The British Hamper Company is set for a bumper Christmas after receiving funding from the Department for International Trade (DIT) enabling it to make a significant investment in its website.
The business, which is based in Lincoln, sells hampers filled with artisan food and drink from independent British producers to more than 50 countries worldwide. It has used a grant from DIT to make its online site more accessible to its biggest export markets, including Australia, Canada, Hong Kong, New Zealand and the US.
The new site will allow customers to pay in a range of currencies, view the hampers that are available specifically in their country, and select international gift delivery options. The company expects to boost annual turnover by 30% as a result.
Christmas is the biggest season for the business, which sees its workforce increase fivefold to meet increased demand for their luxury gifts. DIT has also helped the firm improve systems to reduce the time taken for delivery – for example, delivery to the US is now within three working days.
Established in 2014 by James Tod and his parents Mike and Liz, around 50% of the company’s orders every year are sent overseas, the majority of which are completed via the website.
James, co-founder of The British Hamper Company, said: “Many of our orders come through our website, meaning a good user experience is vital to the success of our business.
“The team at the Department for International Trade has been really helpful since we approached them earlier this year to help us with tailoring our site. It now caters to the needs of all the different countries we work with.
“Our goal for 2019 was to be in the position we are in now – with a tailor-made, user-friendly website to help us provide international customers with the best service possible – so it’s fantastic to have been able to achieve our goal early and in time to take advantage of Christmas demand.
“And if a firm like ours can revamp and internationalise its website, with the right help and guidance, other businesses can too.”
Ian Harrison, head of exports in the Midlands at the Department for International Trade, said: “Selling online, whether through marketplaces such as eBay or through your own website, is a great way of reaching customers in corners of the globe you may not have been able to otherwise. British food and drink is renowned for its provenance and quality, and The British Hamper Company is working to showcase the products of small businesses out on a global platform.
“Here at the Department for International Trade, we’re dedicated to supporting firms as they look to start or expand their overseas activity. Whether that is through putting them in touch with the right people on the ground in their target markets or, in this case, providing funding to invest in a website, our team are on hand to support wherever they can.”
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