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A happy team of 11 Balsa Central employees and a dog in their warehouse

Balsa Central doubled online orders in 6 months

A plan for online growth (and a team help action it) has allowed Peter to focus on the business

As the business development manager at Balsa Central, Peter has been involved in managing wholesale and distributor sales across Australia. At heart, he is passionate about teaching and designing hands-on learning courses for students. But he often found himself caught up between finding time to create more educational resources and developing the business through marketing and sales.

Under the vision of the founders Warren and Petra, has been catering to the balsa wood needs of aero-modellers, craft makers, school teachers, and students for nearly 14 years. To keep the business moving forward and delivering a superior experience for customers, Peter needed a hand to help him implement his plan.

Peter holding a wooden ship model and teaching two kids

With limited time and technical skill, it became difficult to grow the business online

The online shop has expanded from 75 products in 2006 to over 900 today. As more products were added to the Shopify store, navigation became difficult, and finding products seemed a bit like a maze.

It was quite evident. The Shopify store needed an update in terms of design and user experience but Peter had reached the limit of his technical skills.

Balsa central's webpage showing samples of their balsa wood and two ctas to shop now or learn more

“I don’t have an IT background. So I needed a hand to grow the website rather than spend hours and hours trying to work it out myself, make mistakes and waste time”

A makeover to improve the customer journey and improved Calls To Action

For Peter, improving the site flow without losing the look and feel (‘site familiarity’) was super important. With this in mind, we optimised the homepage to encourage visitors to move to the next step. Popular products were displayed upfront and calls to action made more prominent.

A key focus of the re-design was also to enhance the mobile experience, making it easier for users to transact on their phones. With a bulk of orders for Balsa wood coming from the educational sector, we integrated functionality that automatically applied special discounts for them at checkout. Peter was extremely pleased with the re-design and was confident to manage the new site himself after all the training and support he had received.

An improved Balsa central's webpage showing different samples of wood and a happy team in the header

“Follow up emails and targeted training over the phone, videos, and documents were excellent and helped make the upgrade as smooth as possible."

The road to growth

Peter’s goal was to have consistent growth for Balsa Central and knew that a new website was only halfway there. He needed further guidance to scale the business and optimise site performance over time, so we introduced Peter to our Growth Program.

After the initial onboarding and applying Pete Williams’ 7 levers framework, we laid out a roadmap for ongoing improvement and growth for Balsa Central. Through monthly strategy sessions, we identified conversion barriers and explored actionable solutions by utilising various analytics tools.

Examples of clear information regarding shipping and customers testimonials highlights on Balsa Central webpage

Identifying key metrics

Continually reviewing data on visitor’s interaction on the site, we implemented changes to the cart page to streamline the experience and capture more sales.

Product pages were enhanced with visual content to communicate product benefits and increase add to carts. We integrated product reviews to increase customer trust and reinforce purchase decisions. Through regular progress reviews with Peter, we assessed what worked and identified potential growth opportunities.

Examples of redesigned visual content and customer reviews from Balsa Central webpage

“If we wanted to grow we actually had to be proactive and the growth program provided that.”

Online orders soar with the help of our growth program

After only six months into the program, the online store performance saw a steady increase, and Peter couldn’t be more pleased with the results. Online orders have more than doubled and revenue increased by 75%. Organic visitors to the website increased by 37% and conversions were up by 25%.

Three different wooden product - a sitting dog, railway tracks and a wooden airplane with a happy older couple holding it


Online Orders







"We’ve been using The Hope Factory’s growth program for over a year now. In that time we’ve been able to improve across multiple areas on our Shopify site which has lead to a steady increase in all metrics used to measure the company’s prosperity. The most pleasing aspects of our relationship with The Hope Factory? Well, these include an increase in sales and traffic, and the efficient and friendly manner in which all communication has been handled. We’re looking forward to more of the continued success and great value for money offered by The Hope Factory in the future."

- Peter Le Cornu, Balsa Central