Online store clicks with toy market
AWARD- WINNING T o wn s v i l l e business Entropy is celebrating 10 years of successful operation and showing how dedicated attention to online selling can take you a long way.
The business sells quality wooden and educational toys.
From a small retail shopfront launched in Townsville in August 2007, Entropy has grown to become what it says is Australia’s largest retailer in traditional and wooden toys.
Sales from its website, launched about a year after they opened, now account for more than 75 per cent of their trade.
Entropy owner and sports scientist Deborah Latouf said they were a community- based business with a shopfront servicing Townsville and North Queensland.
They remain committed to that market but the reality is website sales predominate.
“The online potential for growth is far greater. It’s the thing driving the growth of the business,” said Dr Latouf, who has a PhD in motor development.
They sell to customers Australiawide, particularly in the capital cities, although people in the mining communities in northwest Australia are a key market.
The company’s policy to provide a flat freight rate, or free with purchases over $ 125, anywhere in Australia, as well as the offer of quality products, means they are popular in poorly serviced remote and regional areas.
Dr Latouf said search engine optimisation – high ranking in online searches – now occupied much of her time.
“It’s something you work on the whole day. It builds value in the business,” she said.
“The key thing is you have to have good content. Then you are rewarded by Google.”
While many large Australian retailers are nervous about the arrival of ecommerce giant Amazon, Dr Latouf said she regarded Amazon more as an opportunity than a threat.
She is preparing the functionality of their online platform to work with Amazon.
“I keep a very close eye on what’s going on with Amazon,” she said.
“We can sell our product through them. There are online retailers in the US that sell through their own sites and also sell through Amazon.
“Absolutely, if it comes here, you have to work with the marketplace.”
Meanwhile, though, it’s time for a party. They are planning a community event on August 13 with face painting, food, craft activities and dress- up competition at their Hyde Park shop to mark their 10th birthday.