Hello baby: Meet the dadpreneur - Volo
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Hello baby: Meet the dadpreneur


After having his first child, Trevor Ginn realised the huge potential in the world of baby products – and so Hello Baby was born. Trevor shares with us his plans to expand into China and enter a new market selling pet products…

Hi, my name is Trevor Ginn, and I’m the founder of Hello Baby. I set up the company in 2007 after I had my first child, and realised the huge potential in selling baby products. It’s an enormous market, and even more lucrative because unlike so many other ecommerce sectors it’s non-seasonal thanks to the broad range of items available. It’s competitive, but not as competitive as electronics, which is nuts. Perhaps if I’d thought about it a bit harder, to quote Bob Dylan, I never would have done it.

I started life working in banking, and then I went on to work for various unsuccessful startups and an internet consultancy which went horribly bust. After working for a series of other websites, I decided I wanted to work for myself and became one of Volo’s first customers. Today, at Hello Baby we sell mainly on eBay and Amazon.

Since running my own business I have learnt so much, particularly skills that you’re not taught in school. For example haggling – I recently worked with some Chinese businessmen who were very good at haggling, and I learnt a lot from them. Another thing I have learnt in online retailing is the importance of looking at pricing very carefully. What many retailers tend to do is sell too cheaply, and then go out of business. That’s not really a problem we’ve ever had, but I think a lot of people fall into that trap.

Our top selling product changes quite frequently, it’s really random. The things that do well are everyday products. If you’re going to spend a lot of money on something, people tend to go into the shop to have a look at it. So things we sell a lot of are generally quite gift-y, and also things that people need quite a lot of. Quality brands also do really well for us over a long period of time – like Clippasafe. However, it’s hard to predict these things.

What is useful for predictions though is the reporting system on Volo. I find the refund report really useful, as it allows us to see where we can be more efficient and where we need to bolster our areas of growth. It highlighted the countries where different products had been refunded, we could see that about 20% of orders that went to Greece had been refunded so we made the decision to stop selling there. I really love the reports that tell us where our dead stock is and what our bestselling items are. For example, the report on dead stock enabled us to streamline the items that didn’t sell. That was a lot easier than downloading all the data and having to collate it. It’s useful to be able to get a snapshot of how much we’ve been selling. Volo helps us automate so many things – a lot of people try to manage without Volo and I don’t know how they do it.

In terms of getting Hello Baby’s name out there, we market ourselves on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram. However, we’re not currently seeing any impact on sales through our social media strategy at the moment. It’s difficult to make much money through social channels, although that’s not to say it’s not something to aspire to. We do recognise the importance of social media and plan to invest in it in the future by hiring someone to work full time on marketing Hello Baby across these channels.

We’ve got big plans for the future. We’re going to set up a shop, increase the number of brands we sell, expand further into China, and generally improve our service levels. We’re going to spend a lot of time analysing our stock using Volo’s reporting tool to do this. We’re probably going to start launching some pet products as well – many of our customers also have pets, so it makes sense. We’ve got a good system for selling things here so we plan to do more of the same, raising services and raising our game.