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Case Studies







Swanky Australia: New Shopify Plus Agency Launching Near Brisbane

At Swanky, we’ve helped hundreds of businesses across Europe to reach their full ecommerce potential. Now, we’re launching a brand new office down under!

Written By
Esther Lowde

After 10 years of providing brands with stunning websites that drive conversions, our team at Swanky are excited to announce that we have decided to take our passion for helping clients to the other side of the globe.

More specifically, we have recently opened up a new office in Toowoomba, Australia, near Brisbane and the Gold Coast.

Our super-swanky new office location, in the centre of Toowoomba, directly beneath George Banks.

From there, our leading Shopify Plus agency will better be able to service brands in one of Shopify’s fastest-growing markets who are looking to get the most out of their presence online.

Let’s take a closer look at why Swanky have chosen to extend our reach to Australia and what our Queensland Shopify agency could do for you.

The story behind Swanky Australia

Swanky was born in 2010 when University friends Dan McIvor and Andrew McSweeney recognised the need for a jargon-free ecommerce agency that could provide business owners with all the tools they needed to succeed in an increasingly digital commercial space.

We’ve come a long way since then. Nearly a decade later, Swanky is made up of a dedicated team of Shopify Plus Experts committed to helping businesses in the UK and around the world through our range of web design, store migration, marketing and digital strategy services.

But it isn’t just our agency that has scaled quickly. In the three years that have passed since Swanky was awarded the Shopify Plus Experts accreditation, the Shopify platform itself has grown by ten! In fact, in early 2019, it was named the fastest-growing software service ever – with the APAC region emerging as one of its fastest-growing markets.

From mega-brands such as MuscleNation, Koala Furniture and Triangl Swimwear, to the ambitious Aussie startups our team have been honoured to meet over the last few years, thousands of businesses across the region are choosing to make the Shopify switch.

At Swanky, we’re not surprised. We believe Shopify Plus is the most flexible, reliable and customisable platform on the market, and that, when used right, it can help businesses unlock success like never before.

We want to contribute our years of experience and technical expertise to help Aussie businesses get the most out of their new ecommerce platform. And that’s exactly why we’ve founded Swanky Australia.

Introducing your Australian Shopify Plus Experts

Led by Sean Clanchy, the Swanky Australia team have years of experience in the world of ecommerce – and know pretty much everything there is to know about Shopify.

Sean Clanchy, Director of Swanky Australia

Just like our UK branch, the experts at Swanky Australia will specialise in a variety of ecommerce services; from migrating your entire store to Shopify, refreshing your web design and perfecting your digital strategy, to helping you sell your products across borders and even creating custom apps to suit your unique business needs.

Thanks to Sean’s conversion rate optimisation knowledge, Swanky Australia’s growth strategies are already driving results for our customers.

As always, all of Swanky Australia’s services will be tailored to each brand’s specific requirements and goals, as the team are every bit as passionate as their UK counterparts about providing a personal service.

Based right next to Toowoomba’s new international airport, Swanky Australia will also be well-connected to every part of the country – as well as most of Asia. This means that whether your business is based in the heart of a city or way out in the bush, our team of digital experts will be able to fly out and meet you for a face-to-face consultation as well as catch-ups along the way.

“Swanky are excited to bring our early to mid-size enterprise experience to the APAC region. We hope our experience of larger corporations will help add maturity to an already strong Shopify agency ecosystem in the region. We aim to help POS-only businesses access what is now affordable enterprise-level tech, to help existing online businesses to leverage data, automation and conversion rate optimisation to thrive, and to help Shopify continue to establish itself as the right solution for small, medium and large businesses across Australia, New Zealand and Asia.

We’re proud to confirm that our business processes work in this market, having seen our first couple of clients more than double their monthly retail revenue since re-platforming and partnering with Swanky. As an Australian returning home after several years abroad, I’m excited not only to return home but to base myself in the regional hub that is Toowoomba – with the growth in digital lead business in the region, the introduction of Toowoomba’s first international airport, access to university graduates fresh out of the University of Southern Queensland, and the infrastructure projects pouring cash into the local economy, we think we’ve found a niche location similar to our main HQ in Exeter.

– Sean Clanchy, CEO of Swanky Australia

Swanky’s Shopify success stories in Australia

Whether based in the UK or Australia, all of our Swanky team are motivated to help businesses reach their growth potential and achieve their ecommerce dreams.

So what better way to illustrate what Swanky Australia are all about than to show you what we’ve been able to do for our existing Australian clients?

Peter Williams Riding Apparel

Image source: PWRA’s Facebook page

One of Swanky’s first Australian clients was equestrian clothing brand Peter Williams Riding Apparel.

When PWRA first approached Swanky, they were already a well-established brand who had been one of the top Aussie names in jodhpurs and breeches for more than 50 years.

However, the team found that their growth was being held up by a number of challenges from their previous ecommerce platform.

For example, PWRA were unable to synchronise their inventory automatically between their accounting system and their website, meaning that they had to manually adjust stock for wholesale and online orders in their accounting system.

The team were spending between 5 and 6 hours each day manually sorting out these routine business management tasks – hours that could have been spent on refining and growing their business.

Additionally, they were finding it near impossible to make any adjustments to their site due to a lack of flexibility and customisation options.

Clearly, some big changes needed to be made.

After meeting with PWRA and identifying their particular business needs, Swanky set to work migrating PWRA’s website over to Shopify.

Swanky also took great care in designing them a beautiful, user-friendly new storefront that caters well to both their retail and wholesale customers. They also helped handle the full integration with PWRA’s accounting system, saving the PWRA team at least 5 hours each day.

PWRA’s stunning new retail website; designed by Swanky and hosted by Shopify (via GIPHY)

Swanky were proud to provide a personal service to PWRA’s lovely team throughout the migration process; guiding them through the changes that were happening and teaching them how they could continue to get the most out of Shopify once the project was complete.

“While the jargon and technical side of the project could be confusing, Sean at Swanky was great at simplifying things and explaining them in ‘normal’ language. He even turned up here with a packet of biscuits one afternoon and spent time sitting down helping me to understand the jargon and running me through the processes I’d need to use day-to-day.”

– Helen Barkla, Business Manager at PWRA

And the results of the project have been staggering.

By the end of their first quarter in 2019, PWRA had already exceeded their typical annual revenue significantly, outdoing their performance for the whole of 2018 by over 20% in just a matter of months!

Additionally, the equine brand have been turning over five times their typical monthly turnover from 2018 every month since making the Shopify switch!

“I’ve noticed an increase in sales, and where people used to order just one item they’ll now order a couple or a whole outfit. Now that the website is easier to navigate, customers are able to search for and find the products they are looking for, and our customers love the new reviews system, powered by Okendo.

One thing we have found particularly interesting is that we have started selling products that really weren’t selling before. All of a sudden, we’re saying ‘Wow, people are ordering these items again!’ which for years have been slower sellers.

It’s obvious to us that we are more visible, our site is more searchable and generally just much better at helping our customers find the products they’re looking for. Our wholesale clients are reporting back to us and saying how beautiful the website looks and how wonderful it is to use – and that’s coming from competing shops as well!

From the customer’s point of view, our new website is much more user-friendly – which means more sales for us.”

– Helen Barkla, Business Manager at PWRA

Not only has PWRA’s revenue increased dramatically due to their beautiful and functional new Shopify storefront, but the team have also found that with all of their routine tasks automated and streamlined, they are free to concentrate on the more revenue-generating aspects of their business – meaning it’s only onwards and upwards from here.

“Previously I used to manually enter customer details and create invoices while manually updating stock levels. I seldom had any time to market the business. Now, this app just pulls data from Shopify to our accounting programme and does it all for me. The website is live with our inventory within an hour.

The way Shopify has enabled us to streamline the business and reduce workloads has been wonderful!”

– Helen Barkla, Business Manager at PWRA

Goondiwindi Cotton

Image source: Goondiwindi Cotton’s Facebook page

After seeing such incredible results with PWRA, Swanky were excited to be approached by Goondiwindi Cotton; another well-established and much-loved Australian business who have made and sold their premium cotton clothing range since 1992.  

Despite already having a loyal customer base, the team at Goondiwindi Cotton recognised that they were being held back by the rigidity and limitations of their old platform, which not only made their own business management tasks more difficult but prevented them from creating an enjoyable online shopping experience for their customers.

For example, their original website didn’t actually have product pages; only category pages and quick add-to-cart buttons, making it difficult for customers to find the information that they were looking for about each item.

Due to this lack of indexable content, their website’s SEO was also lacking, meaning they weren’t very visible to their customers on search engines. In turn, this was impeding Goondiwindi Cotton’s growth and stunting their sales.

When the team approached Swanky looking for some help, it was clear that in order to fulfil their potential, Goondiwindi Cotton needed a modernised website which would be both easy to manage and for their customers to navigate.

To get the project started, Swanky Australia’s CEO, Sean Clanchy, drove out to meet the team at Goondiwindi Cotton’s base in regional Queensland. Having understood the business’ specific needs and growth opportunities, he scoped out a solution for the Goondiwindi Cotton team – namely a migration to a more scalable technology platform – and coached them on the benefits of moving to Shopify.

Swanky’s Founder Dan McIvor (left) and Swanky Australia’s CEO Sean Clanchy (right) at Goondiwindi Cotton’s cotton farms.

Back in the office, our team of experts then got to work migrating Goondiwindi Cotton’s existing website to Shopify.

They also designed the business a beautiful new retail storefront which, as always, combined form with function to deliver an outstanding customer experience.

Goondiwindi Cotton’s new Swanky retail website (via GIPHY)

After the project was complete, Goondiwindi Cotton were left with a Shopify website that looked incredible and was easy to use. But how did this impact the brand’s sales?

In their first two months using Shopify, the Goondiwindi Cotton team have doubled their monthly turnover!

The team are also seeing a strikingly higher average order value, along with an increased conversion rate.

With their revenue increasing so significantly, we look forward to seeing Goondiwindi Cotton continue to grow locally and hopefully internationally in the months and years to come.  

In addition to these major projects, Swanky are proud to have achieved similarly exciting results even in the smaller ventures that our team have undertaken with regional startups in Australia.

For example, our team were pleased to give a consultation to Aussie cosmetics startup Levicute, who approached our team looking for help creating an effective subscription service, automating their marketing tasks and adding customer reviews to their website.

To help Levicute achieve their goals, our Swanky team were able to leverage our long-standing relationships with widely trusted Shopify apps ReCharge, Klaviyo and Okendo to integrate their subscription, review and email services into the store.

As a result, Levicute is seeing more sales, customer satisfaction and loyalty than ever.

On top of this, Swanky recently had the chance to help popular Queensland clothing brand Hitchley and Harrow out with a new Shopify website build and fully integrated loyalty program, which we predict will lead to a major increase in customer retention, happiness and lifetime value for the brand.

Looking for a Shopify agency in Australia?

Clearly, all of the above Aussie businesses are now scaling, growing and exceeding their business goals.

At Swanky Australia, we’d like to see the same happen for brands along the East Coast and beyond.

So, if you’re an Australian business looking for help with your store design, Shopify migration or creating a strong digital strategy, we’d love to hear from you.

Please get in touch with one of our friendly ecommerce experts at Swanky Australia if you’d like to find out more.

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