Website Closers® presents a well-established eCommerce business that has discovered an exceptionally large and thriving customer base for model airplanes. Their products which now exceed 10,000+ SKUs, have proven to be particularly appealing to collectors who make large purchases and are happy to add to their collection whenever new products are created. But the brand’s sales are not limited to collectors, and they now enjoy a stunning customer base that exceeds 20,000+.
Even more impressive is that with a large average order value of $182, their growth over the past two decades has enabled this company to attract a devoted customer base, and half of all sales now come from repeat customers.
This brand is recognized globally as having the largest inventory of high-quality aviation and military collectibles in the world. This reputation has become equally as important as the high quality of their products and customer service.
Found in 1997, this company wanted collectors around the world to have a reliable source for aviation-themed memorabilia. The company wanted to combine the best possible site for these collectibles along with personalized service, competitive pricing, and expedited shipping. What they discovered is that the market for these types of memorabilia items is quite enormous and getting larger every year. Across the U.S., there are more than 9 Aviation Collectibles Conventions being held in 2021, attracting large crowds. Studies indicate that aviation memorabilia collectors come from all walks of life, including many who have never been in either the Air Force or the airline industry, but may be connected by their love for the nostalgia of the golden age of air travel, or a love of history. Whatever their reason for deciding to seek out this kind of aviation collectibles, their numbers are growing fast.
Having understood this passion, this brand set up their eCommerce site to make it easy to find and collect those items, and their goal was also to be available and accessible to help consumers make those purchases. Their hard work has paid off as the customer base has gotten increasingly loyal and repeat sales represent 50% of their business.
It has helped enormously that aviation memorabilia isn’t limited to a relatively small number of items. The brand has continued to expand and the total online products listed for sale on their website is 10,450+ different SKUs.
This brand has been boosted by changes within the industry itself. While aviation model production started in the early 1990s with a small quantity of items for specialized retailers, new products have been added every year, with advancements in quality, craftsmanship, and authenticity, making these products more valuable – and more appealing to the collector and casual buyer alike. The company even has its own selection of exclusive products developed specifically for their online store, which include a model replica of top modern ace Giora Epstein’s F-16 that comes with a certificate of authenticity, hand-signed metal name plate, stand, and photograph of Epstein. Their exclusives have performed exceptionally well with customers. Their top selling products include models of historic military and civilian aircraft and vehicles, which have made up 60% of sales.
This company’s customer base has mainly been men, but while it started out with middle-aged consumers who had some past involvement in the aviation industry, today they attract buyers from age 30 right up to age 100. The brand also has customers who have been with them for the past 20+ years.
Their sales remain consistent year-round, with spikes around the holidays from Thanksgiving and Black Friday straight through New Year’s. Over the past five years, gross revenue has risen by 20%+, indicating the growing demand for these collectibles and memorabilia.
With this kind of specialized product, the company has put a strong emphasis on word-of-mouth referrals from satisfied customers, which has worked well.
However, the company has also leveraged a vibrant email database of 12,000 subscribers for email alerts, and they have a strong social media marketing campaign with 1,400+ followers on Facebook. More traditional forms of advertising, including annual ads in aviation magazines, have been effective as well in driving traffic to their website since it now averages 14,000+ visitors per month.
A fifth key strategy has been the use of Google Adwords, which has provided the company with another solid uptick in sales since that campaign got launched.
There are exceptional growth opportunities for a company like this. Right now, most sales are conducted on their website, although they have started listing some items on both Amazon and eBay.
A top strategy would be to significantly expand their presence on both sites but particularly Amazon, which would give the brand a considerably larger platform for future sales. The fact that Amazon also has foreign platforms would be a major benefit as well, since this brand already gets sales from countries outside the U.S.
The company has unique options for expanding its SKUs. That could include offering aviation art, something that hasn’t yet been added to their website. Since this kind of art is quite valuable to collectors, this would be a profitable expansion.
Other items to add could include apparel, gift items, children’s toys, and drones.
Another good option would be to explore the wholesale market and begin marketing for direct B2B sales. Digital marketing represents another excellent option. The company could create more aggressive social media marketing campaigns and put a blog on the website to help drive organic traffic, since the current owner feels organic has been the top driver of sales to date.
When business picks up, the company tens to make an impressive 60 shipments per day from their 10,000 square foot warehouse, which now houses more than 35,000 pieces of inventory. Turnover is about six months to a year.
For the owner, this is a business that operates efficiently to maximize profits, and the current owner now spends between 10-20 hours per week running it. The owner is assisted by three full-time workers that include a director of operations, office manager and warehouse manager, and a part-time developer. These employees focus on fulfilling orders, managing calls and emails from customers, receiving inventory, and managing the website.
While many eCommerce businesses are focused on building up their client base and getting the word out that they exist, this company already has a massive and faithful customer base that has given them invaluable word of mouth praise that continues to pay major dividends as new customers come on. They’re a respected company across the globe, enjoying sales that surpass $1 million. That customer base is a tremendous benefit to a new owner, who would then be able to leverage tools such as Amazon, digital marketing, and new and desirable products to expand even further. For such a uniquely established company, this one is in an ideal position to grow quickly.
This eCommerce Brand Represented by:
Technology, Internet & eCommerce Business Brokers
Listing ID: WC2347