One Seed: The perfumery with 70% online sales

Sep 02 2019 | PayPal editorial staff | 3 min read

Like many entrepreneurs, Liz Cook founded her business after seeing a huge gap in the market and jumping at the chance to fill it.
The One Seed founder started producing natural, organic, vegan, cruelty-free perfumes in 2009. Since then, the business has seen plenty of rebrands, four different websites and huge growth in mobile and online customers.

“The online business has grown massively since we started and so we’ve had to evolve with that and learn and try to keep up,” says Liz. “In the early days we were selling very little online. These days, 70% of our business comes from online sales, which is massive.”

That’s particularly impressive when you consider the sense-driven nature of purchasing perfume.
When it comes to mobile, Liz says the convenience of her eCommerce platform (Shopify) means mCommerce is built-in. But it wasn’t always so easy.

“In the earlier days – say 3 or 4 years – it was really tricky and we had to pay quite a bit of money to try and get things to work on the mobile commerce site and so on. Things weren’t looking right and you had to constantly expand the pictures to have a good look.”

Switching to a mobile-optimised site saw growth of 25% over one month, so mobile commerce has been a big focus for the business.

“Now we’re looking at other ways we can optimise the mobile platform. On a desktop, you’ve kind of got the whole shop experience in front of you whereas on a mobile, the whole shop is in your hand but you don’t get the full feeling of like you’re in a store. We’re still trying to work out ways to make that experience even more fun and more of an experience, rather than just an eCommerce transaction.”

Liz says it comes down to having a seamless checkout process; a painless, quick and simple one for the customer. Or, “not having people jump through hoops to get to the checkout!”
A huge part of selling to mobile customers is using social media and, for Liz, Instagram and Facebook are her focus. “Social media is where a lot of people develop trust and relationships and I think that for any business whose customers are there, having daily conversations – sometimes even hourly conversations – around various topics or products or news, it’s vital to be in the mix.

“It’s a way for us to get to know our customers and the things that motivate them more. Not just from the eCommerce point of view but to actually connect with them better. It also allows our customers to develop a greater sense of trust in us and it feels more like we’re their friends as opposed to just ‘when I need this product I’ll buy this product from this business’. It’s much more interactive.”
 

Liz’s top 3 tips for business success:

  1. Look at alignment and influence
    Be aligned with other like-minded brands, spokespeople, celebrities or whoever it is that’s in your sphere. Alignment and collaboration are really important. Get alongside other brands that speak your language to the same market and develop real relationships.
  1. Plan for growth
    Be wise with how you spend your money. Try different things, try advertising and marketing in certain areas, but don’t put all your eggs in one basket. It’s got to be about the future and what you can bring to the business as well as what the business brings to you.
  1. Pitch your point of difference
    Don’t be afraid to be different. If your message is different, or if your brand is different or stands out in some way, don’t hide it but actually put it out there as why people should choose you.
 
The contents of this site are provided for informational purposes only. You should always obtain independent, professional accounting, financial, and legal advice before making any business decision.
The contents of this site are provided for informational purposes only. The information in this article does not constitute legal, financial, IT, business or investment advice of any kind and is not a substitute for any professional advice. You should always obtain independent, professional accounting, financial, IT and legal advice before making any business decision.