Elizabeth and the team at Osmology, demonstrate perfectly how understanding and solving your customer’s problems can lead to a thriving online business. By completely tailoring their customer experience, Osmology has made buying an incredibly subjective product, a joy.
Elizabeth and the team took the time to share some of their thoughts on running a successful online store and how they got to where they are today.
What inspired you to start Osmology?
Being a fan of scented candles myself, I found it incredibly frustrating when I’d discover an amazing candle in a small boutique while traveling… and then never be able to replace it once it ran out. I wanted to create an amazing place for candle addicts to find their favorite niche brands from around the world, as well as being able to discover fantastic new home fragrances companies.
What’s unique about your business? Why do your customers keep coming back to you?
Osmology currently hosts one of the biggest collections of candle scents from independent brands in the UK. Because we specialise in candles and know our collection inside out, we are able to help customers find the perfect fragrance for their home, even without them smelling it themselves. Since launching in 2017, Osmology has gained a cult following with customers coming back to explore our range time and again.
What do you think are the key reasons for the success of Osmology and would you do anything differently if you were starting it today?
Really our success comes down to the amazing candle brands we stock. We love to champion smaller companies who put all their love and skill into creating beautiful candles. Getting to connect and introduce these brands to customers looking to fill their homes with gorgeous scents really does make our day!
What were some challenges you encountered when starting you didn’t anticipate?
Finding a way to describe scent online was always going to be a challenge, but I really wasn’t aware of how much influence each customers nose has when it comes to smell! Certain fragrance notes are almost invisible to some people, while other’s find the same smell over-powering. To try and make it as easy as possible for customers to find something they’ll love we are constantly asking people to share their thoughts on the candles they buy – reviews are a great way to get a balanced view from lots of different noses!
Do you use Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, etc, to promote your businesses? How successful has it been for you?
I have a love/hate relationship with social media. Whenever I feel like I’ve got to grips with it, the algorithm changes and it feels like you need to start learning all over again. However, the reach of platforms like Facebook, Instagram and Pinterest is amazing when it comes to getting in front of your ideal customer – just be prepared to constantly test your paid ads, tweak your content, and avoid focusing on your “follower” numbers, it’s how many actual spending customers they send your way that matters.
What has been the most effective way to drive traffic to your website?
I’ve found that organic search has always been a strong source of traffic for Osmology, but my focus this year is to explore using paid adverts such as Google Shopping and Facebook, as well as launching physical pop-up shops to enable even more growth.
You use WooThumbs for WooCommerce for your store, how has it helped you and your store?
One of the challenges in selling fragrance online is helping customers understand the scent without being able to smell it. Written descriptions help, but great photos are even better. Using WooThumbs for WooCommerce has enabled me to display our product pack-shots on the main shop pages so everything looks neat, but then show lifestyle shots on the product pages. We’ve definitely seen an increase in conversions for products using this layout, and are in the process of rolling it out to our full catalog.
See how you can do the same here: iconicwp.com/hide-featured-image-woocommerce-single-product-page
What other tools or software do you use to make running your store a little easier?
There are so many tools I use, this list could be incredibly long! But the standout one I recommend over and over again is Klaviyo, an e-commerce focused email platform. I’ve also found quizzes to be a great way of capturing new potential customers and adding them to our newsletter – I use Interact for that.
If you could give one piece of advice to new and emerging store owners, what would it be?
There are actually two pieces of advice I think are hugely important. First, make sure you know who your ideal customer is. Being really specific about who you’re aiming to attract and sell to will help keep your entire business, branding, products, and marketing aligned. And then secondly, develop a thick skin and growth mindset. Things will undoubtedly go wrong, but when you think of each issue as a chance to learn, you’ll be able to grow from the experience and your online business will be stronger for it.
Where to find Osmology
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