The online retail business has seen success down under after signing a deal with Amazon Australia which secured £60,000 worth of sales in its first four weeks of exporting.
Founded in 2005, the Chiswick company sells more than 600,000 entertainment products, including video games, DVDs and gadgets, from 150 suppliers through marketplaces such as eBay, Amazon, GAME and Rakuten.
With support from the Department for International Trade (DIT), the company already exports to 170 different countries – including the United States, Japan, Canada, France, Germany and Chile.
It expects to see annual turnover almost double to more than £20m this year, and expand its exporting activities to China, Indonesia and Israel in the coming years.
The business has also just been commended with a Queen’s Award for Enterprise in the ‘International Trade’ category, showcasing and recognising the success of Rarewaves’ exporting journey so far.
Brad Aspess, founder of Rarewaves, said: “All of our growth has been made possible through selling on marketplaces.
“As a retailer, we simply pay a small commission to have our own store on the likes of Amazon and eBay, giving us access to millions of global consumers who shop regularly on these platforms. This has also meant that we haven’t needed to heavily invest in our own marketing.
“DIT has been really useful in helping us fully understand each of our new targets markets, sharing insightful market research and advice on how best to deliver our products.
“This has been particularly important to us as we plan to launch in more complicated markets like China soon.
“For any business keen to start their exporting journey, I would advise speaking to DIT to form a comprehensive overseas e-Commerce strategy – there is a world of opportunity out there and DIT is helping to fill in the gaps with British businesses. Check out their network of specialist trade advisers near you – if we can do it, so can you.”
DIT has supported Rarewaves since 2014, providing detailed market analysis, developing market entry strategies, and helping connect the firm with new suppliers.
The company employs 20 people in the UK and eight in the US, with many others involved in the distribution of the products it sources. More job creation is expected as their success continues.
Parveen Thornhill, regional director for Department for International Trade London Region, said: “Brad and the team have worked hard to make a name for Rarewaves, and they have demonstrated a strong entrepreneurial mindset when it comes to targeting new markets. We at DIT are delighted to have helped them on their journey.
“We know that exploring the world of e-Commerce isn’t without its complexities. That’s why as well as trade advisers you can speak to about going international, we have tools such as ‘Selling Online Overseas’, which does what it says.
“You can find it on Great.gov.uk together with an ‘Export Readiness Tool’, to check if you’re ready to export. ‘Trade Profile’, is another online tool to help you find buyers that are interested in UK suppliers, and DIT is working with 42 e-market places to make it easier for British businesses to sell overseas online.
“Check out our website, where you will also find details of events both locally, here in the UK, and overseas.”
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