You’re on paternity leave and you decide to refurbish and sell some wooden toys in your sparse spare time. For a lot of people, that amounts to a few Facebook Marketplace posts and a bit of free shelf space, but for Rennie Wood, it amounted to a thriving full-time business.
Rennie is the founder of Wood Wood Toys, an online business specializing in eco-friendly, developmentally stimulating, and visually appealing wooden toys. Rennie saw how quickly the toys he refurbished sold on social media and online marketplaces, which is what inspired him to set up a Shopify store in 2018. Since then, he’s been expanding his business with new lines of toys and an ever-growing customer base, which is what led him to the game-changing powers of Shopify Marketing Tools.
With Shopify Marketing Tools, Wood Wood Toys has been able to:
- Grow its marketing list with Shopify Forms, and convert eight out of 10 chats to sales with Shopify Inbox
- Save money and keep all of its customer data—and its workflow—right in Shopify
- Save time on every email it sends and set up always-on automations to deliver the right message at the right time
- Segment its email list and boost the conversion rate of its emails by sending product announcements to specific groups
Rennie, like most online business owners, was acutely aware of the time and money he was spending getting customers to his store.
It costs a lot to get that person to the site. So we want to do absolutely everything that we can to delight them with what they see.
That’s why Rennie knew early on it was important to get his marketing strategy up and running. He installed a third-party app to capture leads, grow his email list, and send campaigns. But as his list of subscribers grew, so did the costs of the app, which caught his eye as a founder focused on optimizing every dollar spent.
“As important as email is to us, I had to consider the value proposition of spending more on a narrow set of tools, especially when I see more and more of them being brought into Shopify,” Rennie explains.
When Shopify Forms launched, he saw the opportunity to move his marketing into Shopify and pay only for the emails he sends every month. “It was a financial decision, but also a workflow decision, because now I can do everything from one dashboard, and it’s from a dashboard that I trust,” Rennie says.
That trust was built early on, because Rennie was already using one of Shopify’s built-in marketing tools: Shopify Inbox.
Rennie had experienced clunky plug-ins before, and was happy to find something simple to manage customer conversations.
“I kind of helped myself to the ‘Made by Shopify’ apps when we started. And almost from day one, that was part of it,” he says. Now, Wood Wood Toys uses Shopify Inbox to streamline customer conversations. “I [didn’t] have to deal with a third-party developer and plug in any code,” Rennie says.
Inbox helped Rennie quickly answer customer queries and cut down on all the back and forth that comes with email communication. This is key in driving sales, since it allows him to connect with customers who are actively shopping, answer their questions, and instill confidence to make the purchase. “With Shopify Inbox, we can deliver a good customer experience, and answer shoppers’ questions accurately, more often, and faster,” Rennie says. “If somebody reaches out with a problem, I bet eight times out of 10 we can solve it and win the sale.”
When he realized Shopify now had a larger suite of marketing tools, it felt like the perfect time to make the switch. A few weeks before the busy holiday selling season, Rennie replaced his third-party app with some of Shopify’s marketing tools:
- Shopify Forms to convert visitors into email subscribers
- Marketing automations to power welcome emails and customer winback emails
- Shopify Email to create and send email campaigns
- Segmentation to create targeted lists of customers for more personalized campaigns
All of the tools and all the functions that a small business needs to expand are baked into Shopify now.
Through Rennie’s strategic approach to marketing, you can see why he’s been successful at delivering a great experience to his customers over the years, and how he brought the personalized feeling of a small mom-and-pop shop to his online experience.
“We’re also taking advantage of Shopify’s segmentation, so we’re sending the right message to the right person at the right time,” he says. “It’s so important because we don’t want to over communicate or risk burning somebody out and having them unsubscribe because we send them something they might not need at that moment.”
Segmenting emails wasn’t just about good vibes for Wood Wood Toys, it was also good business. “We’ve had product launches where we’ve used Shopify’s segmentation to just email people that have bought from that brand before,” says Rennie. “We pull out the 10% or 20% of the email list and customize the messaging to them, and it performs really well. Those are the ones that have eye-popping conversion numbers.”
It’s all part of how Rennie approaches his broader marketing strategy.
He’s not alone in noticing that getting people to his store has become expensive and time consuming over the past few years. Once they’re there, he wants to make the most of their visit with a great first impression and a relevant offer to get them on his email list using Shopify Forms. If they’re not ready to buy, he wants to make sure that when they are, Wood Wood Toys is there.
“Once we’ve got that email, that email address is gold and we really focus on treating them like the valued customer they are,” says Rennie. Wood Wood Toys is able to deliver the right messages at the right time to the right people with Shopify’s built-in marketing tools.
And by keeping everything within Shopify, Rennie is saving money and time. “As much as I love Shopify, I don’t want to spend eight hours a day looking at it, right?” Rennie says. “The amount of time that it takes for me to build an email campaign and get it into my customer’s inbox is so quick. And the experience is so painless that we’re able to do a better job of communicating our important promotions in a timely manner.”