After years of working in the tech industry, Mike Scruggs decided it was time to pack in the 9 to 5 and go out on his own. He had always enjoyed DIY and so decided to purchase a rental property and refurbish it. The first time a sprinkler broke, he found himself driving 7 miles to the nearest Home Depot for replacement parts. Over the next couple of months the journey to Home Depot became a frequent one for Mike and he grew frustrated by the amount of time he was spending travelling back and forth.
He felt that his community would really benefit from having their own hardware store so he decided to look into opening one. In October 2012, Mike & his wife Susan made the leap and opened Tierrasanta Ace Hardware. Five years on their business is going strong and has become an integral part of the Tierrasanta community.
Attracting Customers & Driving In-Store Sales
Mike says convenience is one of the biggest factors that brings people to his store “We’re located in a cul-de-sac community and like most Ace Hardware stores, convenience is a huge competitive advantage for us. If someone in the area needs a quick hardware fix, they’re going to come to us.”
Customer service has also played a considerable role in helping Mike to create a loyal customer base “The Ace Hardware group places a lot of emphasis on the importance of customer service. People expect a much higher level of knowledge from hardware store employees than in most other stores. For example you wouldn’t go to a grocery store to buy ingredients for eggs Benedict and ask the clerk to show you how to cook it. But you do expect your hardware store staff member to be able to show you how to use the electric drill you’ve just bought.”
Mike says that Pointy has been instrumental in keeping their store fresh in customer’s minds “Pointy allows us to list all of our products online in a way that is optimised for local search. Now when someone nearby searches online for a product that we stock, they’ll be directed to our store rather than the competition.”
Competing With The Online Giants
In today’s tech centric world, getting attention from customers over all of the other noise can be a difficult task. Mike wanted to find a way to grab people’s attention online and drive more customers to his store “Search engines like Google & Bing mean that customers are more knowledgeable than ever before – they know what they want and they’re going online to search for it. The more obviously you can pop up in these searches the more likely they are to buy the product from you. Pointy provided a really inexpensive way to get of my products online and ranking highly in search results. It’s helping us to attract customers that we otherwise would have lost to Amazon”.
When Pointy first approached him, Mike admits he was skeptical “The price seemed astronomically low and I was dubious of how much it would actually deliver. However, I must say I’ve been pleasantly surprised so far. I’m really impressed with the overall quality of our Pointy Page – the product images and descriptions are great and our all of store details including opening hours and location are displayed prominently. And the best part is it required virtually no work from me!”
Given the easy set up and affordable price Mike says he would recommend that all independent retailers give Pointy a try. “The installation took about two minutes. After that I simply stood back and it all just happened automatically. The resulting Pointy Page is very professional and I think it’s really helping my overall online presence.”
You can visit Tierrasanta’s Ace Hardware’s Pointy Page HERE.