Australia’s original natural teething and educational toy maker Mizzie The Kangaroo has achieved a surge in online sales despite the COVID-19 pandemic by diversifying their digital promotion.
The Brisbane-based company pivoted to focus on online sales after the wholesale side of the business was hit hard by the pandemic.
The company’s appetite for exploring new promotional opportunities also saw Mizzie open its first pop-up shop in Brisbane last month which will run until the end of September.
Founder and Managing Director Sandra Ebbott said redirecting the company’s focus from wholesale to online sales had been an interesting journey.
‘Up until March, 80% of our business was wholesale and that was gone almost overnight when the pandemic started – but our customers weren’t,’ she said.
‘Babies were still teething, and toddlers were still needing to learn and explore, and perhaps even more so than before parents were looking for toys that entertain and help their children to learn and develop through fun.
‘We’ve always had a website but it wasn’t our focus – when online sales are only 20% of your business, a website is something that’s there and ticking along only.
‘But when the pandemic hit, we started creating additional relevant content for our customers including blog posts, newsletters and baby tips to keep people interested and engaged.
‘Now 70% of our business comes from online sales.’
Mizzie was founded almost 5 years ago after a group of Brisbane parents having coffee lamented not being able to find suitable teething and fun educational toys for their babies and toddlers.
The company now has 6 staff and exports to Europe, the UK and the US.
As part of their new strategy to rapidly boost the company’s online presence, Mizzie recently recruited 25 brand ambassadors in 6 countries.
‘In a time that we can’t physically travel, our followers can travel with our ambassadors and it gives parents the opportunity to exchange stories about what’s going on in Italy, Spain or anywhere,’ Ms Ebbott said.
‘The ambassadors shoot life with their kids having fun with Mizzie and through their social media followings, we now have a social media reach that’s over hundreds of thousands.
‘We’ve also got people in Spain, Germany and Italy who simultaneously translate our social media posts meaning our international customers can read about Mizzie in their own language, which helps make our content more relevant to them.’
Ms Ebbott said online retail sales and the company’s first pop-up shop at Ascot had both boosted brand awareness by allowing the company to communicate their message of ‘developing children through fun’ more directly to customers.
‘It’s been hugely gratifying talking to customers face-to-face in the shop because usually we’re normally only at trade fairs,’ she said.
‘Sometimes shopping online can be a little overwhelming if you don’t know our brand, but in the shop new customers can immerse themselves into our brand and ask questions easily.
‘I’ve been very grateful of the government support from all sides including TIQ, Advance Queensland and the Brisbane City Council.
‘It’s been impressive how they have tried to support scaleups like us as much as possible though opportunities like our pop up shop as part of the Brisbane City Council Shopfront Activation Program – that’s something we would never had had the opportunity to do on our own.’
Looking ahead, Ms Ebbott said the company remained focused on global expansion despite the disruption caused by the pandemic.
‘Our biggest focus now is getting the UK and EU markets, which we entered last year, really right, then next year we can refocus on US.’
Mizzie The Kangaroo is proud to join TIQ’s #SupportQLDExport campaign to celebrate exporters who have been succeeding globally and locally, showing resilience, adaptability and dedication over the past year.
Learn more about the campaign and share your #SupportQLDExport story.