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James Van Rooyen of Answers..

What are your biggest eCommerce challenges?

Dealing with overseas competitors has been a big challenge, they have intrinsic cost benefits. Working out what we can do to compete in this market place has been a big challenge, but one that we feel we have recently been able to do.


What is the most beneficial traffic and subscription driver to your site/s? Is it Press/Media, Social Media, SEO PPC, Affiliate?

We are one of the few online retailers in the bike industry that can actually sell bikes online, so we focus our efforts into online channels especially affiliates, market places. That being said being on the front page all the Fairfax papers, had the single biggest impact on our visitors to the site.
By setting up an entity overseas from which we can sell direct to the consumer, we are able to offer a very competitive value proposition – Low prices combined with local service and sales.

What is the Critical Success Factor in your business
There have been a couple

  1. 1. Cashflow / Access to capital. – When you are growing so rapidly, you are using the sales from one container of bikes to fund the purchase of another two. Even if you are profitable you still need access to capital / cashflow. Negotiating this, was the single biggest factor that lead to our success.
  2.   Supply Chain -Customers will put up with a lot of issues with the user experience, delivery delays etc if you can supply a product the cheapest.
  3. User experience -Customers wont put up with that many issues.

What do you predict for the future of your business and eCommerce?

The globalisation of eCommerce, and in the case of eCommerce with physical products, brands vertically integrating into all parts of the supply chain from Manufacture to Retail.

What was your best day in eCommerce, what did you sell and how did you drive those sales?

“Best days” in Ecommerce are often described as the time you made your first sale, your first Million in sales, a milestone such as 10,000 bikes sold etc…..I would see the best days as those when you get customers who value your service, who share and appreciate your vision. Which ever is the method used to measure the best day, there is generally not one big decision that produces the results but rather the accumulation of hundreds of smaller decisions and actions, made every day, to get you into your current position.

James will be speaking at the Online Retailer Expo and Conference 21 – 23 July 2015

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