8ball T-shirts were a tremendously successful T-shirt company, before the wrong investments in the wrong agencies nearly cost them everything. Rich from 8ball tells us his story.
Between 2009 and 2011 we were eye-wateringly successful. We had 250,000 people visiting the site every month. There wasn’t much competition, our costs were low and our profits were high. We did all our own designs, printing, customer service and returns, but we outsourced all our IT development, external marketing for SEO and adwords and email marketing to 2 or 3 different agencies. We looked at it like, these agencies handled the technical side of the business.
We ended up putting our trust in the wrong people. We were hamstrung with a website that not only didn’t work, but it caused us to be put under Google Penalties. We were always the #1 result for hundreds and hundreds of T-shirt keywords, but now we were plummeting down the search engine results. Trying to correct the faulty website cost us £200,000.
At this point, because our website was unusable we were selling mainly through Amazon and Ebay. We were spending every working minute dealing with the huge technical problems, and spending less and less time focusing on our brand and on the customer experience. At one stage our revenue had dropped by 70% and 8ball was going to go under unless we made some big changes.
As soon as we got on board with Tshirtify and launched the new store, things started changing for us overnight. The average order value went up, the page speed became great, the time spent on the website increased. Thanks to Tshirtify the customer experience is quick, friendly, it’s funny, it’s quirky and cool - people really get a sense that this is a good company and they want to come back.
The biggest indicator of success for me is the Returning Customer Rate. During all our years of technical problems, that rate had shot down. Because we were mainly selling T-shirts through Amazon and Ebay, so those customers aren’t returning to us, they’re returning to Amazon and Ebay. After re-branding and taking control of the social media and relying on Tshirtify to change the customer experience, the Returning Customer Rate started steadily rising. It was increasing about 5% every single month.
If we just look at the 8ball Instagram Store, we can see all these people sharing photos of them wearing our shirts, and how happy they are with the quality that Tshirtify are producing. The fact that our customers are freely and enthusiastically sharing these pictures is amazing and it’s something that never used to happen before Tshirtify.
Our customers are happy. They’re having a great experience, they’re shouting about it and telling their friend on social media, and they’re coming back again and again.