The company ethos – virtually an obsession – is safety: understanding the safety features of all products in order to give parents the best possible advice to keep their babies safe and secure. “After all, a car seat is a life-saving device that may one day be called upon to do just that,” is how company founder Tony Kealy puts it.
This ethos is the basis for customer relationships that depend on trust; relationships that may last for many years. Typically, a customer-first engages with the Tony Kealys brand three or four months before the birth of the first child, when parents-to-be start looking at prams, buggies, cots and car seats, and continues into the first three or four years of each child’s life.
Tony Kealys was established half a century ago, but it was in 2004 that Paul Kealy, decided to focus entirely on prams and nursery products. The company sells leading brands such as Silver Cross, Bugaboo, Babylo, Egg, Nuna, BeSafe, Joie, Maxi-Cosi, Britax, Uppababy and Axkid.
“With the birth rate in Ireland at around 2.3 children per parent, that means the typical active and ongoing relationship can last nine to 12 years or more,”
- Alison Kealy
Building loyalty online
Now that so much of Tony Kealys’ customer base has moved online, Shopbox is playing an important role in winning and maintaining customer trust and loyalty. Alison Kealy is responsible for the eCommerce side of the business. “People obviously want the convenience of being able to shop online and we want to ensure that they still get the best possible information and can see all the options, enabling them to make the best choice,” she said.
The company has had an online presence for more than a decade but in 2020 it replatformed to Shopify which was when they also considered implementing Shopbox “The implementation of Shopbox was totally seamless, it was amazing. And Shopbox has been highly proactive and responsive to our requests ever since,” Alison said.
“First impressions count. That applies when a shopper steps into one of our stores for the first time, and it applies equally online. You want shoppers to find the website easy and convenient to use, and you want it to be helpful like a good shop assistant.
“Shopbox helps customers by providing intelligent options, in a way that is helpful without being intrusive. Other solutions we tried seemed fairly random, but Shopbox appears to know what shoppers are looking for. For example, it shows you the same product from the same brand in a different colour, or it shows you a near-identical product in the same colour from a different brand – customers get to see equivalent products they may not otherwise consider” Alison said.
“That way the customer hones in on the product that best meets both their needs and their tastes.”
And then when the customer returns, Shopbox makes it easy for them to resume where they left off, with a ‘Welcome back’ message. That’s really useful, it saves a lot of time, and it’s super-friendly,”
- Alison Kealy
These features are driving excellent results. “In the first 4 weeks, we saw a double-digit increase in conversion which convinced us of Shopbox’s value. In fact, it paid for itself within 4 weeks.”
Shopbox came at an opportune moment. As an essential service, the company could keep its shops open during the Covid-19 pandemic, and did so, apart from a few weeks at the height of the crisis. Since then, customers were able to make an appointment for a car seat fitting or to pick up products.
But with people generally reluctant to travel into city centre areas, it was great to be able to provide helpful guidance online.
“For me, the big advantage of Shopbox is that it gives shoppers answers without them even knowing what question to ask!”
- Alison Kealy