“There’s always an opportunity with crisis. Just as it forces an individual to look inside himself, it forces a company to reexamine its policies and practices.” Judy Smith
This quote seems particularly apt for Shauna Kilduff, owner of Shauna’s Pet Shop in Dublin, Ireland. Shauna found herself opening her own pet shop in 2011 after losing her job in the financial sector in the economic downturn in 2008. After a succession of different jobs, she took the plunge and opened her own business doing something she felt very passionate about – ethical and humane pet sales and pet supplies.
Social media has been an important platform for Shauna over the years as it provides a way to connect with her customers in real-time. Focusing mainly on Facebook, Instagram, and adding YouTube, she can share her knowledge and build a loyal audience.
When asked about advertising on Facebook to extend the reach of her business, she felt that was not an issue as she already receives “four-figure engagements” with every post. For a high street shop, that is an excellent “return on effort.”
In January, Shauna felt the need to update her website and to add eCommerce capabilities. She’s not sure why but she was convinced it had to be done, and her timing couldn’t have been better for her business. While the shop was designated an “essential service” and could stay open, foot traffic to the store dropped off significantly as the Irish government implemented a lock-down. But because she had developed the eCommerce capabilities of her website, she was able to service not only her local customers but also to reach customers across the whole of Ireland.
Shauna has also recently invested in Google AdWords, which has also had a positive impact on her business. Coupling that with a strong social media presence and an excellent eCommerce and fulfillment process has allowed her not just to get through the pandemic but also to expand her business.
Her focus on redesigning and upgrading her website has also brought an additional benefit – the number 1 position on Google for pet shops in Ireland. Quality content on an excellent technical platform and using Best Practices in the building of the website means she is ranking higher than some larger pet stores.
Shauna has moved a long way from the 2008 financial crisis to the 2020 pandemic, but she has continually examined her approach, and the results speak for themselves.
See Shauna’s website here!