Shopify web stores
Growth rate in two years
B2C & B2C
Richard Hall set up Dick’s Climbing, a Bristol based specialist climbing retailer, in 2008. He decided to set up a specialist climbing store as climbing has always been a hobby and a passion of his. Also, Bristol is known to have one of the largest climbing populations in the UK. With Bristol only having a few general outdoor shops selling limited climbing equipment Richard started ‘Dicks Climbing’ to offer climbers a wide range of specialist climbing gear. He started out with a small shop doing a few orders a day and now he’s selling hundreds of products online all across the world. We managed to catch up with Richard to tell us more about his story.
The ecommerce challenge
“With a small shop in Bristol and a three page static website I started my business. In the beginning I was using spreadsheets and only ordering Inventory on an ad-hoc basis. As I wasn’t selling very much this was manageable, the business was really new and I wasn’t getting many special order requests. This approach was fine at the time but it wouldn’t work well for me now. Shortly after I started out I knew I needed to set up a website which I could sell through. I was talking about getting a website up and running in the shop one day and a customer recommended Brightpearl. After doing a little research, it looked like a really good system so I decided to give it a go and I haven’t looked back since!
- Selling via multiple channels (online and in store)
- Keeping track of inventory
- Growing and scaling the business efficiently and stably
The multichannel solution
“As I didn’t have much data, limited account history and no real product database it wasn’t like moving over to Brightpearl - it was more like starting from scratch. Getting set-up with Brightpearl was very straightforward, my webstore was up and running in no time and the rest fell into place. Brightpearl helps me to keep everything organised and has given me the structure to go about my business. The system allows me to keep my website up-to-date and has made selling online very easy to get involved with.
“The interface is constantly improving, and Brightpearl now integrates with Shopify. It was when I switched my web store to Shopify that the online side of my business started to grow quite substantially. Shopify is really easy and intuitive to use, and the integration with Brightpearl works effortlessly.
“It’s all about efficiency for me; you can waste so much time doing things badly which is not productive. Having a system like Brightpearl is great but it’s so much more useful if you use it to its full potential. If you are going to use a system like Brightpearl you need to make it part of your business and really invest in it. Brightpearl has certainly become a big part of my business.”
“I have branched out into selling industrial climbing equipment to the rope access industry, which is those guys you see abseiling down buildings to do maintenance. I’ve been able to do this using Shopify. I run the B2B side of the business under a different brand on a separate store to accommodate for that particular customer base. It’s helped to broaden my offering, which has certainly worked out well for me. I run two Shopify stores to appeal to two very different audiences at a very minimal extra cost. The extra sales channel costs next to nothing and it’s only been running for six months and I have already picked up some long term customers! The ROI is great and setting up an extra channel has been really simple.
“I love the fact I'm in control of my business and the people I am selling to share the same hobby and passion as mine. I would like to get to the stage where I can take a step back and not be in the shop but the growth needs to be there to let me do that. If I was still working on an ad-hoc basis I would not be able to grow as much as I have. My business has grown with Brightpearl and I expect it to continue to do so. Especially the industrial side I want to grow the business a lot more online.”