Caitlin Sykes

Your Business editor of the NZ Herald

Small business: Embracing the cloud - Shane Loomb

Shane Loomb is the founder and CEO of Mt Maunganui-based online retailer and technology developer LeftBrain.

Shane Loomb, founder and CEO of LeftBrain.
Shane Loomb, founder and CEO of LeftBrain.

Can you tell me a bit about LeftBrain?

When we started in 1996 we were one of the first online retailers in New Zealand and over the years we have grown our sales to the point where we are now one of the largest. Recently, we started to get approached by companies from around New Zealand wanting to use our ecommerce software, so this sparked the idea to refine our own ecommerce platform into cloud software we could offer to small and medium-sized businesses.

Why have you chosen to sell your software through the cloud?

We have operated our own ecommerce system over the cloud for many years, so it's a concept we are very familiar with. Selling over the cloud gives us the opportunity to target customers wherever they are in the world, although our primary markets are Australia and New Zealand. It also means we can instantly update our software with new features and capacity, and it's quick and easy for customers to jump on and have a free trial of our service.

There's a growing proliferation of businesses selling their software in the cloud. What are some of the ways you've tried to stand out and get noticed by customers in this space?

We are still in the early days of marketing our software, but our main competitors are from the US, such as Shopify.com. We are competing with them on price, but also the fact we are 'local' means we are able to build our software to integrate with the likes of Xero, CourierPost and so on. Given we also operate our own online stores and distribution centre we also have a 'nuts and bolts' knowledge of ecommerce, and what it takes to keep customers happy right through the supply chain.

What's your vision for this side of your business?

We ultimately want to see LeftBrain as an online ecosystem, where small and medium-sized businesses can collaborate and share the benefits of not only using our software, but also our warehousing and distribution expertise. We may even introduce the ability for customers to share products and have them listed across multiple websites, opening up multiple sales channels.

- NZ Herald

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