How to get to $25m in 6 years AND care about the planet with Ekster Wallets’ Olivier Momma (episode 398)

Olivier Momma is the creative director at Ekster Wallets. Olivier has recently been named as one of Forbes 30 under 30, and he’s taken Ekster from crowdfunding in 2016 to over $25million in sales. Throughout that time sustainability has been a big part of their mission, in 2021 they became climate neutral, and they are working on that again in 2022.

eCMP398 Landscape

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Getting Started in eCommerce

Olivier’s eCommerce journey began when he was 22 and in Hong Kong, where he observed people paying for purchases with their phones.

This is what got him and his co-founder Rick thinking of building Ekster and they did their research on the wallet industry. They got on Kickstarter and went on a 45-day campaign where their product went viral and they exceeded their initial goal.

About Ekster and The Team

  • Based in Amsterdam but mostly sells to the US
  • Sells via Shopify, Amazon, and through several online retailers

Olivier shares that they now have an in-house team of about 50 people but some parts of the manufacturing process are done externally.

Trackable Wallets

Ekster makes smart wallets and accessories and their flagship product is a wallet you can’t lose – the Trackable Wallet.

What Olivier and his co-founder did when they started the company was to look at the pain points of daily carry items and brainstorm on how to solve them. This is still what they do and from the Trackable Wallet, they’ve already expanded their product range to bags, other types of cases, and anything you may carry with you every day.

At the Forefront of Innovation and Marketing

Olivier says that innovation is what jumpstarted their initial growth. Innovating for them is a combination of instinct and brainstorming.

They look at trends and how they can implement their own technologies, or study a product and find out how they can improve it for themselves.

Aside from innovation, being open to new knowledge from outside consultants and advisers is also a strength of their team. Even employees are encouraged to continuously learn by getting into different courses. This is part of how they are able to stay in front of any initiative they undertake.

In terms of marketing, Olivier’s secret sauce is testing more creatives. He attributes their success to bringing in more people who put out different creatives to find what works and what doesn’t.

The Road to Sustainability

Even from the beginning, it was already their goal to find the most experienced and most sustainable factories they could work with.

They’ve also decided to work on getting their B Corp status because as Olivier explains, it’s a way to improve the culture of the company and at the same time focus on sustainability parts.

Right now, Ekster has a sustainability page where they talk about carbon neutrality and other initiatives. These are also reflected in the ads they run, their product pages, and other marketing strategies.

Ekster’s Future

There are quite a few things in the pipeline for Ekster. On the organizational front, Olivier says they’re looking at their operating system and restructuring their team to ensure employee satisfaction.

On the eCommerce side, they’re launching their Shopify 2.0 website with a complete redesign that includes faster loading speeds. They’re also preparing to launch new products, and aside from just doing their first direct mail campaign, they’re also venturing into TV ad campaigns this year.

eCommerce Book Top Tip

eCommerce Traffic Top Tip

  • For Olivier, it’s YouTube creators because of the amazing ROI they can bring to your brand.

Tool Top Tip

  • Group Verification app on Shopify

Growth Top Tip

  • Test more creatives because the more data you have, the more chances you get in finding what will work for your brand and help you scale. Another tip Olivier has is to bring it all in-house so you can test more.

Interview Links

Related episodes

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  • 381: The Fashion Business Model of the Future? This is Unfolded with Cally Russell
  • 392: Embedding ethics and sustainability into luxury brand Elvis & Kresse – super inspiring story

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