Novada is my own brand of handmade genuine leather iPhone cases. I set up the business with my wife in 2010. Having lots of experience developing e-commerce websites, I thought it was time I put my money where my mouth was.
Building the website was the easy part. When the site was launched the iPhone 3 had just been released and we could count our competitors on two hands. Now the iPhone case market has been flooded with thousands of sellers on platforms such as Amazon and eBay.
We learnt to adapt and specialise.
When we set up our e-commerce business we chose iPhone cases because they were small, lightweight, cheap to post out and had low freight costs. They would also fit through a letterbox and didn’t need much space to store them.
Our top priority was to automate as many processes as possible, giving us more time to focus on our products.
We initially sold other manufacturers’ branded cases. We learnt we had no control over aggressive discounting or quality. So we set about manufacturing our own brand of cases.
Before Covid we visited China several times a year sourcing manufacturers and visiting factories that produce our cases.
We quickly learnt how Chinese manufactures think nothing of copying designs, stealing Intellectual Property and taking shortcuts in the manufacturing process to save themselves money.
We have created every element of our brand from its ID to the eco-friendly packaging. We also produce our own product photography.
We spent the most time designing and developing our range of cases. The number one priority is to produce cases that exude quality.
The website uses Adobe’s Magento e-commerce platform. I seamlessly integrated our sales channels including Amazon, eBay, Facebook and Instagram stores with Magento via API’s and modules. With this setup we have one centralised automated system to manage our stock, orders and multilingual sales channels. If a product goes out of stock, it is automatically put out of stock on every channel. When we process an order, it is automatically updated on the sales channel.
Royal Mails Click and Drop API integration automatically produces all the stamps and packing labels. Tracking information is automatically fed back to customers on all sales channels. Shipping rules automatically apply the correct postal service to each order.
eDesk customer support system has been integrated with all our sales channels, allowing us to efficiently manage customer support in a single system.
Our main sales channel is the Amazon European Marketplace using Amazon fulfilment services. We use Amazon Paid Advertising and have our own branded store within Amazon which produces the best return on investment for us.
The issue we faced with paid marketing such as Google Ads is the cost per click is prohibitively high in comparison with our average order value, so we concentrate our marketing efforts on Amazon which give the best ROI.
We use social media to reinforce our brand with our customers.