Tom McGrath had just left for college when his mother decided to open a small gift shop selling Irish imports in the side wing of their family home. Over the years Tipperary Irish Importer grew quickly and is now famous across the US for its eclectic range of Irish made products. After graduating from college, Tom returned home to oversee the construction of the new store while his parents were in Ireland. 33 years later he is still there and has played a key role in growing the business from its humble beginnings in 1979.
Located in the suburb of Brunswick New York, Tom describes Tipperary Irish Importer as a destination store “People don’t just happen upon our store – you really have to want to come to us. That’s why we go out of our way to make sure that we provide our customers with new ranges of products and a different experience every time they visit. The last thing we want is a customer coming into the store and saying it’s exactly the same as 15 years ago, or even 6 months ago. We like to keep things fresh.”
Driving Customers To The Store
In 2016, Tom was introduced to the founders of Pointy at a NACTA (North American Celtic Trade Association) event in Dublin. He admitted that he was skeptical when they first approached in him with their idea “Lots of people pitch us this service, that app, feed this, click that. However, most of the time these services have very little relevance to brick and mortar retailers. Pointy is different in that it just works. We plugged in the device, continued scanning as normal and almost instantly our unique product range was online and ranking highly in search results – it was that simple.”
Tom says they owe their high volume of repeat purchases to their excellent customer service and unique product offering. His staff are highly knowledgeable and have the ability to pitch each product in a way that relates to the customer on a personal level “Our slogan is “Basic Irish Luxury” meaning there’s something in our store for everyone. For one person luxury might be a Cadbury’s Crunchie Bar while for another it’s a $1000 piece of jewellery. Our staff research and learn about each and every designer that we stock – it’s more than just a high-school kid sitting behind the till.”
The Value Of Being On Pointy
Tom describes the difference between setting up an e-commerce website & installing Pointy to be exponential “We’ve been selling online since 1996 and I can tell you from experience that it’s a tremendous amount of work to do it properly. Each product takes about half an hour of effort between uploading images and adding descriptions. In comparison Pointy takes all of 5 minutes to set up. They do all the work and better yet, it actually works!”
Despite putting a lot of time into his e-commerce site, Tom found that some of his products were rarely showing up in Google search results. As an independent retailer with limited time and resources, he was on the lookout for a quick and cost effective way to make his unique range of products more visible online. Pointy had the solution “In my role I wear a lot of different hats so I’m very much in favour of services that make my life easier. If somebody wants to wear one of my hats that’s great. That’s exactly what Pointy does – they do absolutely everything from setting up your individual Pointy Page and sourcing product information to making your products rank highly in search results. For me the question for retailers is why wouldn’t you be on Pointy?”
Pointy is a little box that you plug into your cash-register that automatically builds an online store of all your products. Click here to learn more about how your store can use Pointy to drive more customers and get found online.