Big Ceramic Store and Bracker’s Good Earth Clay are two influential ceramic stores within the ceramic industry. BigCeramicsStore.com was founded by a husband and wife team in 1999 when the ceramic industry was just getting involved on Web 2.0. In 2013, the couple sold the business to Vertana, a NYC based e-commerce company. Bracker’s Good Earth is also owned by a husband and wife team that starting selling ceramic supplies in 1985 and began a web presence in 2000. Each company has a e-commerce website; however this is where they begin to differ. Big Ceramic Store (BCS) website is a traditional e-commerce store with links to Facebook, Pinterest, and the company blog. Bracker’s website is enriched with offering an extensive collections of social media networks and it provides content rich information presenting them as a ceramic industry leader. Each company uses social media to create brand awareness, drive traffic to the company website, build relationships with consumers but they have different goals.
Big Ceramic Store is known for selling “big” ticket items, such as a pottery kiln or wheel, with free shipping. This is an alluring marketing tactic in a niche industry. Big Ceramic Store has created a 1950’s diner style website that directs the consumer right to products they are looking for as seen below:
The BCS social media strategy is apparent as soon as the consumer lands on the front page. BCS has invested in driving business through the store e-newsletter which pop-up instantaneously. The goal behind collecting emails is to turn potential leads into return customers. BCS e-newsletter is focused on conversion which is apparent with an immediate sign-on bonus of 15% off. Once the consumer joins the BCS e-newsletter, he or she will continue to receive frequent incentive discounts especially based on areas within the store where the consumer has visited. The BCS e-newsletter is designed to increase web traffic and sales through conversions while building brand awareness and communicating directly with the consumer.
Big Ceramic Store also uses the social media networks, Facebook and Pinterest, to post sales; however, Pinterest has a stronger impact with 1.6K followers, 29 boards, and 862 pins. A popular board on Pinterest is called BCS Announcements linking viewers to BCS blog and discounts. The Pinterest boards and Facebook link the consumer back to BigCeramicStore.com to watch ceramic videos, read the BCS blog, or make a purchase. Both social media channels support the company goal to convert the potential lead into a sale by driving the consumer to the website.
Bracker’s has a distinctively different approach to socially engaging the ceramic consumer. The Bracker’s website is overwhelming the consumer with a large volume of ceramic content earmarking them a leader in the ceramic industry. In addition, Brackers.com offers repetitively links to the social media channels with banners as noted below that the consumer is lead to believe Bracker’s is super social
This extensive presence promotes the Bracker brand to a wide audience and can leave the consumer feeling compelled to click through to one of the networks. The Bracker’s website offers upcoming events which can be conveniently added to a consumers Google, Outlook or Apple Calendar; it has informative video’s educating the ceramic consumer on relevant content. Bracker’s is using the tactic of search engine optimization (SEO) with keywords and the repetitive social media channel with reciprocal links to earn ranking organically on search engines such as Google, Bing, and Yahoo. Since the actual Bracker’s e-commerce store is hard to find, the company goal is education and brand awareness as a ceramic industry leader.
Consumers Vs. Industry Leader
Big Ceramics Store is branded for “big” discounts and offers constant contact with the consumer through an e-newsletter. The company’s goal is to drive traffic to the e-commerce website, develop brand loyalty through social media channels, such as Facebook and Pinterest, and convert leads e-newsletter subscribers into sales. Bracker’s Good Earth Clay is recognized as a ceramic industry leader by offering a plethora of high quality content, informational videos, an educational blog, an extensive presence on the social media landscape, daily listings of ceramic events, and uses search optimization tools to increase web traffic. Both companies use their website to connect and communicate with the consumer, however Big Ceramic Store is effectively building a relationship with the consumer through the e-newsletter and discounts. Bracker’s is branded as a ceramic industry leader and used a reference and resource more so than generating a return on investment. What do you want from your ceramic supplier, “big” discounts or a social calendar?