19 December 2011

An Interview with Todd of Toggle - On-Line New Zealand Design Gift Shop

Continuing with our interview series featuring New Zealand on-line marketplaces, today we feature design and gift website Toggle, with co-owner Todd kindly answering some of our burning questions...

What is 'Toggle'?

Toggle is an online design and gift store, representing some of New Zealand's most talented designers. Toggle facilitates kiwi designers (large & small) selling direct to the public. Toggle hand selects it's designers, who must be NZ based, and with a consistent theme towards affordable contemporary products.

How did the idea for starting Toggle first come about?
How long has Toggle been in business?

Toggle was originally started around 7 years ago as a co-operative for crafters based in Auckland. As a business, Toggle was taken over by myself in 2010 and gone through a complete rebrand and relaunch. The focus was originally that of handmade crafts and we have now reconceived this to cover all NZ design.

Who is on your team? 

On a daily basis, Toggle is a 'one man operation' with myself as the programmer, customer support, marketeer etc... in the background my wife, Roberta, looks after all the financials ensuring we can keep running month-to-month.

What is your vision for Toggle?

Our vision is for Toggle to become the defacto choice for the public when looking for NZ inspired and created gifts.

How many registered users do you have, and how many people sell with you?

Toggle currently has around 4000 registered users, and attracts around 20,000 unique visitors per month. We currently represent 163 designers, which is growing weekly.

What types of sellers make a good fit on Toggle?

We currently accept around 1-in-4 designers on to Toggle. As the site has matured we have slowly become increasingly selective about our retailers. We have very high standards of service expected from our clientele, and this has to be reciprocated by our retailers. Wehn we were first getting going, we really had to scratch around for designers who beleived in the Toggle concept, now we are very fortunate the the majority of our retailers approach us. We have been very fortunate to attract some increasingly large retailers who wish to promote their products through Toggle; brands such as NZ Identity, DQ Company, Envirosax - to name jsut a few - have joined our brood in the past few months. The exponential growth of our website, and the attraction of these larger organisations, has meant that there is increasingly less 'handmade' products on our store. However, we continue to add new handmade designers... most recently Squibble and Co. joined the Toggle ranks.

How are sellers verified and is there buyer and seller feedback for sales/purchases?

To be considered as a seller on Toggle it is imperative that the producer has developed a brand and has a clear and identifiable concept and aesthetic. Their work must be cohesive in its themeing.

What’s the most popular category sales-wise?

Our most popular items are jewellery, but there has recently been significant growth in the sale of homewares.

Anything else you would like to add?

The outlook for Toggle is very bright... we have quadrupled our turnover in our first year of ownership, tripled the number of listings, and seen a 500% increase in traffic coming through our site. We are slowly, but steadily, broadening our horizons in to print advertising and currently considering the merits of a TV campaign... how exciting for the little guys!

Where can people learn more about buying and selling on Toggle?

You can contact Todd at info@toggle.co.nz  and visit the website at http://www.toggle.co.nz/

NZHM members selling on Toggle : 

ABC Paintings,
Estella Rose,
Fantail Digital Art,
Ginger Pye,
Honey and Spice,
Sleep and Her Sisters,
Margaret Quinn,
Monkeej, My 2 Monsters,
Odd One Out,
Squibble & Co,
Sticky Tiki,
Tessa by Design,

1 comment:

  1. An interesting read, and New Zealander's are certainly becoming more aware of the benefits of on-line gift shopping, cheers Marie


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