Building Europe’s most Sustainable Product Marketplace with Veo’s Joe Darwen (episode 380)

Joe Darwen is the founder of Veo – Europe’s most sustainable online shopping destination. It’s a marketplace with over 200 independent brands selling over 50,000 unique products across Fashion, Beauty, Food, Drink, and Home! Started in 2019 they’ve been perfecting their model and the technology that powers it, and re-launched the ‘final’ version in September 2021 and are growing 30% month on month.

Listen now for free:

Subscribe on your Favourite Podcast App

Listen on Apple Podcasts
Listen on Spotify
Listen on Google Podcasts

Joe’s eCommerce Journey

When he was younger, Joe already dabbled in eCommerce by signing up in eBay to sell CDs and DVDs.

Fast forward to seven years ago, he worked for the Department of International Trade or UKTI where they ran a program helping SMEs and businesses increase their eCommerce sales by cross-bordering trading. They partnered with the likes of eBay, Alibaba, Amazon, and other platforms.

Those experiences got him started on his eCommerce journey and in marketplaces.

About Veo World

  • Based in Manchester, UK
  • Sells worldwide but is currently focused on doing marketing in the UK for the next 12 months
  • Strategies for internationalization to follow

The Team

Veo World does everything in-house.

They’re a team of 10, and they cover various responsibilities such as software development, brand relationship management, and marketing.

Why A Marketplace?

Joe says the idea of starting a marketplace came from his desire to shop sustainably, which was hard because he couldn’t find what he wanted.

He also adds that a problem consumers have is sustainability fatigue and not knowing where to go. So having a platform that does the research for you and brings everything in one place is an added value for any consumer.

Veo’s Three Pillars

Joe mentions the three pillars Veo stands on:

  • Kind – promoting dignity and quality of life for all humans and animals
  • Healthy – living free from toxins, harmful ingredients, and hazardous substances
  • Sustainable – promoting planet awareness, sustainability, and biodiversity

They try to get a balance across all three, as these factors are what they perceive sustainability to encompass.

Maintaining The Standards

For Joe, it’s a continuous challenge to maintain the standards they have and the trust marks they’ve been given, including being a certified B Corporation and the #1 ethical retailer on the Ethical Consumer scoreboard.

But because it’s part of their DNA as a company, it’s vital to their daily activities. 

eCommerce Book Top Tip

eCommerce Traffic Top Tip

  • Joe says partnership, outreach, and collaboration and leveraging on each other’s audiences.

Tool Top Tip

Growth Top Tip

Collaboration is a good thing for growth because it allows you to leverage audiences from aligned brands and organizations.

  • 374 Tiny Business, Big Money: Strategies for Creating a High-revenue Microbusiness with Elaine Pofeldt
  • 372: Building a lucrative second hand market with Kalkidan Legesse founder of Sancho’s and Shwap
  • 365: JGS How to create a fast-growth startup with Immaculate Vegan’s Simon Bell

Without the sponsors the podcast wouldn’t be possible – please do check them out:

gorgias logo

Gorgias is a leading helpdesk for Shopify, Magento and BigCommerce merchants where retailers can manage all of their customer communication & tickets in one platform (email, social media, SMS, live chat and phone). It’s powered with machine learning to automate up to 20% of commonly asked questions and seamlessly integrates into your existing tech stack to deliver better customer support.

Mention the eCommerce Masterplan podcast when you sign up for 2 months free


Klaviyo

Klaviyo is a leading customer data and marketing automation platform dedicated to accelerating revenue and customer connection for online businesses. Klaviyo makes it easy to store, access, analyze and use transactional and behavioral data to power highly-targeted customer and prospect communications.

The company’s hybrid customer-data and marketing-platform model allows companies to grow by fostering direct relationships with customers, without giving up their valuable data to popular big-tech ad platforms. Over 80,000 innovative companies like Unilever, Custom Ink, Living Proof and Huckberry sell more with Klaviyo.

Learn more at www.klaviyo.com.


synder accounting

Easy Accounting for eCommerce is On Hand!

Synder helps you to track all your transactions and inventory across multiple sales channels in a click. Seamlessly connect all platforms and automatically generate accurate Profit & Loss reports, Balance Sheet, and Cash Flow statements to find the hidden streams of income and optimize your resources.
Multi-currency, discrepancy-free reconciliation, and more than 30 integrations available. With 10-minute user-friendly onboarding and 24/7 support.

Get your 40% off coupon and eCommerce checklist now at SYNDER.me/masterplan


Full transcript to read & download:

Click to access

Like to be a guest? Apply Here