Welcome to our Advertiser Spotlight! Could you please tell us a little bit about yourself?
Hi, I’m Andy Jones and I head up the Marketing team here at Online4baby. I’ve worked in marketing for coming up to 20 years across a variety of sectors for brands including Halifax, Very.co.uk and Creative England.
I joined Online4baby around 14 months ago after randomly owning a farm shop for a while, which was quite different to selling baby products!
What struck me when I joined was that the business had managed to grow to over £10m turnover without using any of the usual marketing channels, which was an amazing achievement. And I can only describe Online4baby as the biggest independent nursery retailer in the UK….that no-one has ever heard of!
That’s an amazing achievement! Can you tell us a bit more about Online4Baby? And its core business values?
The business was started by 2 sisters who were selling a variety of products on the markets around the North West. They got hold of some baby products which sold really fast so then started to buy the returns from some of the big retailers and became focused on selling these.
When eBay started, they expanded the business onto the platform and soon became the biggest baby mega store in Europe and No 1 power rated seller in the UK. They were one of the first sellers to reach £1m in sales on the platform and were part of the eBay 15th year anniversary recently.
They started to sell directly in 2012 and we now operate out of 3 dispatch centres in the North West. We buy in large volumes which allows us to offer many of the big brands at market leading prices to our customers.
Our values are centred around the fact that safe, quality baby products should be available to everyone. Many of us in the business are parents and we work hard to ensure we have products that we would use ourselves and a range to suit all budgets.
What would you say then are the biggest benefits for a publisher working with your company?
Our rate of growth and ambition sets us apart. We’re passionate about what we do and want to transform what is historically quite a traditional sector to being at the forefront of technology.
We’re investing heavily on our marketing, technology, and infrastructure to ensure customers can buy easily and have an experience which means they’ll come back again.
Following on from this, what can you tell us about your audience? What types of publishers do you work best with?
Unsurprisingly our audience is largely female, the biggest age category is 25- 34 followed by 35-44. We do however still have a lot of men shopping on our site or who are involved in influencing the purchasing decision as well as grandparents buying products for when the grandchildren visit or as a gift.
Is there anything else you’d like our customers to know?
We’ve been shortlisted with Webgains for Best Programme Launch at the Performance Marketing Awards…. So, we must be doing something right!
Congratulations again! We are looking forward to celebrating with you later in the year! So, what makes Online4Baby an exciting company?
Going live last year on shopping platforms, launching on Webgains, and using paid social channels (amongst other things) has allowed us to grow very quickly over the last 12 months and expose our brand to a huge new audience. Which resulted in growth of over 25% last year. And this year we’re predicting that we will double in size!
With this rate of growth comes all sorts of challenges from a business and operational perspective but that’s what makes it a great place to work. Every day is different and although we’ve grown considerably, we’ve not even scratched the surface yet!
That’s amazing growth and we can’t wait to see it go from strength to strength! And so, for 2020 what exciting plans does Online4Baby have?
We’ll be re-platforming later in the year to completely overhaul our digital presence. We’re already doing a lot to streamline our sales process and increase conversion across the site but this project will allow us to scale even further and ensure we capitalise further on the 600k+ users we get coming to the site on a monthly basis.
That all sounds great and we can’t wait to see the new platform later in the year. And finally, one more question, can you tell us one fun fact about your business?
The business is run by the 2 sisters but also their husbands, so it truly is a family business!
It certainly is! Thanks Andy, for your time!