Manu Hussain, Founder and Managing Director, Laptop Outlet: “We were initially approached by eBay as part of their acquisition programme. Why don’t you sell on eBay?’ they suggested. So we did, we got it going. Towards the end of 2011 we were doing daily deals, moving a couple of hundred orders a day. It wasn’t possible to sustain this for uploading data, updating stock levels, that kind of thing. We needed a platform for the level of business we were doing. We needed an integrated solution.
“eBay recommended we look at a couple of multichannel ecommerce system providers to manage it all. We chose Volo because of the time frame, which was aggressive, and because the guys at Volo were more understanding of our business. They were working with a lot of other tech sellers.
“At first it felt quite daunting, because there was a lot to take on with all the automation that the platform offered. The implementation went really well, and we immersed ourselves in the technical side, and did all the training to make sure everyone on the team was comfortable with it. That included me. I need to understand my business really well, from the inside out, and so I got to know the Volo system really well.”
“We’re a genuinely multichannel business. We sell via our website, on eBay, Amazon, Tesco Direct and use other social selling channels like Groupon. The Volo technology is really good. It copes with all these channels, and helps us manage what is now a pretty complex business. The Volo staff are excellent too, in terms of interfacing with us on a regular basis and providing the support when we need it. They’re responsive and knowledgeable.
“We’ve also recently got inside the reporting module, which is critical to the P&L side of the business. It sounds obvious and it’s easy to say and much harder to do, but having an accurate picture of the net margin we’re making on each product is very useful.”
“The growth has been really good. We have turned ourselves from retailers to multichannel etailers. Our online sales have increased ten-fold. In our first year working with Volo we did over £5.5m in sales and we doubled it the year after. The year after that we grew by a further 33%, and we’re continuing to perform over plan.
“This is a very solid foundation that Volo has enabled us to build. We’re now up to 45 staff, we process hundreds of orders a day and we have a high average order value. It’s given us the funding to branch out into other areas of the ecommerce business besides pure retail.”