Canadian manufacturer of authentic Aboriginal footwear Manitobah Mukluks wanted to expand its small, traditional mukluk and moccasin company to reach an international market. Starting small, with a restricted budget, the manufacturer used AdWords, SEO, and affordable Google tools to build an online retail platform. Today, Manitobah Mukluks exports handcrafted mukluks and moccasins to customers in over 45 countries.
After 15 years of domestic sales, Josh Fine, Chief Brand Officer of Manitobah Mukluks, decided to expand the tiny, traditional company online to reach an international audience.
Despite budget constraints being a significant concern and a large online presence seemingly out of reach, Manitobah Mukluks launched its online store in 2012 and began using Google AdWords.
Starting small and working incrementally to get the business online, the company used affordable tools such as Google Analytics, social media, AdWords and SEO to promote and scale-up the business’ products and vision.
Josh used AdWords to target potential customers and used the website to educate consumers about mukluks and bring to life the traditional methods of making mukluks and moccasins.
“There have been so many innovations in e-commerce platforms for small businesses that we have been able to deliver on the experience at a fraction of the budget,” explains Josh. “Many of the more complex marketing functions that are being performed by the best e-commerce companies in the world can now be done by small businesses using very simple tools, like AdWords.”
The website has allowed Manitobah Mukluks to share its vision, increase overall brand awareness and reach out to a global network of people with shared values. Fine says the website was their best decision to date.
“Once you have an online store, there are so many affordable tools to help promote your business and scale-up,” says Josh “including analytics, conversion tracking, social media, AdWords and SEO.”
Today the USA is the brand’s largest market outside of Canada, and also has the fastest growing online use.
“Without the web, we could easily be a niche, local product. Instead, we’ve found a global network of people who share our vision to make an impact in Aboriginal communities and keep traditions alive.” Josh Fine, Chief Brand Officer, Manitobah Mukluks