Ballina retailer goes digital to catch online shoppers

SITTING PRETTY: Wade Kent from Blue Sky Outdoor Experts in Ballina has taken his business online.
SITTING PRETTY: Wade Kent from Blue Sky Outdoor Experts in Ballina has taken his business online. Alex Utting

IT'S NO secret people are turning to online retailers instead of heading to the shops.

However, Blue Sky Outdoor Experts in Ballina have found a way to capitalise on the digital market as a way to bring new customers through the door.

Owner of Blue Sky Wade Kent started his online store 15 months ago, after using eBay to sell his wares some three years ago.

"When we did the eBay store, it took up a lot of time," Mr Kent said.

"Now we've got the new online store set-up properly, it complements what we've already got in store."

Mr Kent said one thing that helped Blue Sky's transition into the digital realm was using a program to track how many hits their website receives.

"To be able to see how many people go on the website means we can track the hits or how many clicks we are getting," Mr Kent said. "And, that makes us more competitive."

Mr Kent, who also puts all his catalogues online, said many people call-in to the store looking for a product they have seen on the website or online catalogue.

"The amount of people who ring up or walk in to door saying 'I saw this online do you have it in' is phenomenal."

In fact, Mr Kent had been doing so well capitalising on digital trends his business was featured in the Yellow Pages Backing Local Business promotion that saw him featured on radio and television advertisements.

Mr Kent said the Yellow Pages helped him to move his customers online by listing his website with his current Yellow Pages listing.

"If people can find you online, that's half the battle," Mr Kent said.

Yellow Pages Gary Birmingham said Blue Sky was chosen for the Backing Local Business promotion due to its "well-developed" online strategy.

"Customers are increasingly searching for information on products and services before they buy, so those firms with strategies are well place to win their business," Mr Birmingham said.

Topics:  ballina online shopping retail

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