Matt Edmundson is the CEO of the Jersey Company, a group of health, wellness and beauty companies that deliver products and services to over 120,000 loyal customers in the UK and Europe. The group includes the eCommerce business Jersey Beauty Company – which went online in 2006 and since then they have achieved global sales of $75million, that’s over 7 million products shipped.
About Jersey Beauty
- Based in Liverpool
- Started life in Jersey in the Channel Islands
- Started in Jersey because you didn’t have to pay VAT at the time the company started
- Sells in the UK and Europe
- Retails strong brand names and are launching a proprietary product soon
- Use the Kurious Digital Platform (written by Matt)
Most of the team is in-house and Matt says he prefers to keep it that way as much as possible. This includes, but isn’t limited to: marketing and creative, customer service and warehouse.
They do outsource for paid media like Google, Facebook and Amazon with a local freelancer.
How Matt Got Started
Matt got started in eCommerce writing html for websites (he jokes about how he remembers the days long before DreamWeaver).
After several projects, he started got curious as to whether he could write an eCommerce site, so he connected with a friend who owned a suntan lotion company and asked if he could experiment with eCommerce using his product. Six months later, the site was doing so well, Matt’s friend ended up buying it—a success that launched Matt’s career.
Matt isn’t shy about saying that there are some pretty undesirable attitudes in the beauty industry and competition and outright cattiness can be a hot button issue.
Unlike a business that controls every aspect of it’s circumstance by producing its own proprietary products, Jersey Beauty Company must deal individually with each of their suppliers, something that has its own unique set of challenges. Matt says that the best way to deal with this problem is to simply learn to be yourself in a way that is attractive to your customer.
If everything you do can match with who you are as a brand—from your marketing to the way your products are packed and shipped—your audience will be loyal. He also recommends staying on top of your competitors and know really intimately what is going on in their business by closely following their metrics.
Matt’s refreshing perspective on the competition also recommends going out for the occasional beer and he points out that they are, after all, real people.
This camaraderie is important for integrity and Matt points out that they aren’t likely to find out anything important about your business that they don’t already know or can’t find out.
In the most simplistic terms, Matt says that everyone should just “get on” and build their businesses without undercutting competitors.
Content as the Differentiator
Creating content and educating customers was something that Matt says he has been fostering from the beginning of Jersey Beauty Company.
He relays the analogy of a person choosing one petrol station over another with all things being equal save the fact that one had their lights on during the dark of night. Content and education he says has been the company’s metaphorical light.
He also has been steadfast to the company’s values and has consistently spoken up against the shame driven advertising that dominates the beauty industry. He says that don’t use phrases like anti-aging and they have been careful about their creative content—passing over typical models in favor of real people.
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eCommerce Book Top Tip
- The Ruthless Elimination of Hurry: How to Stay Emotionally Healthy and Spiritually Alive in the Chaos of the Modern World by John Mark Comer
- If you’re struggling with your business values and identity, read Delivering Happiness by Tony Hsieh
eCommerce Traffic Top Tip
- Do a lot of research to learn where your customers are and market there.
Tool Top Tip
Growth Top Tip
- Figure out a way to present your voice, brand and values in a way that resonates with people because no-one can copy that. If you can figure out who you are and make content around that you will grow.
- Zig Ziggler once said that sales is “telling the truth attractively” that, Matt says is pretty great advice.
- Lifestyle Labs’ Valerian Voegele redefining the vitamins sector through outstanding customer service
- Influencer Marketing to grow a Subscription eCommerce business to $17m – Live Glam’s Dhar Mann
- Linear sales funnels, affiliate marketing and LOTS of top tips – chatting with Nate Lind
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