HM: How has costumes.com.au kept up with the changing e-commerce landscape in Australia?
NH: Well, we are active participants in the community, attending conferences, learning as much as we can and trying to keep on top of trends. Ultimately, this comes down to understanding who your customers are, and how they like to shop.
This has changed over time, and we have done our best to adapt, using social media, different online marketing techniques and so on. But I still think we can do better, and we have some big improvements to our business coming in the next 12 months.
HM: Can you give us a sense of the size of costumes.com.au in terms of its revenue, staff, offices, etc. today?
NH: We try to operate as efficiently as possible, so we have been able to keep our team to under 10 staff, and operate out of a 1900sqm warehouse in the south eastern suburbs of Melbourne. If we can keep growing the business without increasing our cost base much over the next 12-24 months, we will be happy!
HM: What are your top business priorities over the next 12 months? NH: Our main priorities are to keep up-to-date with best practice in the industry. I guess this is all the standard stuff you hear about, including a fast site, good catalogue navigation, great (intelligent) merchandising, etc.
We are also working on expanding our range and selection, and we are perhaps looking at some new strategic opportunities as well, as we continue to grow.
HM: What is your biggest challenge/pain point right now?
NH: I think our biggest challenge at the moment is growing our range effectively and maximising our sales channels, including marketplaces, which currently represent a very small percentage of sales for us.
Marketplaces are growing (again!) in Australia, and we need to work with the ones that will be a good partner for us.
HM: What do you think is the most overrated e-commerce trend at the moment?
NH: I don’t know about overrated, but there was a big rush to implement AMP pages for e-commerce a while back. I don’t think this should be high on most people’s priority list, especially smaller sellers. There are plenty more important things to be focusing on first.
HM: What do you think is the most overlooked e-commerce capability/skill at the moment?
NH: I think one of the most important skills, and it has been for a long time, is really being able to understand your customers and how they shop and their buying behaviour. This is critical to a successful e-commerce operation. It influences all of your decisions around the user experience, range, shipping options and more.
This story first appeared on sister site Internet Retailing.
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