Nooski Mousetraps Capture American Market

Nooski chose World Wide Access to export its ingenious mousetrap to America. In the first year online sales exceeded 5,000 units propelling Nooski to bestseller status.

View this as a PDF document: Nooski-Case-Study.pdf (2 pages, 558kB)

Product

Invented in New Zealand, the Nooski mousetrap is arguably the most significant advance in mousetraps since the conventional spring-loaded snap trap was patented in the 1890s. In simple terms, a Nooski trap consists of a strong latex rubber ring stretched around a tube containing bait. When the rodent enters the tube, it triggers the ring to close swiftly around its neck, killing it quickly. Nooski mousetraps are easy to set, make no mess, and safer to use around children and pets.

The latex rubber rings are similar to those originally invented in New Zealand for docking of livestock. The idea to use them for a rat trap had been suggested in the 1990s, but a practical way of doing this remained elusive until experienced Rotorua businessman David Wells and his business partner Luc Desbonnets developed the ring trap concept into a commercially viable consumer product.

“People wanting to eradicate rats and mice nowadays don’t want a bloody mess and they want the pests killed as humanely as possible. We worked from this consumer imperative back to product design,” says David. “It took us three years. The simplest ideas are often the most difficult to conceive.”

By 2007 they had invented an effective ring trap for rats and in 2009 they released the mousetrap equivalent.

Export challenge

“Nooski mousetraps are designed and made here in New Zealand but our focus has always been international. With the investment needed, the tooling up and everything, you’re never going to make ends meet if you just satisfy the local market. The day we started developing the Nooski ring trap, we knew it was an opportunity to take a product to the world stage,” says David.

As soon as the mousetrap was ready for market, Nooski signed up a US distributor to get the product into hardware stores and agricultural suppliers across America.

However, David made sure the e-commerce rights were non-exclusive. “This turned out to be a very good thing,” he says.

“We were always conscious that a bricks and mortar distributor doesn’t necessarily have the online capabilities or knowledge. When your products are going online, you need a specialist. Traditional distributors and resellers aren’t typically best at telling the product story online and making sure it gets noticed.”

I’ve recommended World Wide Access to friends. I’ll recommend them as a business partner to anyone.”

Export solution

With World Wide Access, Nooski found an easy way to achieve additional export sales through the online channel.

Nooski delivers the packaged product to World Wide Access’ warehouse in Auckland and World Wide Access takes care of the rest; shipping, customs clearance, duties and taxes, to managing payment processing, order fulfilment and customer service.

“So we make the delivery and next thing I get a sales report and payment. It couldn’t be easier,” says David.

“If you had to do all of this yourself – the listing, warehousing, billing and managing enquiries – it’s a business in its own right. And the cost of it is a huge factor. Perhaps if you turn over $50 million you can do it yourself. But if you’re a start-up business, you’re better off to let World Wide Access take care of your online sales in international markets,” says David.

“Having World Wide Access to handle the online side frees up more of my time to devote to the parts of the business I’m best at.”

“Having our products online helped a great deal to establish the brand in America through the exposure and the customer reviews we received.”

Results

World Wide Access introduced the Nooski mousetrap to American online shoppers in 2010. It developed a Nooski-branded in-market site and secured a presence for Nooski products on the major American shopping sites.

Consumers who tried the Nooski mousetrap were so excited by the product that they gave it further impetus through their comments online. One customer on Amazon.com wrote, “This trap is sheer GENIUS.” Another said, “Worked when two types of snap traps and a live one didn’t.” Said another, “This trap is the best thing we ever tried. Don’t waste your time on anything else. Every ring sprung results in mouse. All the farm cats have been fired!”

World Wide Access sold more than 5,000 mousetraps and nearly 1,000 rat traps online in the first year alone and Nooski soon reached Top 10 pest control product status on Amazon.

Next Steps

The US market is only one part of Nooski’s ambitious export programme. China is the next major market in the Kiwi company’s sights.

“World Wide Access did a great job for us in other markets, so it was an easy choice to entrust our entry into the Chinese market to them,” says David.

This vote of confidence in World Wide Access paid off almost immediately when the partnership scored a tremendous coup: A Nooski mousetrap became the first ever product sold by an international company through Amazon China.

You can have complete confidence in World Wide Access. They’re upfront in their dealings and everything is transparent via their website, so you know exactly what you’re getting.”