Helping e-commerce companies accelerate growth
We work with e-commerce businesses to scale operations, improve performance and prepare for investment. From brand and product to finance function, data analytics and funding.
The e-commerce compass
A growing e-commerce brand needs more than the average business. A lot more. That's why we've developed our e-commerce compass.
Yes, we can take care of all the accounting stuff, help you with investment and be the finance partner with you as you scale and grow to exit. But, we've got the relationships and technology experience to help you with everything else too. Work with us to give your accelerated growth plan an extra boost.
Find out more - check out our interactive compass below
It’s easy to set up an e-commerce store. But growing one into a powerful brand is hard. Customer acquisition is expensive, and competitors are plentiful. A strong brand that resonates with your target customer will help you stand out from the crowd in the short-term and deliver loyal repeat customers in the long-term.
- What's your story?
- How well do you understand your customer?
- What do you stand for?
- Do your customers know what you stand for?
- How can you remain relevant and clearly show how you're different?
- How can you elevate your brand to compete on more than just price?
Acquiring new customers, and reactivating existing customers, can be expensive. Understanding the effectiveness of different channels (paid and organic) and how much to invest in each area is a key driver to contribution margin, customer lifetime value and growth.
- Do you know which channels work best?
- Do you know which channels give you best ROAS and other metrics?
- Are you able to segment the data to help inform decisions e.g. drop-out, basket abandonment etc?
- Do you carry out scenario planning?
In the online connected world, a bad review can be seen by thousands of potential customers, and it can hit your brand value hard. A great customer experience is important to avoid bad PR and increase repeat order rate and lifetime value.
- Do you capture metrics across every customer touch point e.g. site speed, delivery times, returns reasons, query response times?
- How well do you track LTV and repeat order rates?
- How well do you monitor, respond and action feedback from NPS, Trustpilot, Google reviews and Feefo scores?
- How often do you monitor customer messages on social media in relation to their experience?
Your product is most likely designed from passion. However, your product needs to be profitable to be viable in the long-term. In order to be profitable, you need to understand your product costs, including all the sensitivities around them, which will ultimately drive your contribution margin.
- Do you understand all costs related to your products?
- Do you have a centralised view of how your commercials have changed over time?
- Do you know how sensitive your costs are to economic or political changes?
- What are the capital requirements for launching new products or into new geographies?
- Do you have a pricing strategy in place?
Supply chain and logistics are the backbone of an e-commerce business. Understanding your costs, supply chain options and how outbound logistics is affecting your margin will help you thrive.
- Where are your key markets?
- How well do you understand raw materials, packaging, and logistics costs at a unit level?
- How often are you risk assessing your supply chain? Do you have sufficient risk mitigation in place?
- What’s the best warehousing and distribution model?
- Do your supply chain partners align to your brand values?
- How automated is your inventory?
- How competitive are your outbound logistics costs?
One of the great things about e-commerce is the ability to reach a customer anywhere in the world. However, this also comes with added complexities such as sales tax compliance, duties and potentially local corporation or federal taxes. As well as tax requirements, you may also need to think about new systems and local hubs to drive down logistics costs and your carbon footprint in a new major market. You may also need to consider local standards, laws and consumer tastes and preferences.
- Are you considering setting up an entity in another location?
- Which geography is the right one?
- What are the legal and tax implications of setting up?
- Do you need a local website, warehouse, logistics solution?
- What are the employment requirements in your new location?
- How good is your consolidated reporting? And do you have enough visibility of margin by region?
Environmental, Social and Governance is increasingly becoming a focus area for all stakeholders.
Investors, suppliers, employees, and customers are all becoming much more brand conscious with many decisions driven around a brand’s demonstrable attitude towards ESG. As well as being a responsible business, this can also help to differentiate in a crowded market.
- Are you B Corp certified?
- Do your customers know this?
- How environmentally friendly is your product, packaging and delivery?
- Do you know the carbon impact from your supply-chain?
- How can you grow the business while remaining sustainable?
Most e-commerce businesses have a high-level of relatively low value transactions. They sell into many geographies with specific tax requirements and operate multiple sales channels. All this leads to a high volume of data, and without the right technology and systems, huge manual complexities. You can take the headache out of this manual process with the right technology, set up the right way.
- Do your applications talk to each other seamlessly?
- Do you need to manually upload or rekey data into multiple applications?
- Do you have different versions of the truth across applications?
- Are you managing inventory in a scalable way?
- Are you over-reliant on spreadsheets to bring data together?
- Are you able to segment and slice your data to be able to see gaps and opportunities?
- Are you able to easily report on your VAT or Sales Tax requirements?
Read more about our system implementation and integration services.
Data is arguably one of the most important assets in an e-commerce business. Compared to a traditional bricks and mortar retailer, all transactions and customer touch points flow through applications, meaning all the data should be available, and it should be available real-time. However, not all businesses capture the right data in the right way. And even fewer use it in the right way.
- How good is your data strategy?
- How clean is your data?
- Do you have a common data dictionary? And do you have data owners?
- Can you track your customers’ journey to see where there may be issues or where you can capitalise on it?
- What data are you capturing, what data are you missing?
- Are you able to decipher what the data is telling you?
Read more about our data analytics services.
While a business doesn’t necessarily need to be profitable in the short-term, it does need working capital, of which cash is fundamental. There are numerous ways to fund your business and it’s important to understand the funding options available and the total cost of them, in the short and long-term. For fast-growth businesses, capital injection, either through equity or debt, will help you scale quickly.
- How much capital do you need, by when and for what?
- What type of funding is best for your business and what's your risk appetite?
- Do you know the true cost of different funding options?
- What are the right terms for your business and how do you factor this into your cash flow?
- Do you know how long it will take you to raise capital?
- Do you have everything ready that’s needed to raise capital?
Too much inventory will cost you. Too little inventory will also cost you. Demand planning is both an art and a science but one that’s needed to make sure you don’t run out of the right products at the wrong time.
Inventory management and understanding supplier payment profiles and how this impacts cash flow is vital to working capital management and staying in control.
- Do you know how far in advance you need to order inventory?
- Do you know how inventory orders will impact working capital?
- Do you have a plan for how you will fund inventory as you grow?
- How well are you able to forecast demand?
- How well do you manage working capital – cash, inventory and suppliers?
- How often are you monitoring slow moving items and taking action?
You may have the data, but it’s how you use that data that can set you apart from your competition. Leveraging data across your business and turning it into insight will give you a competitive advantage when it comes to marketing, products and raising finance. The most important aspect of insight is about taking action.
- How relevant are your metrics to your strategy?
- Do you have the right combination of financial and operational metrics?
- How timely is reporting?
- How confident are you in the accuracy of reporting?
- How easy is it to segment data and report by cohorts?
- Can you get the metrics that matter e.g. AOV, CPA, CPO, CAC, LTV, LTV:CAC, ROAS and CM
- Do you know which products affect your returns rate most?
- How well are you taking action from what the insight is telling you?
Read more about our data analytics services.
flinder has brought a professional finance function to our business, addressing both brick and mortar and online retail requirements. They’ve quickly understood our quirks and specifics while making improvements to efficiently cope with growth.
Working with flinder feels like having an entire team in-house. As a first-time founder, it’s a weight off of my shoulders knowing that the finance is always flawlessly and timely taken care of. flinder will be a part of our growth from start-up to scale-up and beyond.
The team have provided some great insight and recommendations for us to help make tangible improvements to the business and bottom-line.
flinder has supported us through all stages of growth, from pre-revenue start-up to multi-million pound revenue across continents. They’ve been effective as being part of our team, simplifying the day to day but providing expertise on the bigger picture too.