Power Retail Podcast: How Hooked Online Reels in the Sales

Ally Feiam By Ally Feiam | 05 Aug 2019

As one of the first online fishing stores in Australia, Hooked Online has made a name for itself in the boating sector. We sat down with Director, Paul Nieuwenhuys, to discuss finding a niche, the importance of customer experience and why the price isn’t always the most important part of running a successful business.

When it comes to shopping for fishing products, these guys have captured the market – hook, line and sinker. Hooked Online was started by ‘accident’ in 2010 by Paul Nieuwenhuys, who began purchasing goods on eBay.

It took some time for Mr Nieuwenhuys to discover the products that people would buy over and over again, as some items, such as golf clubs, would be bought once and replaced every five years.

He and his brother owned a boat-hire business on the Gold Coast when the niche came to him. “One day, these guys hired a boat and came in for some fishing tackle. They went out for the day, came back all excited, with an esky full of fish, and they walked straight back into the retail store and purchased some more hooks, lines, sinkers, etc. I went ‘bang, there it is, there’s a niche’,” Mr Nieuwenhuys explained. “It’s consumable, and it’s someone’s hobby – they’re constantly upgrading and losing gear.”

After doing some research on eBay, he learned some basic tips for selling goods online. “Ten years ago, it was very hard to convince people to purchase online,” he said. Time has changed since he first began his fishing venture. Once taking his own photos, he now can rely on the supplier’s high-quality images. There were also the days of writing long-winded descriptions, which are no longer a necessity thanks to changing customer behaviour. “The long-winded, exhaustive descriptions are a thing of the past,” he explained. “It’s now bullet point; people are shopping on their phones, they’re time poor and, in my category mostly, people are replacing products, sot hey know what they want.”

Staying in tune with the shift in customer behaviour, Mr Nieuwenhuys know that customer experience is more important than price. “We had a race to the bottom on pricing,” he explained. “But, now people are expecting service – they want their goods quickly, they like to see a seller that’s got 99 or 100 per cent feedback.”

To listen to the full podcast, tune in to the Power Retail Podcast at the Retail Global Gold Coast 2019 Conference below.

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