Customer Success Story – logoWe sat down recently with Kerry Nelson, CEO of, to find out just what makes their business so successful. They grew from humble beginnings, and now sell on eBay and the web using Magento Commerce and a variety of other tools (including ReadyToShip). Learn more about their great story below…

Who are you? What is your business and what do you do? officially commenced trading online on October 13, 2010.  It was built by founders Alec and Kerry Nelson, after years of working in vacuum cleaner retail, sales and service.  VacuumSpot has defined a much needed niche space supplying vacuum cleaner spare parts to domestic, commercial and industrial clients.  Operating exclusively online gives VacuumSpot the luxury of being able to supply a virtually limitless range of vacuum cleaner spare parts.  If the manufacturer makes the part, VacuumSpot will supply it for their customers

How long have you been around?

While this website is coming up to five years old now, this version of the business has been established on the back of over ten years in the vacuum cleaner industry.  Alec and Kerry actually met as door-to-door vacuum sales people in 1999, and over the years prior to the establishment of VacuumSpot they had owned a vacuum cleaner retail outlet, a small appliance repair centre, as well as several different ecommerce websites in the vacuum cleaner industry. As time has passed they responded to shifts and changes in the industry and in this most recent business they have found a niche space in the market for the supply of vacuum cleaner spare parts and accessories

What sort of products/services you provide?

While VacuumSpot does offer a small range of brand new vacuum cleaners for domestic, commercial and industrial settings, their speciality is in the supply of vacuum cleaner spare parts and accessories.  They currently have almost 3000 individual spare parts available in their online catalogue, but with access to all of the vacuum cleaner parts from big brands like Electrolux, Nilfisk, Vax, Hoover, Volta, Wertheim, Black and Decker, Pacvac and Pullman, the list of products available to VacuumSpot customers within a week or two is practically endless

How did you get started in eCommerce and what platforms do you sell on (ebay, magento etc)?

VacuumSpot is the most recent and polished version of the online business that Alec and Kerry Nelson have been refining for many years.  In 2005 they began with a small eBay shop called Nelson Vacuums.  While Nelson Vacuums still runs today, it simply functions as a small business that effectively “piggy-backs” the larger, ever improving infrastructure of the main VacuumSpot site.  From their humble eBay beginnings, Alec and Kerry grew their main online business using an off-the-shelf ecommerce platform called A-Shop.  They enjoyed a fast growth curve with this site, and over the course of their first eighteen months, they outgrew the limitations of this structure.  They sought out a new platform that would allow them to increase the size of their catalogue, enhance the complexity of their product hierarchy, and customise the website interface for their users and their admin.  They experimented with a customised site built by a large Sydney development company, but this site failed miserably, and forced them back to A-Shop to regroup.  A few short months after this potentially disastrous hiccough, Alec and Kerry made the move to the Magento platform that VacuumSpot still runs on today.

What sets you apart from others? What makes you unique?

The massive range of hard-to-find products from leading vacuum cleaner brands has always made VacuumSpot valuable to their customers.  No other business works as hard as VacuumSpot to find rare products that others simply don’t bother with.  The experience and genuine care that the VacuumSpot team bring to their sales and service set them apart from the rest

Did you have any shipping system before ReadyToShip? What was it? Or was it all ‘manual’?

Ready To Ship has brought a new automation to VacuumSpot’s order fulfilment.  Before using Ready To Ship, VacuumSpot manually exported and uploaded their sales to the Australia Post eParcel website then manually processed each order.

How did you find the transition to ReadyToShip?

The transition to the new software was surprisingly smooth for the VacuumSpot team, with the few small hitches that came with the install being resolved very quickly by the ReadyToShip team who offered first-hand, face-to-face support.  The warehouse staff were particularly impressed with the entire transition process, and commented that they were surprised at how smooth the move across to the new software had gone.  Even with some of the small teething problems, order fulfilment was easier from the moment ReadyToShip was installed.

On a daily/weekly basis, what are some of the things about ReadyToShip that makes your life easier?

ReadyToShip automates most of VacuumSpot’s order fulfilment processes, making these processes not dependant on human operators.  This improves the accuracy and efficiency of VacuumSpot’s order fulfilment, and allows room to grow the business without fear of stretching the VacuumSpot warehouse capacity

What is your favourite feature?

The ReadyToShip interface allows all of the VacuumSpot staff to monitor the progress of each order as it moves through the online process, meaning that up to the minute information can be provided to customers who want to check on their shipment.  The picking list compiled by ReadyToShip is used in preference to the one generated by the VacuumSpot warehousing system because it is much more user friendly and provides the required information in a more intuitive format

What are your best ecommerce tips for others?

At VacuumSpot, providing high quality content that is genuinely helpful to customers is the number one priority.  Not only does it help to define the VacuumSpot brand and set the business apart from their competitors, but it has customers returning again and again for help with questions and problems other businesses don’t prioritise.  By including detailed product descriptions and images, regular blog posts, product videos and timely answers to questions people ask on product pages, VacuumSpot ensures that their full product range is easy to find, easy to get, and easy to use.