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Holly Tucker and Sophie Cornish established Notonthehighstreet.com in 2006. Today’s award-winning enterprise started from a kitchen table, and today notonthehighstreet.com is well known for hunting for the best creative small businesses in the UK and bringing them on the super highway for people to browse and buy.
Modemist in Richmond, Southwest London is the place of origin of the company that started having 100 creative small businesses on board but today the company has thousands of such businesses on board with four offices having 120 passionate people who are looking for design and discovery.
has more than 3500 independent small businesses on board from all over the UK and its product range will well above 80,000 that present customers with quality, originality, and innovation. The products range includes garden, gourmet, lingerie, linen, bracelets, handbags, children clothes, scarves, stationery items, and different kinds of gift items for different occasions. People from every lifestyle, of every age group have something for them at notonthehighstreet.com. The business is well known for giving priority to small business products.
Notonthehighstreet.com serves as single channel for creative small businesses in the UK and when it was launched in 206, the company was an instant success after getting 16000 unique visitors on its first day of launch. The company turnover reached to £15.1 million in 2010 from £100,000 in 2006.
Mission statements indicate the direction and tone of the organization, while objectives provide an insight into the focused targets of a business to follow the directions set out in the mission statement. In case of notonthehighstreet.com, the business aims at becoming one of the most exciting and fast growing e-commerce business in the UK. The company aims at providing original things to its customers. Notonthehighstreet.com claims for looking for the new ideas, designs from innovators that have the guts to make something unique, personal, and beautiful.
In the wake of ever-increasing number of e-commerce companies in the UK, the competition is becoming fiercer. The aim of this report is to analyze the strategic business model of the case company (notonthehighstreet.com). To conduct strategic analysis of the case company to find out the factors that has played a vital role in the growth of the company. Compare its business model with its competitors to recommend changes and suggestions for new businesses and business under investigation.
Because the company in question is a social shopping entity, the social science method of research is applied to gather information about the target company. We have applied qualitative rather than quantitative research methodology to gather secondary data about the company. Social scientists have widely used qualitative research methodologies to examine the contemporary real-life situations (Yin, 1984).
Business model consists of architectural configuration of different key elements that a company adopts for its business (Yousept,I. & Li, F. 2004). The business model of a company gives insight into the factor that how a company creates value for its customers and generates revenues from the business. Afuah (2004) has established that business model of a company is a framework of making money. Osterwalder A. (2005 ) have refined the understanding of a business model, and according to them, business model is a conceptual tool containing a set of objects, concepts and their relationships with the objective to express the business logic of a specific firm. Therefore, we must consider which concepts and relationships allow a simplified description and representation of what value is provided to customers, how this is done and with which financial consequences. notonthehighstreet enterprises ltd hand-picks the products from creative small business and sell these products on their e-commerce store notonthehighstreet.com. Notonthehighstreet enterprises limited don not follow a particular style or brand and everyone that can offer great and unique designs of one’s creative quality products can sell products via notonthehighstreet.com. The collection of items displayed on notonthehighstreet.com comes from artists, designers, and curators and when any customer buys a product, he or she actually buys from businesses of a population of diverse and independent sellers. The strategy also helps in the growth of local creative talent in the UK.
serves as marketplace for all the talented businesses that affiliate themselves with the enterprise. The customer selects from website and artist sent the item directly to the customer. With more than 3500 small businesses, the customers get various styles and products from the site. The customer pays at notonthehighstreet.com using it as single checkout and gets the desired product from the original creator directly. Notonthehighstreet.com charges 25%from the original artist whereas customer pays for the product only including delivery charges if any (notonthehighstreet.com).
As marketplace, notonthehighstreet.com provides opportunity, support and community to the creative sellers. The sellers have the opportunity to display their products to around 2 million unique visitors of the website per month and through other marketing activities conducted by the marketplace. Several of sellers have reached the magic figure of £1million turnover from zero.
like other companies in the niche has plans for global expansion. Recently notonthehighstreet.com has added multi-currency functionality to its website to reach global consumers. To increase incremental sales from its conventional channels, notonthehighstreet.com hired professional services to have an accurate visibility of the ROI on its investments in the traditional marketing channels. The move helped notonthehighstreet.com to gain a 25% gain across generic campaigns by applying behavioural attribution model. I the words of Senior Marketing Manager at notonthehighstreet.com, this move helped them developing their internal operations around behavioural attribution model. The company is gaining more from the metrics created by the behavioural attribution model.
In the UK, online sales rise 10% in the year 2012 but this trend is going to decline in the year 2013(ystst, 2013). The top products sale were apparel,media, music and pictures. More than three quarters of online shoppers shopped online (ystat, 2013).
Recent E-commerce Europe Report by Mintel tells that online sales will be doubled in 2018 touching the figure of 323 billion Euros. Mintel (2013) suggests that online sales will grow to 188 billion Euros in 2013. The sector will witness a growth of 1.8% in 2013. Non-food items will grow up to 1.0%. Though there is a growth in the non-food sector, it still has to cross the peak figure of 173.3bn in 2007. The retail stores ambitious of expansion will continue their romance with Europe, India, and USA. Companies with better convenience and competitive prices will be strong performer in the market. Specialist stores with single product will suffer. The older shoppers will make the most important demographic as shoppers age 55+ will rise by 31.9% between 2011 and 2016. More customers will turn their back on high street in favour of the cheaper online channels. (SAS, 2013).
Research conducted by Javelin has found that in 2020:
...ecommerce will capture 34% of the sales in [Clothing & Footwear, Electricals, Furniture & Floor Coverings, and Health & Beauty] (up from 14% today), with the internet influencing 75% of sales (up from 44% today). Sales through stores (including those researched online) will decline to 66% (down from 86% today).
Notonthehighstreet.com is operating in the niche where giants like eBay, and Yelp, Kaboodle, and Zlio are trying to attract customers according to their own business plans, but they all lack the touch of creative product line from the UK artisans.
As marketplace, notonthehighstreet.com possesses certain strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats. The SWOT analysis helps to understand and review a business to make decision about the business itself or decide to venture on a new business.
As marketplace, notonthehighstreet.com gets huge exposure for being a success story from scratches to millions
· Winner of around 20 awards in the niche
· Huge database of customers and sellers
· Best utilization of market mixes in accordance with the current UK retail trends
· Huge web presence as company gets around 1 million unique hits every month
· Direct linkages with creative sellers
· Provider of support and opportunity to small businesses
· The company is not yet so strong in financial terms like its rivals
· Not giving 24/7/365 support to customers and sellers
· No valid check and balance on the sold goods
· Chances of fraudulent deals
· Addition in creative businesses list
· Expansion to other countries; firstly Europe and then rest of the world
· Increased number of traffic through mobile traffic using The Thoughtful Gift Finder
· New entrants working on the lines of notonthehighstreet.com
· Specific country conditions and regulations that may not allow import of gift items from the website
PEST is considered the best tool for assessment of marketing and business development. It encourages proactive thinking for business development. A PEST analysis of notonthehighstreet.com will give us opportunity to have more in-depth knowledge about the company and environment in which it operates. PEST provides analysis of external environment of the business including political, economic, social, and technological environment.
Political environment in the UK is business friendly and there is no such hurdle for business growth and expansion for notonthehighstreet.com. UK’s relationship with other countries may bring few opportunities or threats for marketplaces such as notonthehighstreet.com. Any changes in the UK regulation or EU regulation can affect the business of notonthehighstreet.com.
Social conditions are favourable for online business, as the value of internet sales has risen to 9.7% in 2013 while a peak in internet sales was observed in December 2012 at £844m (BRC, 2012). The UK government’s Plan for Growth is aimed at supporting the SME sector that will provide new opportunities for enterprises like notonthehighstreet.com as creative small businesses will enjoy the Business Rate Relief (Rhodes, 2013).
The business environment is increasingly becoming mobile oriented and today it has become critical for any e-business to improve its mobile capabilities. Notonthehighstreet.com has responded positively to this situation by launching its social m-commerce app, The Thoughtful Gift Finder.
Being a pioneer in launching m-commerce app The Thoughtful Gift Finder, notonthehighstreet.com has proven ability to coop with any technological changes in the future.
With more than 3500 SME businesses of home ware, fashion and gift retailers on its list, notonthehighstreet.com is enjoying a unique position due to its unique products and services. The ‘bespoke’website is made to ensure that customers get shopping experiences that are tailored to their individual needs. The company is making double from every previous year that shows its business model is incredibly successful. There is further need for notonthehighstreet.com to adopt such a strategy that attracts both its distinct audience, the independent retailers and customers. While retailers need their artisan-style products be showcased on website, the customers need personalization and individuality in the global village.
Though notonthehighstreet.com has demonstrated the power of original products and customers believing in individuality, notonthehighstreet.com is not satisfied with its efforts and it does not want to become a victim of its success, so in the words of Product Manager at notonthehighstreet.com, “we know that customers keep coming back time and time again because we offer them something very different to the products and experiences delivered by big retailers. Ours is a very personal service for discerning individuals, and we have to maintain this if we, and our retailers, are to continue to grow.”
Notonthehighstreet.com is not only winner of 20 awards of entrepreneurship and customer service; it has been ranked first retailer and ninth overall in the Sunday Times Virgin Fast Track 100. On the technology fronts, notonthehighstreet.com is ranked eight at the Technology Fast 50. The company fetch award of ‘Women of the Year’ for its founders Holly Tucker and Sophie Cornish.
Starting a website right in the middle of recession proves the determination of its founders and in the words of Cornish, executive director notonthehighstreet, "What we offer to customers is incredibly recession-friendly in the sense that you don't have to spend a huge amount of money to give somebody a gift that really feels like it has value. That sense of attention to value is what we do."
From the above discussion and evaluation of the business model followed by notonthehighstreet.com, we have come to suggest certain recommendations that can be helpful not only to notonthehighstreet.com but also to any of its competitors or new entrant that want to become a successful online marketplace;
· Notonthehighstreet.com has refused business of millions of dollars where it felt the manufacturing small business would not come up the standards of its esteemed buyers by understanding the consumer needs rather than business partners and income. Any company willing to follow the footsteps of notonthehighstreet.com should pay specific attention to the needs of customers. More personalized services for these customers would accept such customers in the light of their shopping behaviours and ultimately generate sales.
· Notonthehighstreet.com has developed a strong and loyal community of customers that has become a strong bargaining power of the company and is bringing in lot of advertising and investment. As notonthehighstreet.com has relatively smaller and medium sized business partners they do exert small bargaining power over notonthehighstreet.com.
· Becoming global is not necessarily the key to success, as Cornish has said, they do want to become global but first they want to become household name in the UK, hence any company venturing into e-commerce should first study the chances of its success at local level.
· Differentiation is one of the key success factors behind notonthehighstreet.com, for the reason that it does not keep lion’s share of the sold product but charges reasonably to its suppliers. Secondly, notonothehighstreet.com has a niche market that does not involve heavy spending and anyone can opt for spending few pounds to send a gift to a loved one.
· We should remember that in this fast paced world, the convenience has become the core factor in how people shop and with the ever increasing change in technological aspects of shopping, the retailers and marketplaces are widening their horizon of offerings while consumers are zeroing in on hassle free shopping.
· Afuah Allan (2004) Business Models: a strategic management approach, McGraw Hill/Irwin, cop. New York.
· Concept‖, Communications of the Association for Information Systems, Volume 15, Article, May 2005
· Javelin Group press release, 31% fewer town centre stores by 2020, says Javelin Group report, October 2011
· Osterwalder, A. (2005) Clarifying Business Models: Origins, Present, and Future of the
· Rhodes, C. (2013), The Retail Industry, Standard Note, House of Common Library
· Yin, R. K. (1984). Case study research: Design and methods. Newbury Park, CA: Sage.
· Yousept,I. and Li, F. (2004) Online Supermarkets: Emerging Strategies And Business Models In The UK, University of Newcastle upon Tyne Business School, United Kingdom