Nigel Matthews, Partner, GamesQuest: “In the beginning, we were excel slaves. We grew rapidly, listing 3-4,000 items on eBay, and were absolutely flat out. We had no IT systems in place, were working until midnight every night through Christmas and then we’d have to start early the next day. It was pure hell, and certainly unsustainable. We wanted to support 3 staff with a decent wage and do things properly. The realisation set in early that you couldn’t grow the big selling portals like eBay and Amazon, you couldn’t manage it on your own. There was a sense of impending doom. It sounds dramatic, but that’s what it was like.
“We took a pretty scientific approach to the selection process. It was a role reversal for me. I had worked in IT previously, selling IT systems, so I had been the brunt of many difficult questions and was involved in many tenders. We had a very clear idea of what we wanted. We drew up the ideal scenario of what we wanted the software to do for us, and we created a list of items that made up this ideal world, covering all the main criteria. Volo scored better on functionality. Simply speaking, it could do more. Even I was surprised and delighted by what the software could do. You could let the software do the work for you, let it do its work.”
“Cross border trading has been the surprise package for us. I can honestly say that selling internationally was not in our business plan when we started with Volo. It simply wasn’t on the radar. We just wanted to control our selling on eBay and branch into Amazon, print our orders, that kind of thing.
“But when we found Volo could do all this cross border trading out of the box, well we stumbled into it. For us, eBay and Amazon were the crux of the international selling picture, and so we wanted to manage those relationships very carefully. It’s tempting with the Volo platform to go gangbusters, but the best way is to take it slowly and make sure you don’t get it wrong. eBay is now integral to our international business. PayPal probably has the best international currency conversion on the market, so profitability on international selling with eBay is higher that Amazon. We can manage these multiple channels simultaneously with the channel profiling that the platform does. It manages all the portals and updates and debits them all.”
“In 5 years we’ve gone from a garage and £75K in revenues to over £1.5m in revenues and proper facilities. We list more than 20,000 items. None of that would have been achievable without Volo. It has allowed us to achieve that growth.
“You have to have the processes in place at the back end to manage all of this. You've got to use the platform to its full capacity, otherwise you’re wasting resources and turning down sales. The more you use it, the more you save and the more you make. “Volo delivers on the capabilities it promises. If they say they can do it, they can do it. Volo is one of the more expensive solutions, but you get the support to succeed. Merchants like us, we want support, we don’t want to set things up ourselves. You have to get the support and expertise from your provider.”