Towards the position as the largest party supplier in the Benelux
“We want to put a smile on everyone's face at every party”. With this wish, owners Patrick and Casper of Partywinkel started their business from an attic room. Since then, they have moved to an increasingly larger location five times. They now almost have the status of the largest party supplier in the Benelux. The desire to keep growing does not stop. In this case you can read how Partywinkel became such a success.
It is no small feat to strive for the position as the largest party supplier in the Benelux. In any case, you must distinguish yourself from the competition. According to Patrick, co-owner of Partywinkel, they distinguish themselves on two points: accessibility and customer satisfaction. In any case, they ensure that they are available when people want to order. After all, the preparations for a party are not always tightly planned. “Some web shops choose to go 'off the air' after 3 p.m. and only be available again the next day, while people order just after dinner and then have questions, for example.” Short lines outside office hours are also what Patrick appreciates about the partnership with Buckaroo. “We can just text right away instead of having to fill out an online form or just call a landline and then be told 'we're already closed, you can call us until five o'clock'. Then I think 'yes, nice, but who can be reached now then?' That is not something of these times anymore.”
In addition, Partywinkel stands for extreme customer satisfaction. “We don't look at a single order, but really at the bigger picture. Taking into account that customers will come back next time, instead of going to another web shop.” For example, at a certain point they decided to add AfterPay to the payment options in the checkout. It turned out that relatively many customers do not have their debit card nearby, but still want to place an order as quickly as possible. That is reason enough for Partywinkel to add the post payment option in the checkout. “We look purely in the interest of the customer: the customer pays and decides.”
“Taking into account that customers will come back next time, instead of going to another web shop.”
— Patrick, co-owner Partywinkel
Partywinkel has a fairly young target group. It is generally women who place orders. During the corona pandemic, Patrick saw that a broader target group was active in the web shop. “Because we couldn't go on holiday, it was very busy in July and August last year, while those are normally the quietest months, because everyone has summer holidays. There are probably a lot of people who choose to celebrate a little more right now.” The best-selling products vary from time to time. One month there are many people's birthdays, so age articles are good then. Another time, theme-related articles sell better. Now, for example, all orange garlands are sold out because of the European Championship. Soon it will be Halloween and Oktoberfest related articles again. That continues to change. Partywinkel is now investing heavily in expanding its range. “We want to respond to more festive moments, but also to themes that we did not yet have. For example, we are still missing themes such as 'wedding', so we are not selling any wedding-related items yet. Therefore, we really want to focus on broadening and deepening the range.”
It is important for Partywinkel that the checkout is as clean as possible and that the payment options are in order of most used, so that customers can choose their payment method faster. Patrick prefers to see that the customer's last used payment method is automatically remembered. “We actually do everything we can to make it as easy as possible and leave little chance of customers doubting their choice. For example, at a certain point we also chose to leave out a certain payment option altogether, because it was simply used so little. Ultimately, it also creates noise for other customers when that option is still available. The more flavors you offer, the harder it becomes for people to choose. Hence, we filter out those kinds of things.”
“The more flavors you offer, the harder it becomes for people to choose.”
— Patrick, co-owner Partywinkel
Partywinkel is one of the merchants that uses the Lightspeed software for their web shop. In the beginning, Patrick and his associates wanted to set up the technical side of the web shop all by themselves. A third owner who was IT skilled was responsible for this. As the company grew rapidly, they decided to switch to Lightspeed, as this software offered many options for customization. Patrick says he has been using Lightspeed for years now, but unfortunately the switch started a bit rough. Partywinkel was one of the first web shops on the new Buckaroo Lightspeed link. By extensively testing and striving for an optimal connection between web shop and payment page, the bond between Partywinkel and Buckaroo has been strengthened. The checkout is now working properly. “Ultimately, of course, you want as many payments as possible to succeed and not lose customers because they can't complete their payment.” Since then, Partywinkel has only realized growth to its own satisfaction with Buckaroo via Lightstpeed.
For the future, Partywinkel wants to become the largest player in the Benelux. An international focus is not yet relevant, because to Patrick and Casper’s opinion they are not yet getting the most out of the Dutch and Belgian market. “We can already focus on another country, but currently that would be a shame considering that we are not getting everything out of the current markets. Thus, our goal is to first intensify in the Netherlands and Belgium. Then we can always choose to expand into another market.
The entrepreneurs do dream of setting up a completely different web shop in an industry with which they also have an affinity, and which suits the stage of life they are currently in. There they want to apply all the knowledge and skills they have gained with Partywinkel. They cannot tell what it will be exactly. “In any case, we make sure that we don't stand still.” A reason to continue to follow Partywinkel!
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