Maxwell Scott Bags’ William Forshaw discusses selling internationally, and the power of a luxury brand (episode 019)

William Forshaw is the founder of Maxwell Scott Bags – a luxury English brand that is an online only retailer, with a wholesale arm. Their turnover is just over £1 million, about 500 customers per month – but much higher at Christmas. They were founded in 2002 and re-imagined in 2013 to focus on becoming the most loved British Bag company in the world. Everything is focused on craftsmanship, attention to detail, and a passion for creating individual style.

Click to Tweet: Maxwell Scott Bags’s William Forshaw talks custom widgets and internationalization on @eComMasterPlan podcast

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william forshaw quote
About the business

  • eCommerce Business Structure – Online Only, (plus wholesale branded items to large corporates)
  • Product Range Scale – niche
  • On a bespoke Magento site
  • Turnover is over £1 million and aiming to increase that by 30 to 40% over the next year by focusing on international expansion
  • Relocated the business from London to York about 3 years ago
  • Based in the UK, sell globally
  • Key widgets in the website:
    • far too many to mention! listen to hear William’s excellent approach to widgets

Listen to hear how William got started in eCommerce and went from seeing a gap in the market to building an international brand


Maxwell Scott Bags currently have sites for the UK, France, Germany and the USA. Over the coming months they are launching sites for Australia, Canada, Austria and Switzerland.

Listen to hear how William decides which country to launch in next (including tax, market size, and your stats)

Most Awesome Thing(s!) Right Now

  • Photography – upcoming Photo shoot for new season marketing material
  • Getting creative for Christmas
  • Going into new markets with internationalisation

On the Radar for the Coming Months

  • International expansion
  • Wholesale to other retailers
  • Drop-Shipping for other eCommerce stores
  • Opening a bricks and mortar shop in York

eCommerce Book Top Tip

eCommerce Traffic Top Tip

  • Google Adwords Pay Per Click (PPC) – every last option in it! (they use Subpixel)

Tool Top Tip

  • Buzzstream – A web-based software that helps the world’s best marketers promote their products, services and content to build links, buzz, and brands

Start Up Top Tip

  • Invest in your brand
  • Research your target market

If your business didn’t exist, which eCommerce Business Would you like to be Running?

  • Either creating an agency to service eCommerce busienesses, or looking for the next hot thing and getting in there early

Interview Links