The Ink Squid

The Ink Squid is an etailer that’s going places, and fast. The company managed to collapse its listing time for an entire product range 
from months down to one day. How did it manage to bend time to its advantage? Here the company describes how it was able to accelerate its online success. The Ink Squid, based in the north-west of England, are specialists in compatible ink and toner cartridges for brand-name printers. The company buys compatible ink cartridges in very large volumes direct from the manufacturer. They aren’t branded but in all other aspects they are the same. The inks are virtually identical and the chips are fully compatible with all listed printer models. The company competes on price and exemplary service.
  • Category: Office Consumables
  • Challenge: Time to market, variations
  • Results: Revenues up 30-40% in 3-4 months
  • Benefits: Saves 3-4 staff
The Need for Speed
Adrian Meakin, Owner, The Ink Squid: Control of a fast-growing business, and the ability to capitalise on big opportunities were the two main reasons for investing in a platform to take care of things for us. There’s a lot to learn and it takes a while, but it’s really worth it. Volo is big boys’ software which allows us to list our entire stock on various channels and keep a close control. “We’ve spent the last few months bringing everything up to date and incorporating up-to-date photos. Volo unifies everything for you, and perhaps more importantly allows you to see where the gaps are. We’re busy filling in those gaps. The speed is another key thing. It’s a lot quicker to update things, and now we’ve been able to list all the stock that we just haven’t had the chance to do. We also use the automated translation tool. We’ve been flat out listing items lately. We listed all our toners in one day – one day! Toners are a multiple of the price of ink cartridges, and have decent profit margins, so you can imagine how important it is for us to be able to list our entire range of more profitable items in such a short space of time.”
30-40% in 3-4 Months
“I would say that without Volo the people needed would be an extra 3 or 4. The photo uploads alone would have taken us months, and as I said before, we did all our toners in one day. The main benefits are that you can quickly list new stock to all platforms, you can quickly add a new platform (we have Rakuten in our sights) and you can quickly revise listings as standards change, like for example raising all your photos from 1 megabyte size to 2 megabytes. You can do this instantly. There’s also the added benefit of the behind the scenes stock control. “You’re speaking to me at a really busy time. We’ve had a new web shop designed by Volo to improve our listings and our item specifics. We’re about to go onto eBay Australia and Ireland. We’re already on Amazon US, UK and Germany. We’re up to 4 staff now. We’re right in the middle of moving to new, bigger offices. Revenues are already up 30-40% on the last 3 or 4 months, and that’s with all the changes we’ve experienced. We plan to double revenues this year and yesterday was a record day for us. It just keeps getting better and better.”
Optimising Variations
“In our business variations are a big deal. Volo makes variations a lot quicker and easier. We import them and the variations follow after the master – virtually instantly. It’s absolutely key for us that our products are printer model-searchable. 30 models per product is about the norm. That used to mean 30 individual listings, but now the different printer models appear in a drop down of the master listing and are searchable. It’s saved countless hours. “Cross border is about 20-25% for us. You need to be aware of your overseas markets, since for example cartridge specifications are different in the US and Australia, but we know that our international selling is about to increase considerably. I’ve a friend who’s using eBay Selling Manager and he’s having to do all this manually, like we used to. He’s toiling. If you’re thinking about Volo, absolutely go for it. Be prepared for the learning curve and you’ll see massive benefits and get great support.”

The Ink Squid

The Ink Squid is an etailer that’s going places, and fast. The company managed to collapse its listing time for an entire product range 
from months down to one day. How did it manage to bend time to its advantage? Here the company describes how it was able to accelerate its online success. The Ink Squid, based in the north-west of England, are specialists in compatible ink and toner cartridges for brand-name printers. The company buys compatible ink cartridges in very large volumes direct from the manufacturer. They aren’t branded but in all other aspects they are the same. The inks are virtually identical and the chips are fully compatible with all listed printer models. The company competes on price and exemplary service.
  • Category: Office Consumables
  • Challenge: Time to market, variations
  • Results: Revenues up 30-40% in 3-4 months
  • Benefits: Saves 3-4 staff
The Need for Speed
Adrian Meakin, Owner, The Ink Squid: Control of a fast-growing business, and the ability to capitalise on big opportunities were the two main reasons for investing in a platform to take care of things for us. There’s a lot to learn and it takes a while, but it’s really worth it. Volo is big boys’ software which allows us to list our entire stock on various channels and keep a close control. “We’ve spent the last few months bringing everything up to date and incorporating up-to-date photos. Volo unifies everything for you, and perhaps more importantly allows you to see where the gaps are. We’re busy filling in those gaps. The speed is another key thing. It’s a lot quicker to update things, and now we’ve been able to list all the stock that we just haven’t had the chance to do. We also use the automated translation tool. We’ve been flat out listing items lately. We listed all our toners in one day – one day! Toners are a multiple of the price of ink cartridges, and have decent profit margins, so you can imagine how important it is for us to be able to list our entire range of more profitable items in such a short space of time.”
30-40% in 3-4 Months
“I would say that without Volo the people needed would be an extra 3 or 4. The photo uploads alone would have taken us months, and as I said before, we did all our toners in one day. The main benefits are that you can quickly list new stock to all platforms, you can quickly add a new platform (we have Rakuten in our sights) and you can quickly revise listings as standards change, like for example raising all your photos from 1 megabyte size to 2 megabytes. You can do this instantly. There’s also the added benefit of the behind the scenes stock control. “You’re speaking to me at a really busy time. We’ve had a new web shop designed by Volo to improve our listings and our item specifics. We’re about to go onto eBay Australia and Ireland. We’re already on Amazon US, UK and Germany. We’re up to 4 staff now. We’re right in the middle of moving to new, bigger offices. Revenues are already up 30-40% on the last 3 or 4 months, and that’s with all the changes we’ve experienced. We plan to double revenues this year and yesterday was a record day for us. It just keeps getting better and better.”
Optimising Variations
“In our business variations are a big deal. Volo makes variations a lot quicker and easier. We import them and the variations follow after the master – virtually instantly. It’s absolutely key for us that our products are printer model-searchable. 30 models per product is about the norm. That used to mean 30 individual listings, but now the different printer models appear in a drop down of the master listing and are searchable. It’s saved countless hours. “Cross border is about 20-25% for us. You need to be aware of your overseas markets, since for example cartridge specifications are different in the US and Australia, but we know that our international selling is about to increase considerably. I’ve a friend who’s using eBay Selling Manager and he’s having to do all this manually, like we used to. He’s toiling. If you’re thinking about Volo, absolutely go for it. Be prepared for the learning curve and you’ll see massive benefits and get great support.”