What can Bunnings teach us about getting customers in the door?

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Driving past Bunnings (and our office) on the way to click and collect groceries, I firmly said no, I will not be lured in today for any spontaneous hardware purchases.

I could easily have headed in though and spent time selecting solar powered christmas lights, grabbing a coffee, and ‘window shopping’ for tools.

I’ve been thinking about why Bunnings are so successful in getting me to spend time in their big green sheds full of everything you could want for ‘home improvements’.

More on that later, though, first a few key points from a recent article I wrote about blog posts and portfolio pages that can show up in Google searches.

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Blog Posts and Portfolio Pages

Two of the most effective ways to get more positions in Google search is to use blog posts and portfolio pages. As more and more local businesses are launching websites, it’s getting harder to get noticed in the online marketplace.

Here are some things you might want to try:

1. Long tail keywords

Think of the words potential customers will put into Google to find your business. If you’re in the solar business you might try “solar power” or “solar panels” (like everyone else) – or you might extend this to “solar systems”, or “how much does rooftop solar power cost”. If you’re a mortgage broker you might try “How much can I save by refinancing my home loan” rather than just “home loans”.

2. Blog posts that rank well in Google

We’ve written a host of blog posts for clients that are on the 1st page of the Google search results. The blog of a website is convenient and easy to add to. The aim is for potential customers to arrive from Google on the blog page.

3. Using portfolio pages for more positions in Google

A portfolio page can have much the same qualities as a blog post but it has the added advantage of being an example of completed work and a testimonial which can inspire authentic trust in a visitor.

You can use words, photos or videos — creating a portfolio of jobs is a really sensible way of growing a website.

Need help?

If you’re too busy to do this, we can help with writing blogs, newsletters, videos, and/or helping to develop your portfolio page — all aimed at getting more natural enquiries through Google. So contact us and we can let you know what will work best for you.

You can read the longer version in our recent blog post here.

example-of-ranking-results

Back to Bunnings…

and Halloween Trick or Treat!

The photo below is the gaggle of children and parents following spookily dressed Bunnings’ staff to the sales desks to collect lollies.

Bunnings-counter-with-kids (1)

As many Australians do each weekend, I have been to a Bunnings hardware store too recently, numerous times. Not just because it is a short walk from our office in Wallsend but because they keep luring me back in. Like with the Halloween trick or treat; surprising and free!

outside-of-Bunnings

Bunnings have figured out how to get me looking at tools, thinking about new projects, eating barbeque snags, watching Mikayla get her face painted, drinking coffee, looking at potted plants, and wondering if they will survive in our garden… and buying.

What is it that Bunnings is doing so well?

Being a barely competent handyman, I’ve got my fair share of plastic storage tubs, screwdrivers, and Ozito power tools. But I find that I’m drawn in by the experiences, not just the convenience and range, though, that is certainly part of it.

Figure out what will keep people in the store and a target customer type

In my former ‘life phase’ as a single male, a visit to Bunnings was a short mission. Straight in the front door head to the correct aisle, focus on the required items, retrieve those items, no more than a few impulse buys on the way out and done –  15 minutes tops.

As a parent, though, it seems that Bunnings have dialed in on what will keep me there for an hour or two. Wandering the aisles like some kind of thoughtful ‘window shopper’. I don’t even pay this much attention to shops at Westfield on a rare visit there!

As a dad, any opportunity for a jumping castle is not to be missed. Not to forget the indoor playground and coffee shop. And last weekend, it was their Halloween trick or treat which had Mikayla following a couple of well-disguised staff members as they went from counter to counter collecting lollies!

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It seems to be working, the stores are always busy whenever I am there.

The marketing gurus at Bunnings really have quite cleverly figured out what will get parents and kids into their stores on the weekends with classes, face painting, and activities. I’m certain, this is not by accident. I doubt many people who visit Bunnings leave empty handed. Whether it is the sausage sizzle, free balloons, helpful staff, or some special event. I tip my hat to the people who figured all this out.

Seasonally relevant displays

Much like Aldi has a seasonality to their range, Bunnings rotate the stock in the front of the store accordingly with what people are most likely to find useful at that time of the year which adds to the novelty factor and discovery purchases.

How do they get people to go back other than to purchase?

I’m impressed with the numerous ways that Bunnings create reasons for customers to return to their stores, even for someone that doesn’t go shopping much, unless it is necessary.

Events and activities that get people into their stores

Each of the activities that Bunnings are known to offer quite easily draws in their potential customers to creating buying experiences. For example:

  • seasonal events for special days like Halloween
  • jumping castles and petting zoos
  • DIY workshops to learn new skills
  • coffees and crafts for parents and kids
  • face painting, colouring-in, and painting
  • free water pool testing
  • advice from knowledgeable trades staff

The ever present and popular sausage sizzle that raises money for local clubs and organisations have become synonymous with the Bunnings brand on weekends.

Experience as a point of difference

Increasingly, as businesses are competing with online sellers, this kind of experiential store setup is going to be a key point of difference. Whether it is a nice cafe, kids playground, or inviting displays of aspirational purchases like outdoor furniture and spas will create an interactive teaser of products that will turn browsers into buyers.

Why didn’t Masters manage to replicate Bunnings’ success?

Much as been written about the demise of Masters and it is surely a combination of many factors. But from my local perspective, a reason I didn’t shop there is because the nearest store was a 45-minute round trip. One of the interesting ‘why it flopped‘ articles.

Tellingly, the author commented that…

A trip to Bunnings has become a day out for many Australian families — offering free activities and workshops for adults and children.

There’s no doubt that there’s more to learn from the failure of Masters. But their branding and marketing and the messages and styles they conveyed never really seemed to scream out “buy hardware cheaply to me” and I doubt I will ever set foot in one of their stores.

Products, services, and experiences

Bunnings are great at getting people to go back to their stores because they have a very well rounded offering of products, services, and experiences.

If a business can create fun events to interact with people, then that will provide a soft touch invitation to purchase and experience products. What if we could take on the principles of interacting with people beyond a transactional purpose to increase trust and affection for a brand?

I’m certainly not as well resourced as Bunnings, but we’ve been thinking about what we could setup that would be a fun experience that Jezweb could be a part of.

How do we end up with national ‘days’

It has always impressed me how having a ‘day for something’ can become a part of our cultural fabric and highly useful marketing for a brand. There’s no rule about who or what can have a day either, as I learned from a podcast interview with the founder of National Porridge Day!

Work from the Beach Day?

David (of Beach Business Breakfast) and I have been thinking about what a work from the beach day might look like if we held it in 2017.

Our aspirations for this are fairly simple at this point. We don’t have a huge cause or purpose to advocate for in this test pilot of a work from the beach day.

We really like getting out of the office to go to the beach. So we’ve been sorting out the details of some fun stuff like beach fitness, yoga, workshops, networking sessions, lunch, and maybe pizza as part of a “Work from the Beach Day”.

So imagine seating and tables set up at the Merewether Surf Club, a few presentations on web/social/cloud and an esky full of cold drinks so that anyone who wants to work from the beach for the day can catch up and work, chat, or ocean gaze and clear the mind.

If you’re interested in coming along, let us know. Or if you think it’s a completely daft idea, then we would like to hear that too because, maybe, we’re the only two to think it would be fun!

Beach-Business-Breakfast-networking

 Let’s get to know Rachel, a valuable member of team Jezweb.

Rachel

Meet the Team: Rachel Harris

This month we meet Rachel Harris, Project Manager at Jezweb.

Rachel-in-a-race

(Rachel at back steers the crew to a gold in the 12km outrigger race at Wollongong)

What’s your role and what does it involve?

I have a diverse role here at Jezweb. I am the primary project manager for all our new website builds. I also coordinate a team of blog writers and search optimisation specialists for our SEO clients. Great customer service is the key to helping clients in a range of phone and email enquiries and, while doing all that, I look at ways to plan and implement workflows as well as systems to improve the productivity and the skills for our staff.

What do you love about your job?

I love my job because I have a wide variety of tasks, never ending things to learn, a great team to work with, and it’s a job that challenges me and will take years to master.

Have you always been in IT?

My previous qualification is being a chef, although, I still love to cook and dine at gorgeous restaurants. Being a chef is a really tough gig and a lifestyle that just didn’t suit me.  I also have done Quality Auditing & I did some clowning for children’s parties / public events. (Yes, I can make balloon animals and juggle! Haha)

Tell us about the Individual Customer Service award you were nominated for?

When Jeremy nominated me for the individual customer service award, I felt really grateful for his appreciation of me. I feel as though I give all my customers great service and I work hard every day. So to be acknowledged for this is a great honour.

What do you do in your downtime?

I am Vice President of the Newcastle Outrigger Canoe Club and I will be doing a coaching course in December as I have been steering our crews in regattas for the last 2 years. Being out to sea in the canoe, enjoying the swell, dolphins, seals, bird life, and etc, it’s really the best exercise and meditation. It clears your mind and makes you feel fantastic!

Tell us about your family?

My family consists of Ben (my high-school sweetheart of 12 years), along with our 2 cats Flynn and Lily who are always doing weird cat things to make me laugh.

A couple of our recently completed websites

East Lakes Swim Centre

Jezweb created the perfect website for our swimming centre. Jeremy and his crew listened, created and delivered on point. There were never too many questions for Jezweb and all of our dealings with the Jezweb team were professional and timely. We are thrilled with the quality of work and professionalism of Jezweb. We cannot recommend Jezweb highly enough.

Kind regards, Vanessa Marsden

east-lake-swim

Sugar Pill

We are so happy we chose Jezweb to design our brand new business website, we are an ecommerce business so it was essential for our business that the website was professional and user friendly! The website is everything we wanted it to be – stylish, easy to use, and functional and we couldn’t be happier with it and are very grateful to the Jezweb team! Brilliant job – we will definitely recommend you to other businesses in future!

Regards, Olivia and The Sugar Pill Team

sugar-pill

Is there something else we do to help you grow your business?

Websites are not all that we do – we offer a range of digital services designed to showcase your brand, keep you top of mind with your customers, get new leads, and make sales through e-commerce. This includes:

  • Email Hosting
  • Domain Name Management
  • Configuring Cloud Services such as Dropbox, Office 365, and Podio
  • Google Adwords, Search Engine Marketing, and Search Engine Optimisation
  • Writing client Blogs and Newsletters
  • Setting up Email Marketing Templates, active Email Campaigns and Email Funnels
  • Audio Podcast and Video Production (including shooting and editing)
  • Logo, Business Card, Letterhead, and Flyer Design (and print management)
  • Social Media Marketing and Management including the set-up and integration of your Blog, Newsletter, Facebook page, Pinterest, Twitter, Tumblr and LinkedIn profiles and promotion of Audio and Video on your Social Media
  • Connecting Payment Gateways so you can transact Online -anywhere at anytime

We are keen to help you grow your business with a web or online solution, so please call or drop in for an obligation free discussion.

You might find this surprising

For October, I did, in fact, end up completing a small project that required a few trips to Bunnings. The chicken house we bought a couple of years ago was falling apart. After comparing the kit-form chicken houses, I decided to invest an afternoon in building, something more robust. How hard could it be, right? So, I had a crack at building what is essentially a wooden box on legs with a lid. It’s not pretty but it works.So there were choices to make about which cheap pine and plywood to buy and which screws out of the hundreds of choices would be suitable.

So there were choices to make about which cheap pine and plywood to buy and which screws out of the hundreds of choices would be suitable. Of course, I ended up making a separate trip to get the correct driver bit for the drill that matched the screws.

My exciting discovery for the day was that if you don’t care about the colour of the paint you need then there is a discount table near the paint mixers. We ended up with a muddy shade of bronzed green paint for $15 because someone mixed the wrong colour. Probably a good choice on their part not to use this colour but the chickens don’t mind.

The sides aren’t all perfectly straight and aligned and the painting was quickly poured and then slapped on but it should last longer than the previous one.

I’m getting off track but, anyway, here is the chicken house in case you are curious about how average my timber work and painting skills are. Fortunately, our chooks are not too fussy and will be happy just to have a house that won’t wobble in the breeze.

chicken-house-foundation-e1479299065535-1024x768

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You can see the old house in the background below, destined for the tip.

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what can bunnings teach us about getting customers in the door?

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