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Macdaddy Music have been helping musicians get the tone they want and the gear they need since 2005. From day one, they have specialized in selling music equipment online. But over the years, they’ve become more specialized in guitar equipment and accessories.
Challenges: Manual processes holding back expansion and growth
Early growth for Macdaddy Music consisted largely of expanding their product selection and expanding into sales channels as they became more prominent. As business grew, the issues associated with ecommerce also grew and became more obvious.
For a number of years, Aaron Peterson, owner of Macdaddy Music, was manually managing product sales on their website and across well known third party marketplaces, including Amazon, eBay, Walmart and Reverb, making the process receptive to mistakes and problems.
Aaron explains, “We were trying to manage everything manually, but then we’d run into problems of overselling if we sold out products on one place and didn’t manually update the quantity somewhere else quickly enough. It was a lot of work that never ended and we especially noticed it when our order volumes increased.”
Macdaddy Music has always used Quickbooks as the hub of their business and everything feeds into it. Manual processes associated with inventory management meant that Aaron and his team always had to make sure they were manually updating information into the back end of both Quickbooks and the third party marketplaces they use.
Aaron said, “We even had a basic Excel spreadsheet with price changes or quantity values which again was a very manual process that wasn’t sustainable.”
Solution: One platform that automates inventory and order management across multiple sales channels
Back in 2010, Aaron knew something had to change but wasn’t aware solutions existed in the market to help with inventory and order management.
A cold call from a previous provider, ChannelAdvisor, was an eye opener and game changer for Aaron.
He shared, “When I realized the time that I would be saving and the ability to automate tasks I’d been doing manually, I said sign me up immediately.”
It didn’t take long for Aaron to get up to speed with their previous solution and understand what core features were the most important to Macdaddy Music.
“The deal breakers for me were syncing inventory and importing orders across channels, price updates and listing management tools,” Aaron said.
It became quickly apparent to Aaron that the previous provider had this functionality but a lot of other things that weren’t a necessity.
Aaron explains, “I saw value in investing in a system but realized we were only using and needed a very small percentage of the solution but paying for everything.”
Feeling confident in what the business needed, Macdaddy Music made the decision to move to Linnworks to focus on those important key features.
“We migrated from ChannelAdvisor to prioritize inventory sync and connections with our priority selling channels.” Aaron said.
Another majorly important feature for Macdaddy Music was the connectivity to multiple third party sales channels. In addition, it was important to have the ability to list through one platform instead of having to list products in the back end of multiple platforms such as Amazon and eBay. At first, Aaron was hesitant to connect multiple channels and list products through one system, but Linnworks gave him the confidence to manage listings and inventory across multiple channels through one central platform.
“The channel integrations functionality has expanded in recent years and it’s made our lives incredibly easier. We’ve really noticed the impact on our business.” Aaron said.
Results: Happy customers, happy business
Linnworks third party integrations and connections has had a big impact on the day to day running of MacDaddy Music.
“The QuickBooks connection makes it easy for us to enter an order in QuickBooks and it automatically syncs inventory levels,” Aaron said. Previously we had to manually sync to our Quickbooks, but now it’s a slick and seamless process.”
One of the largest selling channels for Macdaddy Music is Reverb, a marketplace specifically for musical instruments.
“Prior to Linnworks, if we sold on Reverb, inventory levels wouldn’t be reflected on our other marketplaces and still show on Amazon unless we manually updated it,” Aaron said.
Now with a connection made by one of Linnworks partners, Aaron and his team don’t have to worry about overselling and impacting their customer experience.
“Having an upset customer is one thing but the time spent contacting them and resolving it detracts from doing something else.”
There’s also the risk of these customers leaving a negative review which impacts the business reputation. Aaron said, “Starting from one inventory mistake can snowball and have a negative domino effect on customer service.”
Customer service differentiates Macdaddy Music due to their team being personalized and knowledgeable to every single customer. They need to have confidence in a solution that upholds their reputation. Aaron and his team have peace of mind knowing Linnworks is that solution.
“It makes a huge difference having automation accurately correcting things and catching things before it escalates,” Aaron said. “Now I know if there are errors, it’s highly likely something that I’ve done. I know it’s down to me, not the system.”
Macaddy Music saw an evolution in how and where they reach customers by reflecting on the past.
Aaron comments, “Looking back is when you spot the new trends or change in trends that are easy to forget in the day to day grind of things.”
There’s been a rise in specialty marketplaces. For example, Reverb is now the second biggest sales channel for Macdaddy Music but they weren’t around this time 10 years ago. With this in mind, Aaron is exploring new marketplace opportunities such as Walmart Canada and social selling channels to reach more customers in more places.
With confidence in Linnworks, Macdaddy Music is in a position to expand to new sales channels.
Aaron summarizes, “I want to keep a pulse on changes in consumer preferences and buying behavior and discover what channels these open. I’m excited to explore these new opportunities with Linnworks to sell everywhere our customers are and continue our fantastic partnership that started way back in 2016.”Download case study