After running a successful furniture business in Brazil for 10 years, Robert Lancaster came back to London and founded Trinca-Ferro to specialise in selling their best-selling drawer knobs. The Trinca-Ferro is a Brazilian songbird with a loud and shrill singing voice. Using a purely online route to market, Trinca-Ferro’s knobs are exported directly from India to anywhere in the world.
From the outset, Robert knew Trinca-Ferro’s market would be global and he enlisted the help of a specialist Export Business Mentor to provide support and advice. “I wanted to find the best way to sell my knobs globally through my website”.
Transforming the e-commerce website
Robert met with Sarah Carroll, an Export Communications Consultant, for Trinca-Ferro’s first review in December 2013. “I knew straightaway that this was going to help us!” said Robert. Sarah reviewed the website in light of Robert’s international plans for the future of the business and gave clear, structured recommendations presented in a report. “We were able to use Sarah’s report as a checklist to show potential web developers – in fact we treated it rather like a brief”. Key recommendations in the first review included:
- Create country-specific directories for target markets: Sarah advised adding a subdirectory targeted to Australia with prices in Australian dollars with relevant language and country targeting. Her report also showed how to do this in Trinca-Ferro’s other target markets including the USA and Germany.
- Remove the Google Translate facility and use a professional translator for relevant languages: Google translate is not ideal to promote a company’s messages in another language in a professional way. It is critical for a new brand to communicate correctly in the local language.
- Switch to a new e-commerce platform: to allow the business to launch local online stores and improve visibility in local search engines, as well as adding new and better product images
- Create a content engagement plan: to help ensure Trinca-Ferro’s blogs, press, newsletters and social media were integrated and focused on developing the business.
“Sarah’s report enabled us to work through her list of recommendations – it really helped us to pull together as a team”. Having implemented the advice of the first review, Robert was keen to take the opportunity to have a second review. “One year later, our second review gave us the chance to check-in with Sarah on the changes already made and helped us to refine the site even further for international visitors. She showed us how to make those finishing ‘tweaks’ to take our website to where it is today!”
Boosting sales from international markets
Trinca-Ferro’s improved website has transformed their export business, “Already, our international sales have more than doubled this year”, exclaimed Robert. “Within a month of launching the new Australian directory, we are enjoying regular and growing sales and our USA site has just launched – we’re anticipating great results!”
“The best aspect of the website review” explained Robert, “was the practical, no-holds-barred advice given, helping us to see where the Trinca-Ferro website was and how to transform it into the site we wanted it to be. Whilst tough to hear, it was very helpful and has certainly paid dividends!”