Meet PokeChalet – an inspiring Canadian small business that was selected as a finalist in the Marketing Magic category of our Small Business Tales of Triumph Contest. This category of the contest is reserved for businesses that are investing in marketing to grow. Let’s get to know this amazing company and discover how they’re doing just that.
PokeChalet is a small but mighty ecommerce business that sells Pokémon and entertainment collectibles. Frustrated by empty stores, high prices and the inability to find what they wanted, co-founders Ryan Donovan and his son transformed their shared hobby into a business.
Filling a void
When they launched their online store, they set out to address common frustrations for collectors in the Canadian market – especially those located outside of major cities. Today, their ecommerce business helps collectors find the cards they want and receive them by mail – without price gauging. They’re also actively building a virtual community of enthusiastic collectors and Pokémon Trading Card Game (TCG) players.
Explore PokeChalet’s catalogue of collectible Pokèmon cards.Visit their store
How PokeChalet markets itself
PokeChalet’s marketing tactics revolve around keeping their community actively engaged with their products. To spread the word and garner attention for their business and merchandise, they created a YouTube channel, a Facebook page and an Instagram account.
On YouTube, they share videos documenting their travels as they collect across Nova Scotia. These videos foster real-time engagement with their buyers. They use their Instagram account to showcase their inventory. They use both channels to communicate directly with their community through comments and likes, sharing their experiences and goals.
Pivoting around bumps in the road
Marketing their business hasn’t always been smooth sailing. They originally tried to promote it through Facebook and Google ads, but they didn’t get the results they’d hoped for. They made a wise move by shifting their focus to sharing their collection experiences and travels across the province, and by reaching out to collectors who have faced challenges finding cards. They also began live-retailing goods – enabling people to buy directly from them without having to drive to a store.
The ecommerce ecosystem is monopolized by Amazon. They are big and great – but impersonal. Our approach has become direct engagement through video, social media posts, Discord and live streaming. People who enjoy a hobby want to talk, discuss, chat, laugh and share with a community.
Their marketing strategy may seem unconventional at first glance, but upon inspection it’s clear that they’re growing because they’re actively engaging and building a community of potential customers. We can all agree that it never hurts to listen to consumers and let them know you hear them!
PokeChalet offers more than a great website where you can find Pokémon cards and other collectibles – they’re delivering a better customer experience for Canadian collectors.
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