In today’s modern society, it’s somewhat easy to be sceptical about businesses based on a ‘traditional’ business model. Everything’s about digital these days, after all. But that isn’t to say that we don’t need traditional businesses. For example, Paperstone, the office supplies company, are currently celebrating ten years in business. Selling paper, pens and all things ‘non-techy’ can be a bit of a struggle in this day and age. Of course they sell all kinds of other stuff too, like printers and so on, but it’s a struggle nonetheless. We do need these products though, so it was all down to how they rolled with the times, as it were. So, how have they managed this? By integrating their business strategy with modern initiatives, of course!
When Paperstone were a start-up themselves, things were pretty basic, but they worked. Starting out in 2004, their many products were displayed in a catalogue. This is all very well and good, however, with the digital landscape growing as it was, they were very aware that they’d need to develop a website. This was launched a year later, and has been further developed over the years to become what it is today. Of course, thankfully, the business kept growing, and from one glance at their celebratory birthday page, you can see exactly how the world was changing and things they may have had to contend with at the same time! Things just got better and better for Paperstone, and they finally won their first industry award back in 2009.
By 2010, the somewhat inevitable step towards social media was taken, and they’ve not looked back. Looking at their Twitter, their core structure now revolves around the fact that they’re an online business by definition. With a modest, but healthy social media following which sees the company tweet about a good mix of office and industry news, alongside some ‘just for fun’ stuff to help engagement, their modern approach to marketing is admirable, what with their aforementioned social practices, as well as the digital marketing work they do in general. It’s paying off – in 2012, Paperstone picked up the BOSS award for e-tailer of the year.
But how is this translating to actual success? Well, thankfully, in a very healthy manner. If it’s any indication of their reputation, Paperstone have around 20,000 office products in stock that work fantastically online. They’ve managed to bridge the gap between offline and the digital world perfectly, with over 100,000 orders placed (including enough pencils to stack up as high as the Ben Nevis Mountain TEN TIMES).
Today’s fast paced society can be overwhelming for any start-up, and you may be wondering how your business model fits in. But this case study is proof – and just one example – that, given some insight into digital marketing and e-commerce, your business can also come out top of your niche.