James & Co an Ethical Approach to eCommerce
What is the Critical Success Factor in your business
James&Co is selling in 3 markets – Australia, US and UK – with plans for more. It is critical not to assume that all markets are the same. It is critical to identify the target market in each country and any points of differentiation so that the channels and the language are adapted appropriately. For example, what are the demographics in each for the potential customers of ethical non-leather jackets? What is critically important in each to focus on – is it time of delivery, returns policy, sizes?
What is the most beneficial traffic and subscription driver to your site/s? Is it Press/Media, Social Media, SEO PPC, Affiliate?
It varies somewhat between markets. In the US, influencers and bloggers have been extremely beneficial in driving traffic. Email has had an impact in all 3 markets, particularly in responding to sales or promotions. And Social Media - particularly facebook and instagram – are omnipresent. PR has been effective in campaigns. The jury is still out on the overall impact of SEO PPC, athough acknowledging that it needs to be a part of the overall mix.
What are your biggest eCommerce challenges?
Freight, warehousing and logistics have been our most challenging. Finding the thirdparty warehouse/delivery solution in Australia was particularly problematic. Warehousing options were expensive and geared more to enterprise than SME, and customer delivery timing was often longer due to process steps. The cost of freight from manufacturers in Pakistan and India to Australia, the US and the UK was high because of the distances involved. And because we used separate warehousing/delivery in each market, it impacted the inventory decisions – how many of each style and size for each market? Frustrating if one size/style sold out quickly in the US, plenty of stock in Australia but too expensive to fulfil any other orders from here.
What do you predict for the future of your business and eCommerce?
We see James&C as poised for growth. We are committed to building the business globally and to the associated promotion of our underlying philosophies of stylish, affordable, functional and ethical fashion and to raising mental health awareness. We are also passionate about the opportunities in the digital world and constantly looking for the opportunities to minimise operational costs and enhance customer experience of online shopping. The future for James&Co is increasingly global – looking outwards from Australia to the world market. The future of eCommerce in Australia needs a very big nudge. It is absolutely essential to get the broadband infrastructure built as we are falling so far behind in world standards and for Government support for innovation and future-looking initiatives to drive the digital economy.
What was your best day in eCommerce, what did you sell and how did you drive those sales?
The best day was recently in the UK where we sell through Amazon and also have the UK website. The sales were predominantly our faux leather bikerstyle jackets and all came through Amazon. Amazon analytics indicate that the sales were responses to a ‘Black biker jacket’ campaign we ran through Amazon and some of the keywords we targetted had very good returns.
Want learn more: Ann Hurley, CEO of James & Co will be presenting at the Online Retailer Expo and Conference from 22 – 23 July 2015