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Sticky E-Business Lolly Shop:
Sydney man saves lolly shop by going viral which brings in
$1million in a year
An Aussie lolly shop boss never could have imagined that a single click of a button would
save his business and propel his business into millionaire status.
A quaint little lolly shop
in the heart of Sydney has turned the tables on Covid-19 thanks to an idea sparked by the
hundreds of gawkers it used to attract every day.
Before the Covid-19 pandemic,
Sticky, a small artisanal confectionery shop in The Rocks,
would have dozens of faces pressed against its windows at any one time, as passers-by watched
employees make hard-boiled lollies from scratch. However, when the Covid-19 pandemic hit
in March last year revenue dropped to “literally zero” and “it was like something out of
Days Later
”, according to Sticky’s owner David King. “We thought maybe we could leverage
something of our theatrical process in a livestreaming (video),” Mr King told
“People have stood and watched us for an hour and maybe we can do that in an online setting.”
Little did he know that this seemingly small decision would save his business and propel him
into millionaire status. After going viral on social media including on US rapper Snoop Dogg’s
account, Sticky was not only brought back from the brink of disaster – it is now making more
than ever with a revenue of “well into seven figures” for the 2020-2021 financial year.
Mr King, 50, and his wife Rachel, 47, opened Sticky in 2001, after quitting their jobs in
corporate law and big pharma respectively. Between 2001-2020, they had a very minimal
online presence, with it only accounting for 10 orders a week. However, their business was
completely gutted by the international border ban and subsequent nationwide lockdown that
hit Australia in March last year. “We operate in three markets: retail, events, and corporate.
With all three of those markets being a tourist district disappeared, everyone cancelled,” Mr
King recalled. “For seven or eight days, we were standing there in an empty shopping centre.
“We were standing staff down, we were about to pull the doors down.” Mr King’s long-time
bookkeeper and friend helped them hang on by lending them some money. Then JobKeeper
was rolled out.
Sticky invested in a few cameras and “put effort” into costumes to look presentable, then started
filming. For their first ever Facebook livestream, they had 60 people watching. That became
100, then 200 live viewers. Mr King spent $25 boosting a live event on Facebook – which to
this day is the only money he’s forked out to promote his social media channels. “Then it blew
up a bit, the algorithm it blew up,” Mr King said. “About two months in, we had up to 20,000

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tuning in (to live streams).” For context, that’s more than most Covid-19 press conferences
streamed live on Facebook. “They (our videos) would go on to get hundreds of thousands of
views,” he continued. “Some have had 70 million views.” But Mr King’s brush with online
fame didn’t end there. His 17-year-old daughter Annabelle – who was in the middle of her final
year HSC exam – was determined to make a TikTok account for her family business. “She had
a friend who had a thousand followers and, she thought she could get that,” Mr King said.
“That (1000 followers) happened in the first day.” A friend of US rapper Snoop Dogg spotted
Sticky’s TikTok account and ‘dueted’ one of their videos – the equivalent of sharing it. Snoop
Dogg himself later shared it on Instagram. “Our followers went up by 1.5 million in a
weekend,” Mr King said.
In all, they have 4.3 million followers on TikTok, 980,000 followers on Facebook with a
monthly Facebook reach hovering at around 45 million, 200,000 subscribers on YouTube and
160,000 followers on Instagram. While their large following might be impressive, Mr King
was particularly stoked because it translated into cash for his business. Their annual turnover
has increased by 230 per cent, and they’ve made it well over seven figures – which they have
never managed before. He has 10 staff members working round the clock. “After about two
months, we were pretty much working at capacity,” Mr King said. “Everything around us was
closed but we were making lollies, putting them in boxes, shipping them all around the world.
“We’ve been at capacity in terms of production ever since.”
Products often sell out in 10 minutes and the USA is Sticky’s biggest buyers. “About 40 per
cent of our customers are in the US and 80 per cent of our product is being shipped
internationally,” Mr King said. Australia is the second largest customer base, after the US. The
UK, Germany, Italy and Canada also make up a significant portion of his sales. Not only does
Sticky’s social media presence boost sales, but it also brings in an entirely new revenue stream
– from ads. “Once a week one of the videos we put ads in, then we cross-post a video from
TikTok to Facebook,” Mr King said. Mr King runs the Facebook and YouTube Channels,
another employee is in charge of Instagram and his daughter Annabelle does all things TikTok.
Sticky’s social media stardom has also brought with it a few unexpected problems. “I had scary
experiences where I was hacked a couple of times,” he said. In the early days “our (e-business)
<> couldn’t handle the traffic and our website melted down,” he
added. However, that has since been resolved.
Source: Adopted from Alex. Turner-Cohen, dated August 6, 2021
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What you are expected to do:
Pretend that you have been appointed as an Information Technology consultant by Sticky
( to advise them for their next business strategic direction (2021-2024) in
terms of adopting
emerging technologies in their business operations. Sticky recently realised
that they are facing fierce competitive pressure from a number of national and intentional
companies. Even though their business is growing steadily, they fear that they cannot sustain
this growth after the next few years unless they take some serious action and invest in
technologies; and they think the solution could be using appropriate
emerging technologies
effectively in their business. So to help them achieve this, first you need to read all of the
information given to you about this case study including accessing the Sticky e-business
website to understand the organisation’s growth strategies, operations, and processes better.
You then need to
read the Assessment-3 details to find out how you can help Sticky ebusiness by advising about emerging technologies to allow them to achieve their business
strategic goals and provide much better products and services not only nationally but also to
become a truly international e-business company, build a global based brand name, and gain
and sustain competitive advantages in their business operations. When you are suggesting
emerging technologies for your chosen three e-business use cases of Sticky,
apply your innovative thinking, imagination, long visionary skills, and e-business knowledge
and experience in an effective way.
You need to follow the assessment instructions/guidelines and the required format in
order to write a high quality and complete case study report.
Good luck!