Victoria Eggs’ Successful Multichannel Selling Strategy
Victoria Eggs isn’t just the name of a British designer. It’s also the name of her rapidly growing brand. (And yes, it’s her real name.)
In 2016, Victoria Eggs pulled in £125,000 GBP, roughly $166,705.63 USD—a 20% growth from last year. She anticipates she’ll reach
£150,000 ($200,169.75 USD) by the end of the year.
Eggs’ brand has been featured as an Amazon Handmade featured artist, in Elle Decor, Marie Claire, House Beautiful, and more. Her brick and mortar success is even more astounding—she sells in houseware heavyweights such as West Elm.
And for a brand that sells heavily British-themed housewares and gifts, Victoria Eggs has seen a lot of multinational selling success.
How does this one-woman show do it all? We sat down to discuss the challenges and growth opportunities for Victoria Eggs.
Victoria Eggs’ Multichannel Selling Strategy
About 80% of Victoria Eggs sales are via retailers, and the brand originally gained visibility amongst retailers on a UK site called “Not on the High Street.”
Soon after that, Eggs launched her brand on Etsy, which she still uses as a sales channel. But that’s not the only place you can find Victoria Eggs. You can also find the brand on these social and sales channels:
- Amazon Handmade
- Ecommerce site (with a blog)
- Not on the High Street
Eggs largest social following is on Facebook, where she currently has 10,785 page likes. Instagram and Twitter followers tie at second with around 4,300 followers each.
If these social numbers seem to be on the low side, it’s because the biggest challenge Eggs faces is growing her online presence and B2C sales.
And this extends to her ecommerce site:
I’m constantly improving my website,” Eggs says. “[Right now,] customers have to scroll all the way down the page before they reach the content [for a product]. The person who developed it originally hadn’t quite thought that through. Now, I’m at a point where my developer has added in a line of text under the heading of whatever the product is. So it would be the keyword-heavy really descriptive couple of lines that will hopefully increase ranking on organic searches.
B2B vs. B2C Sales
As mentioned before, 80% of Victoria Eggs’ business is made by selling directly to retailers—mainly brick and mortar. Right now, this is her most valuable selling channel.
It seems that unauthorized resellers and counterfeit products have been on the rise in the last few years—especially on Amazon—but thus far, Victoria Eggs hasn’t had to deal with this.
“There’s only one company that was selling my products on eBay,” says Eggs. “My husband stumbled across it, and politely asked them not
to. But they were a brick and mortar shop that had a discounted eBay shop that we had not agreed to, and luckily they moved it. And that’s the only one we’ve found so far.”
This could change as the company grows, but for now, that’s not Eggs’ biggest concern. For now, selling B2B is becoming a growing headache.
“I think even in the last 5 years…it’s harder to sell directly to retailers, and it’s really costly to do the trade shows on the weekend.”
Eggs elaborated on her latest trade show in NYC in January:
It’s expensive…you’re talking thousands and thousands of pounds. And you’ve got to sell quite a lot of tea towels to get [that money] back, because you’re selling it at wholesale price. It was a really successful show, and I’ve got customers that are doing repeat orders, which is great. But…you have to lay out all your flights, hotels, cover the cost of the trade show, and it’s months and months before you see any return on investment. It’s a bit of a cash flow nightmare, really.
That’s where various ecommerce B2C sales channels come in handy to build brand awareness and generate year-round sales.
Amazon Handmade vs. Etsy
Up to this point, Eggs’ experience with Amazon Handmade has been relatively seamless.
She didn’t approach them to choose her as a “Featured Artist”, and she’s not exactly sure how they chose her. For this and other reasons, Amazon Handmade has edged out Etsy as a selling platform for her brand.
First, there’s the customer service and ability to grow on the platform.
“On Amazon Handmade there’s much more contact [with seller support] if you have any problems,” says Eggs. “What you put into it, you can get out. You can find that to an extent on Etsy, but Amazon just took it a bit closer to the next level.”
When asked about her secret to success on the platform, Eggs says it’s still too early in the game.
“It’s just trial and error, really—trying to see what products are selling,” Eggs says. “I haven’t done any of the boosted posts on Amazon Handmade yet but on Amazon US I have.”
While Eggs manufactures her products in England and packages and delivers these products for Amazon Handmade, she works closely with an agency in the US to sell on Amazon.com (and uses FBA). The agency largely focuses on running promotions and getting reviews because so far, that’s been the key to ranking Victoria Eggs higher organically.
Learn more about getting more great reviews on Amazon:
Reaching a Global Market With British Products
Eggs’ design leans heavily towards all things British. At first glance, it doesn’t seem like a tea towel featuring Cockney slang (Eggs’ favorite design), or an apron stamped in London double decker buses would translate well in a market like Hong Kong.
But Eggs is successfully selling British wares overseas.
“There are quite a few different markets for these products—everything UK. I have a distributor that covers Taiwan, Hong Kong, and China. And the products sell very well there as well, including the text-based ones.”
America makes a little more sense as one of Eggs’ most successful online markets—Americans still haven’t completely exhausted our obsession with all things British even though Notting Hill is almost 17 years old.
Balancing Design With General Business and Sales
Eggs has a degree in Fine Arts, and spent a lot of time on the creative side designing products before migrating into business. Now, her role has shifted.
I used to design greeting cards and sell them to retailers, and then a greeting card company found my cards and invited me to become an in-house designer. So I started managing orders that came in and out, and doing stock control…so I saw all of the things that made a small business run. So that’s what really lit the fire below me and I thought, “Oh this is really exciting!”
While working at Ben Sherman as a designer, she also worked for a branding company with just five employees in Australia. Because it was such a small team, Eggs handled project management, presented to clients, and managed the team.
Now, the majority of her time is spent on the business side, but that may change soon, as she’s looking to hire her only employee (aside from a part-time PR person): a sales specialist. Why a sales specialist instead of an assistant?
“The person I want to take on should be able to help take on sales and process orders, and should take a massive chunk of work off my plate…and [unlike an assistant], you can see a direct correlation [on ROI],” Eggs says.
Cash Flow and Time Management
There are two common issues entrepreneurs face in the early stages of a business—cash flow and time management. This is especially pronounced when it’s a one-woman show, and Eggs currently has to sacrifice long-term projects to deal with everyday business maintenance.
“Even though there’s money at the end of the [website redesign], it’s not a direct return on your time. Following up with an order or client is,” says Eggs.
Again, this could change when she hires a sales employee. But for now, her organization system is running pretty well.
Eggs doesn’t use anything fancy to manage her projects—just a simple whiteboard, project files, and notes. She manages to get everything done by dividing her day into blocks of time to spend on projects.
“If it’s emails, I do an hour of emails. Or accounting, then I block that at about 3 hours, as opposed to slipping from task to task. I focus on one task, then move on to the next one. It’s good to have three things you need to do but you don’t want to do, and three things you can do if you’ve got the time.”
Plans for Q4 and Beyond
Eggs plans to continue exhibiting at trade shows, as it’s a huge source of income and exposure for B2B sales. Fortunately, the sales are more steady now that her brand is more established.
“A lot of the retailers have already placed their orders months and months ago, so it’s kind of like Christmas all year round,” says Eggs.
As far as holiday promotions go, Eggs has a plan in place from last year that she plans to amend for this year, and much of it’s on social platforms.
“Online we’ll be boosting posts on Facebook, and offering free delivery,” says Eggs. “So it’s a little plan that I try to stick to and hope for the best.”
Beyond Q4, Eggs will continue to focus on growing her online direct-to-consumer channels.
“[Once I] take on someone to handle the B2b side, that will enable me to focus on growing B2C. That’s something I really want to grow in the next few years; Amazon Handmade, Etsy, and other online selling platforms.”
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