Secret Sales co-founders Nish and Sach Kukadia talk to Ruth Faulkner about their plans for the business in 2013.
Q: You have had a very impressive fourth quarter - can you tell me why that is?
A: NK: “All of the strategies we had been working on for the last eight months - improving our marketing and implementing a TV ad campaign as well as improving our communication with customers and aiming to get better brands on board, all came together in Q4.
“We started curating the sales we run on our site in order to help supplier brands showcase their best products to our core customers. We did a lot of research around who our customer was and discovered that primarily they were ABC1 females and males, with £80K+ average household income.
“Of these 30% are London-based while 70% are regional. Understanding our core customers better has helped refine our business choices, including the brands we offer.”
Q: What improvements have you made to your brand mix?
A: SK: “We have increased the quality of the brands offered on our site to cater for the ABC1 high-income customer group. We have also increased out homewares, footwear and accessories categories. Additionally we have worked hard to secure some new partnerships that are on-trend. For example we were the first private sales site to work with One Piece, which achieved some fantastic sales for us.”
Q: What sort of growth are you targeting for 2013?
A: NK: “We are aiming for more than 70% organic growth, without taking into account any acquisitions we might make. We have an all-star team in place as well as a new technology platform and the full support and financial backing of our shareholders to accelerate hard in 2013.”
Q: What plans do you have in place to hit that target?
A: NK: “In 2012 we looked at acquisition opportunities and didn’t find anything suitable. We’ll continue to look for opportunities in 2013, but we also have a strong organic growth trajectory.
“In terms of marketing, our campaign schedule has become much more robust and we’ve planned a multi-channel integrated marketing campaign, blending off-line with on-line and creating consistency across all our customer touch-points.
“We will also be making some major changes to the website which the customer will start to see from the second quarter onwards. These changes should help develop SecretSales so it is seen not just a platform for brands to clear excess stock inventory, but as a powerful marketing platform for brands to target our very affluent customer base. This will include introducing more editorial content and imagery. We’ve doubled our photographic studio capacity to support this shift.”