With thousands of products online in an easy-to-use, informative website, Restaurant Equipment Online has become a leading e-retailer for food service and commercial kitchen equipment, direct to the public and professional sectors since its founding in 2013.
According to founder and director Matt Rubenstein, the company started almost by accident when he started selling excess and damaged stock for a friend’s importing business on eBay. Matt recalls that it was successful enough as a side hustle that soon became a full-time job, which included listing goods on Gumtree and customers coming to a warehouse to make purchases. Flash forward seven years and RestaurantEquipment.com.au says it’s become a dominant mover and shaker in the commercial food equipment space with tens of thousands of monthly website visitors and a multi-marketplace strategy. Its mission is to provide the tools and support customers need to help them plan and create beautiful cafes, restaurants, and commercial kitchens across Australia and New Zealand.
According to Restaurant Equipment Online, there were issues with listing, automation, scaling and technical issues. “It was a huge challenge,” Matt tells us. “It was taking up too much time trying to resolve these issues and waiting weeks and weeks for responses from very lean technical support teams. What I saw with ChannelAdvisor was that the business rules themselves solve so many problems. You can automate much of the data we were previously doing on spreadsheets.”
Restaurant Equipment Online reports it has experienced massive growth since its inception, selling to cafes, restaurants, schools, early education centres, hospitals, aged care homes, and any business with a commercial kitchen. The company came to ChannelAdvisor in May 2019, and adopted a Self-Service Marketplaces solution.
“We were already on eBay, Catch, and Amazon, and we did that all through a ChannelAdvisor competitor,” said Matt. “We’ve tried a few providers over the years but the sophistication wasn’t there. Every marketplace has its own integration challenges, and we just didn’t have the level of support we needed to get 10,000 products live on all these different marketplaces.”
“There is just so much more available on ChannelAdvisor compared to other marketplace connectors,” Matt adds. “No other system that we were looking had business rules, lookup lists or labels.”
Matt reports the company’s marketplace sales have nearly doubled since moving to ChannelAdvisor from one of its competitors.
After 11 months, the company reports experiencing an 89.6% increase in marketplace sales. Restaurant Equipment Online now lists on eBay, Catch, MyDeal, Amazon and Kogan in Australia and Trade Me in New Zealand. They are a dropship model only, which is why marketplaces are so important.
According to Restaurant Equipment Online, marketplace sales make up 20% of its total business and comprise about 50% of all online sales. Matt says integrating with ChannelAdvisor has helped the company to optimise. With so many sales, the company reports it had no choice but to become more efficient. “The plan is to keep maximising visibility and keep optimising each marketplace individually,” Matt explains.
“While it was initially a learning curve, now it’s simple. It’s easy to upgrade as well. Adding new products to a label or lookup list, it’s all automatic,” Matt adds. “The same with listing to new marketplaces.”
So how does Restaurant Equipment Online stay on top of changing buyer behaviour?
“Customers have more information at their disposal than ever before. So as an e-commerce business, you need to be in all places at all times,” says Matt. “No matter where they look, customers will keep coming back to us. It shows we’re the leaders in our space, and we couldn’t do that without ChannelAdvisor.”