instead of choosing cheaper overseas products.
Ry.com.au founders Bradley Carr and James Patten (pictured) believe shopping on the internet should not be an inferior customer experience to a bricks and mortar store.
So the company has set up a 1300 customer service line and live chat service and also extended trading hours.
“From the moment a customer purchases a product from us to the time they receive it, the waiting time is only 24 hours,” says Patten.
“I sometimes see cheaper items for sale from overseas. But I say, pay a little extra for something local and you will receive something with added value that is easier to return.”
Kitchenwaresuperstore.com.au was launched in February and has already exceeded sales targets, while total group revenue is forecast to increase by 60 per cent in the 2012 financial year.
“In a time when traditional retail stores are struggling, we have continued to show good growth. Our expansion to a second online store proves we understand the online retail space,” he says.
Carr reveals the company plans to launch a new IT platform in the new year.
“It will improve business with more flexibility and integration with in-house sales point systems,” he says.
“Consumers will have a high-quality website with quick and easy payment methods to make their online homeshopping process smoother.”
Carr believes PayPal may seem convenient, but it has drawbacks.
“This is particularly the case when you are trying to recover money during a dispute,” he says.
Ry.com.au’s customer base is nationwide, but most sales originate from individuals living in Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane.
“A lot of people also purchase from rural Australia. We sometimes have small, family-owned cafes and businesses buying products from us too,” says Carr.
The company is leasing the former site of a Burleigh bedding factory, covering 400sqm. Transforming the factory into a kitchenware store cost the pair about $50,000.
“We’ve only been in this location for 12 months, but have already outgrown it,” says Patten.
“We are considering whether to lease a bigger site and hire more customer service staff, but have to maintain the quality of our customer service.”
The company expects sales to increase by more than 50 per cent during Christmas and each month thereafter.
YOUNG ENTREPRENEUR FINALISTS
Bradley Carr and James Patten
Ages: 36 and 26
Business Est: 2007
Growth: 35 per cent
Turnover: $6 million
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