Acon’s goal is to get children and young people moving in an exciting way. The company’s products activate people to move at home, specifically outside of organized hobbies and school.
“We’re best known for trampolines. They are good, quality products. We want to keep making products and services for how people get moving at home, outside active hobbies,” says Marko Manninen, Vice CEO at Acon.
The company decided to update its online stores a few years ago. When it compared a few platforms, Shopify was not its first choice. However, the problems it faced with other e-commerce platforms made it look at the Shopify Plus solution again. The decision has not been regretted.
“We were specifically looking for scalability from an e-commerce platform and that is what Shopify has delivered,” Manninen says.
Acon has five online stores and three brick-and-mortar stores of its own: two in Finland and one in the US state of Minnesota. The company’s products are sold on Amazon, eBay and in Walmart, in addition to its own stores.
Building a brand with true images
Acon’s growth targets for the next three years are big. The desire for growth also places its own challenges on the e-commerce platform. Manninen says that products that excite people to get moving have so far been sold in almost all European countries, as well as in the US and Canada.
Acon’s several online stores are switching to the Shopify Plus platform one by one. The first was the US online store, after which the other stores have been opened through efficient cloning: Acon24.se and Acon.fi. When the look and functions of one store have been planned, duplicating it into stores for other languages and market regions is fast.
The company’s target audiences can be divided into two: one half uses the product, while the other adds the product its shopping basket and pays. The messages from each target audience differ, but they still share a background component: speaking truthfully about the product.
“You can market the brand at various levels, but if what you say doesn’t match the product, it’s pointless. A good product aimed at the right target: that’s a big part of bringing the brand forwards. Not too much hype, but not too much fawning, either.”
Over 90% of the company’s sales happen online. Everything that is done on social media and search engines is significant work. The Thrill seekers video production plays a big role in the Acon look. Videos also help paint an honest picture of products.
“We try to push our brand forward by creating certain mental images and producing certain materials.”
Power from a holistic platform
When checking its efficacy and performance figures, Acon noticed changes in the organic growth of online stores that had switched to Shopify. Previously, the fragmentation of the e-commerce platform used had caused poor results from an SEO perspective. The SEO angle has been corrected since moving to Shopify.
“We have now been able to concentrate on online retail and campaigns. We haven’t spent time putting out fires,” Manninen says.
Now, Acon is going through the daily routine of running its online stores and learning the features of the new platform.
“We’re now at the stage where we are based on a holistic e-commerce platform whose functions we can rely on.”
Acon and Manninen praise Woolman for staying on schedule, even though the project deadlines were tight at times.
“The dialogue has been good, including the ability to say no when needed. Easy, open communication is a really big advantage,” Manninen says.