5 ways this mature eCommerce company is expanding this year
You may not have heard of Redbubble but it is an eCommerce company, launched in Melbourne back in 2006. Essentially, the website allows artists to sell their art, photography and patterns which are printed on a range of items including t-shirts, cushions and phone covers with Redbubble taking care of the sale, manufacturing and shipping. It has attracted artists and customers from around the world and since 2006 has quietly grown to be one of the country’s biggest eCommerce companies with 147.8 million website visitors last financial year and revenue of $114.6 million, growth of 61.2% compared to the previous year.
Redbubble is again forecasting strong growth this financial year with revenue expected to jump by 50.26% to $172.2 million. With the business 10 years old many analysts would assume it has matured and would expect growth to taper off, however they are showing no signs of stopping – so how are they doing it?
Redbubble’s growth in GTV (gross transaction value) since FY08.
1. Website Optimisation
At the core of Redbubble improving revenue is a constant drive to improve the user experience of their website. This in turn improves conversion rates which has a dramatic effect on revenue making every marketing channel more profitable without increasing ad spend or traffic.
Redbubble’s focus on improving conversion rates is continuing to show positive returns.
With over 10 million images even niche searches such as ‘Donald Trump duvet covers’ have a large number of results that need to be optimised.
To take advantage of this opportunity, Redbubble intend to focus on improving their mobile experience, making it easier to transact across all devices. Mobile improvements to the responsive website that are now in place or currently underway include an updated shopping cart, one-page checkout, upgrading from off-site Paypal card processing to on-site Stripe payment processing and personalising the delivery date information so customers can see exactly when to expect their order delivery.
Redbubble’s new & improved shopping cart & checkout process for mobile devices.
The third major focus for this year is personalisation. Essentially, learning about users (and groups of users) and then serving the most relevant products to every unique visitor to the site. This not only helps with repeat purchases but can improve conversion rates for users requiring multiple visits to the website before converting. Redbubble have started by implementing a new personalised homepage which shows each user a unique set of products based on previously viewed and purchased products. This personalised homepage has outperformed the generic version and now the changes are being rolled out site wide across categories and search results and they are also now planning to personalise their email marketing.
Along with those three major focuses, the company plans to continue conducting user testing and analysis of both quantitative and qualitative data to make major and minor changes that continue evolving and improving the site and thus its conversion rate.
2. Marketing Optimisation
Redbubble are very performance focused with their marketing and they plan to continue optimising their marketing channels this financial year to maximise both profitability and the volume of sales coming from each source. In the last financial year, free traffic sources such as organic search or email marketing made up 68.5% of their sales with paid traffic such as Google Adwords making up the remaining 38.5% with all of their paid sources profitable with just the initial purchase.
The marketing channel breakdown of Redbubble’s sales last financial year.
Redbubble’s products showing in a search that triggers Google Shopping ads.
Redbubble’s strong growth in repeat purchases since FY13.
An example of Redbubble’s dynamic remarketing ads on Googles Display Network.
An example of some of the Redbubble’s dynamic remarketing ads on Facebooks Network.
One of Redbubbles artists promoting her products with a lot of engagement and website traffic generated.
Another way they plan to grow organic traffic is by continuing to increase the size of the website with ‘collections’ of products allowing creation of pages targeting high volume search terms such as “gift ideas” or “gifts for home”. They also plan to increase the number of artists listed on the website which will expand their (already huge) range of products, and allow them to dominate the rankings for niche searches such as ‘rainbow unicorn t-shirt’ and event driven searches such as ‘Donald Trump duvet cover’ as these artists add new artwork.
Redbubbles collection pages which improve user experience and help organic rankings for new search terms.
3. Product Expansion
Another growth area for Redbubble is expanding their product range. Every time they make a new product available for printing they essentially add millions of new product options as most artworks can be adapted to fit the new product. Growing the product line, whilst ensuring fulfillers maintain the quality of the products they create is something that has contributed to their growth over the past ten years and will continue to be a key way they will grow revenue.
Redbubbles product range has grown steadily since they launched the website and will continue to grow.
Redbubble’s top selling sticker pack for sale on the Apple app store for use in Apple iMessage.
4. Target Market Expansion
Redbubble have offered their products internationally since they started via 22 fulfillers around the world with products being sent by the nearest located fulfiller. However their website has always been in English. To continue growing their business they are now planning to expand their target market to speakers of other languages which started with a German site in March, French in June and Spanish in July.
Redbubble’s new German version of their website which launched last March.
To ensure they continue growing a lot of time is being spent on improving the international sites, with artists now having the ability to improve their automatically generated translations for each product and marketing efforts underway to attract new foreign speaking artists to the platform to showcase their work. Local marketing efforts have also begun with paid marketing in German, French & Spanish and translated product feeds being integrated with Google Shopping to allow product ads on foreign searches. Going forward they plan to continue launching the website in new languages with a Chinese language site no doubt on the radar.
5. Business Optimisation
Along with optimising and improving the website and marketing, and expanding product ranges and target markets, Redbubble continues to work on their business as a whole ensuring that they can continue scaling and growing.
An example of this is the work they have done on transitioning their old, legacy IT platform to a scalable cloud infrastructure. This was a huge effort required to migrate the website and systems but this has meant the business is now ready to scale and grow globally – the added benefit being that the cloud infrastructure also has lowered costs. This move to the cloud has also helped the businesses drive to improve the speed of the website, especially at peak shopping times such as Christmas which leads to a better customer experience, increased search rankings and an improved website conversion rate.
In line with the global growth of the business, Redbubble are also continuing to add fulfillment partners with three new partners in the US and Australia last year, and more planned in 2017. Adding localised fulfillment capabilities ensures shorter delivery times which improves website conversion rates and leads to a better customer experience, which in turn increases repeat purchases.
3rd party fulfillment partners are a key part of the Redbubble marketplace.
Last year was a busy year for Redbubble and the coming year looks no different with a range of activities in play to help the business grow significantly. Getting every element right will be key to hitting or exceeding their forecasts this financial year as well as using a fluid marketing approach to adjust their outputs and scale as they see success. As a ten year old “mature” eCommerce business the fact that there can still be so much going on proves there is always something more you can be doing online and there are always tweaks and optimisations you can make to your website, marketing or business that will have a positive effect. I look forward to watching Redbubble grow and seeing how they do in the future.