Lee Williams, the man who began Auto Trader’s journey from print magazine to online trading platform, has turned his attention to fashion with new online luxury accessories marketplace Luxseeker.
Drapers caught up with Luxseeker found Lee Williams to find out how it will challenge the established luxury players, and discuss the benefits for retailers of online marketplaces and the importance of data.
Why launch Luxseeker?
From my previous experience, I had seen that bringing together high-end luxury goods and customers can be a great success. But when I looked around, I saw that luxury goods marketplaces were still relatively few and far between. Bringing together the two segments of luxury shopping – the customer and the retailer – in one marketplace seemed like a really good aggregation of content. It’s something I’m really passionate about.
What makes Luxseeker stand out among other online luxury goods sellers?
Online retailers such as Amazon, Net-a-Porter and Ebay are all fabulous, but the key differentiation between them and our business is that we are not an online retailer, we’re a marketplace. We offer a breadth across the luxury market that consumers can’t get elsewhere. We use huge amounts of data and analysis behind the scenes to offer our customers a comprehensive experience. Based on the kind of products customers buy, we can tell who they are and what else they might be interested in buying. It’s all about driving those recommendations.
The main thing I learnt from Auto Trader was to do fewer things really well
What did you learn during your time setting up Auto Trader?
Three key things: attack a project with focus; get key segments right before you roll out; and make sure buyers and sellers are engaged in the process. The main thing I learnt from Auto Trader was to do fewer things really well.
What advantages does Luxseeker have for retailers?
We are very retailer-friendly because we are passing the customer straight through to them and they are getting the custom. This allows retailers to start a conversation and offer that customer additional services, finance options, and so on. The retailers can own that customer. With us, they are getting three or four leads per sale. We allow high-quality buyers and enthusiasts to have meaningful communication with the retailer.
Luxseeker luxury marketplace
What do you think is Luxseeker’s biggest selling point?
The game plan is to create a broad luxury environment that has authenticated, curated, and quality luxury sellers, all powered by really cool in-depth data behind the scenes. It’s through this data that we can give customers fantastic recommendations via the site and social media. We can begin to tease people with new products they didn’t know they wanted.
How do you plan to grow the website?
We expect the number of brands to double as we strive to create a complete luxury marketplace. In the next 90 days, we will be introducing even greater volumes of items to the site. We are also introducing luxury cars, boats and properties within that 90-day time frame.