Australian multichannel brand Kikki.K is putting the right foot forward with its ever-growing online presence. Find out how it’s impressing customers.
Stationery has grown in leaps and bounds over the last ten years. If I was to picture my stationery supply ten years ago, I was starting Year Eight and I had a humble HB pencil in a simple plastic pencil case (I never officially got my pen licence). I don’t know how I survived – now I can openly admit that I am a stationery addict. Luckily for me, and other addicts (there are a few of us in the Power Retail headquarters) good stationery is more accessible than ever. It’s not just about pens and paper either.
Swedish born Kristina Karlsson, a self-confessed stationery lover, founded Australian brand Kikki.K and overnight turned stationery into a fashion statement. Her dream of starting her own business in an area she loved became a reality when she saw a gap in this market. Australia lacked the same styles available in her home country, so Kristina with the help of her partner Paul set about changing this. Kikki.K is now celebrating a decade of triumphs and is now emerging into the hot online retail space.
From chaos to categorised
Kikki.K has had a website since its inception. The faces behind Kikki.K realised that customers were looking for the convenience of online shopping, as well as having a physical presence where they could browse and handle products.
“We established the Kikki.K website very early on in the businesses development,” says Kristina Karlsson, Founder and Creative Director of Kikki.K. “It was initially a ‘home’ for the brand so that people could explore it in their own time. We quickly realised that people were looking for the convenience of shopping from home – so we developed the online shop. It all started from here and with every development in the digital space, we’re constantly trying to remain ahead of the game in all the services we utilise.”
Kikki.K understands that they need to reach their customer across all platforms and make the shopping experience convenient and enjoyable.
“We offer our full products range online, and deliver worldwide,” says Karlsson. “One of the major factors that have contributed to our online success has been our user-friendly online sales process and consistently providing great service for people who want to shop from home.”
But it doesn’t stop there; Karlsson realised there was yet another was a gap in the market and took steps in the direction of filling it. Added to the already strong repertoire was a personalised digital printing service ‘Create with Kikki.K’. This was another creation that makes the Kikki.K experience more convenient for the customers.
Karlsson explains how ‘Create with Kikki.K’ works, “we launched this service so our customers can personalise photobooks, memory books and calendars with their own content, as well as signature Kikki.K text, labels and sticker illustrations.”
Where is the white out?
As with any business, there are always mistakes made and challenges to overcome. For Kikki.K there have been difficulties in keeping the online stock as organised as the bricks and mortar stock.
“Managing stock level availability has been, and continues to be a challenge for online customers,” says Karlsson. “Then getting those orders to our customers quickly and inexpensively, no matter where they are in the world. Integrating backend systems to provide a seamless, unified experience for our customers is far harder than it looks, and you need people on your team who really think holistically about the business across all channels.”
Who can you rely on to help you have the best service possible? That is something Kikki.K struggled to find. “Finding digital agencies and technology providers who understand the complexities of dealing with clicks and mortar retailers is a challenge,” says Karlsson.
Oh, so social!
With an increasing number of social media networks gracing our computer screens these days, it is no surprise that brands are making sure that they have a presence across them all. You will find Kikki.K in most major social media sites on the web, including, Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Google+, YouTube and LinkedIn. What is the reason for being involved in so many sites? Creative genius Karlsson clarifies Kikki.K’s social media compulsion.
“Our presence on social media is not only customer-service based (through everyday communication with our customers), but we also see these tools as a platform to inspire our customers to create and live a life that’s organised in style with Kikki.K products and services. This is a big focus for us, particularly on Pinterest.”
For anyone that isn’t familiar with Pinterest, you must be new to a) the Internet, and b) Power Retail – because it has appeared several times in recent articles. Recently it was announced that Pinterest reached its 10 million U.S unique monthly visitors – faster than any other social network site.
“Pinterest is very much aligned with our brand values,” says Karlsson. “We’re both passionate about helping people organise ideas and inspiration in style. When we saw that users had already started pinning Kikki.K products we decided that the time was right to contribute to the Pinterest community through our own profile. We’ve integrated the Pinterest ‘Follow’ and ‘Pin It’ badges onto our website to encourage stationery lovers to experience and share our brand in this fresh way.”
What’s on your ‘to do list’?
If you have been contemplating broadening your social reach, or considering jumping on the Pinterest bandwagon, how would you know if your brand would appeal to the Pinterest community? With 97% of Pinterest users being women, this is a great social spot for brands to interact with female customers. Follow in the footsteps of a leading stationery brand and give it a go. Brands can use Pinterest in a number of ways to engage with customers. Kikki K recently ran a competition on Pinterest. Customers were to create a pin board and call it ‘Fashion Inspired by Kikki.K’. On these boards, customers would pin fashion items that complimented the new season products from Kikki.K. The winner won tickets to last weeks L’Oreal Melbourne Fashion Festival.
What do Kikki.K love about being online and staying social? “We love that it never stays the same,” says Karlsson. “It’s constantly evolving, and we’re always looking for new and exciting ways to engage with our customers online, and provide world class customer service every time. There’s so much potential in online retail, and even where we’re at now, we’re only just scratching the surface and we’ll continue to experience major growth in online sales for years to come.”