Green Spark Plug - Volo

Green Spark Plug

The Green Spark Plug Company is an online seller of vehicle parts and accessories that has increased its revenues ten-fold in 3 years. The secret? Embracing the twin tracks of ecommerce technology and expertise. The Green Spark Plug Co. is the only company in the world that specialises in spark plugs and accessories for veteran, vintage and classic engines. Whether it is for cars, racers, lorries, motorbikes, stationary engines, motor boats or even vintage lawn mowers, the Green Spark Plug Co. has vast stocks of period plugs and their modern equivalents. The company has 3 trading websites and one information exchange website.
  • Category: Parts & Accessories
  • Challenge: Variations, knowledge
  • Results: Revenues up 10-fold in 3 years
  • Benefits: Cross border trade from negligible to 50%
Green by Name

Tom Green, Director, The Green Spark Plug Company: “We already had a website on Magento, and we were looking to expand into eBay. We wanted to manage this centrally from the word go. I got a personal recommendation to go with Volo. We were small, we wanted to move quickly and they came highly recommended. We didn’t look elsewhere and became customers in 2011, when we were doing about £10,000 per month.”

“I know the name is Green spark plug, but we were green getting into multiple platforms. I threw myself into the deep end, and it is quite a comprehensive, complex system when you get started. Early on, however, one of the Volo specialists came down to help with best practice. From that investment of one hour, our business increased by 30%. We learnt how other people were operating, we learnt about just-in-time, setting up our supply chain properly and not holding too much stock. It all helped massively.”

Variations, Volume and Value

“These days, in addition to our websites, we’re on eBay and Amazon in all countries. I have a dozen staff in the business, including me. We also have 120,000 listings and 40,000 products on offer. “It’s hard to single out one thing about the platform because it does so much. We can list many thousands of items easily and quickly, which is really important in our business with there being so many variations. I really like the fact that we can centrally control the stock, automate our purchase orders to suppliers, deal with customer service queries in one place, that kind of thing.

“The way the business has been able to grow under my control is what I’m most pleased about. We did a tiny bit of export beforehand, now it’s at 50%. Also, the racing season is very important to us, so March to September is our critical period. That said, being able to export to the southern hemisphere has helped soften the seasonality swings considerably. I can see the growth easily as well. For example, looking into Volo right now I can tell you that in June 2011 we did about £10,000. In June 2012 that grew to over £27,000, then £76,000 in June 2013, and it will be touching £150,000 in June 2014. At a glance I can see how far we’ve come.”

Attention and Detail

“The attention we get from the Volo people really helps improve the business. We had a visit from one of them 3 weeks ago. He fixed a load of small things that have been niggling us for a while. In a couple of hours he fixed my email client, made a number of essential changes to how our invoices presented to our customers, adjusted our small packet stamps, airmail logos, custom labels, barcodes, I could go on. 10 or 15 support tickets fixed in 2 hours is a huge time-saving for me in the long run.

“If you’re ready and willing to scale your business, then Volo is definitely worth the investment. The growth is phenomenal, from £120,000 to £1.5m for me in 3 years. eBay is my main channel but I’ve achieved those numbers and haven’t even brought my largest website onto the Volo platform yet. That’s the next project!”