Taking a sustainable, money saving brand to £5m a year with Helen Rankin from Cheeky Wipes (episode 388)

Helen Rankin is the founder and general dogsbody at Cheeky Wipes, a simple reusables brand who’s been leading the charge since 2008. Selling reusable baby wipes, period products, nappies, and more. They’re now a multi-awarding winning business with 35 staff and sales of over £5m a year.

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Starting a Sustainable Brand

Helen started using reusable wipes with her first son because of her skin condition. From that, the concept of Cheeky Wipes was born.

When she had her second son and closing up her first business, she thought of bringing Cheeky Wipes reusable wipes to life.

So while the brand was really aimed at addressing skin issues, having it as a sustainable and money-saving option added value to the product.

The Brand & The Products

  • Based in the UK
  • Sells globally
  • Sources their products from China and Pakistan to bring their price point to a level their customers are willing to pay
  • Runs on Blue Park eCommerce platform

When Cheeky Wipes was launched in 2008, its first product was the reusable wipes. Four years later, the brand introduced reusable sanitary pads which sold really well. 

Helen says focusing on just one product during the company’s first few years was the right thing to do. Allowing the product range to grow organically has also been good for the brand. 

The Team

The Cheeky Wipes team is made up of 35 people.

The ladies who manage customer service, product development, and the warehouse have been friends of Helen for a long time.

There are also a lot of part-timers, such as the people from their marketing and warehouse teams.

Customer Service as a Sales Channel

For Helen, it’s not just customer service but customer experience.

With the number of questions they have on their website that help customers in their decision to make the switch to reusable wipes or pads. However, these may not always capture what the customers want to know. Cheeky Wipes’ customer service team shares how the products work for them and by being authentic in what they share, they’re able to connect with the customers on a more personal level.

Because of this, the team has become a valuable sales channel for the brand, getting customers to make the switch to reusable products.

The Importance of Customer Reviews

Cheeky Wipes uses Trustpilot for their customer reviews.

Regardless if they get good reviews or bad ones, reviews are shared on the site and discussed by the team. The critical ones are those that say something is wrong because, for Helen, it’s an opportunity to shift the complaint into something positive.

While customer reviews work well for Cheeky Wipes, Helen feels they can do more in the influencer space. She just wants to make sure that anything shared has to have authenticity and integrity.

eCommerce Book Top Tip

eCommerce Traffic Top Tip

  • For Cheeky Wipes, it’s definitely social media and people talking about the product online.

Tool Top Tip

Growth Top Tip

  • Fantastic customer service is important in turning a complaint into an advocate for the brand.

Interview Links

Related episodes

  • 360: Growing a baby clothing subscription service with Eve Kekeh of Bundlee
  • 376: Clothes Swapping success and how it can work for brands too with Nuw’s Aisling Byrne
  • 377: Taking a Sustainable Products brand to 2million+ customers with Jennie Perry from Grove Collaborative

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