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    Establishing an edge: How tech can get you to think creatively

    Betsan Jones
    Technology Journalist

    Betsan Jones is a freelance lifestyle and tech journalist with experience across a number of international publications

    Betsan Jones
    Technology Journalist

    Betsan Jones is a freelance lifestyle and tech journalist with experience across a number of international publications

    Highlights
    • Creative thinking and digital technology are important for helping small businesses overcome hurdles.    
    • Cloud-based platforms can provide solutions that enable entrepreneurs to manage all aspects of their businesses.    
    • Gathering consensual data on customers through your website can help your business to develop creative approaches for talking to customers.    

    For most startups, when budget is tight creative thinking is key. For one Aussie business, low-cost digital solutions offered the scope for establishing a crucial edge.

    Taking the plunge from a corporate role to launching a startup requires creative thinking. For Adelaide-based Kelly Jamieson, it also required courage. Leaving a top-tier law firm in order to juggle a job as consultant and part-time entrepreneur, Kelly fit the running of her new venture in alongside her existing 30-hour working week.

    A decade on, the business is in cities across Australia and New Zealand, with a view to a European presence in the near future.

    Edible Blooms is a gift delivery service that specialises in bouquets made entirely from fresh fruit and chocolate. When Kelly started the venture in 2005, getting noticed meant more than a social media presence: she needed creative ways of getting Edible Blooms’ message out to the public.

    In a quiet period after the opening of their Sydney store, Kelly took matters into her own hands and donned a strawberry suit and strolled up and down Oxford Street handing out flyers.

    It worked. The business grew fast and by the end of the full financial year had topped $1 million in sales.

    “Innovating is an essential,” says Kelly.

    “In the early days, competitors would bother me. But now I see that competitors help increase awareness for our category. We actually have about 60 per cent of the traffic for our category.”

    two women meeting in a cafe to work

    Digital solutions

    Since her first foray into direct marketing, Kelly’s approach has taken a digital turn. The company established itself on an e-commerce platform and Edible Blooms also became an early adopter of cloud technology.

    “The type of product we sell are products people tend to order last minute,” says Kelly.

    “Seventy per cent, possibly more, are usually purchased for the same day or next day. So e-commerce is the best platform for us.”

    Using the platform to run her business, Kelly can manage all aspects of the business – from inventory to sales to shipping – from one dashboard. And for her, it’s an efficient solution.

    “We have had a cost saving in overhead costs, but also an increase in sales with the online platform – it essentially delivered to the bottom line in two places.”

    Connecting with tech

    The ability to gather consensual data on customers through their website, newsletter and social media analytics means Edible Blooms can utilise creative approaches for talking to their customers.

    With over 125,000 people on their mailing list, email communications have a big impact. By using customer data, Edible Blooms can develop their email campaigns to focus on occasion dates such as birthdays and special occasions.  Targeting and activating customers in a tailored and personalised way means there’s limited wastage when it comes to their marketing spend and a better customer experience.

    “We are really working on our customer database and are trying to create a complex customer experience,” she explains.

    The company’s expansive customer database also allows them to forecast how the business will behave, and therefore what to prepare for.

    “We can predict our daily sales based on trends. We compare the calendar week from this year to last year and I can track how much growth we’re expecting to have. This means we can predict staffing and stock levels much more accurately.”

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