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We used external agencies to build a luxury ecommerce giant

External agencies
William Forshaw knew his business didn’t have the expertise it needed in house

The problem

York-based leather retailer Maxwell Scott found it challenging to transition its door-to-door business into a digital success. CEO William Forshaw started the business by visiting corporates and selling directly to staff. After seven years, the company launched a website, but it only produced “okay” results and the company needed to look to external sources to get the insight it needed.

The solution

Maxwell Scott’s first step was to focus on driving leads to the website. Since it was already drip-feeding sales, Forshaw decided to push resources into it and see if it could turn it into something bigger.

A PPC manager for Google and Bing adverts and paid social media was recruited. It took the business to the next level. But, as the business grew, it became obvious more than one person was needed to do the job.

The company started collaborating with an agency in Leeds. It was expensive and Forshaw knew the company’s online presence wouldn’t get the same dedicated time that an in-house employee could offer. But the agency had a wealth of experience and a broad range of digital departments. It gave Maxwell Scott access to new software and put it in the hands of experts when faced with challenging Google updates.

The results

Maxwell Scott’s website now accounts for 99 per cent of its revenue. The business is still relatively small with 18 staff, but external agencies help helped them to increase revenue from £1m to £2.5m in the last two years.

PPC has made the biggest impact on the business, but Forshaw is keen to increase the work it does with agencies to explore how paid social media could lead to more sales.

“It’s very, very tricky to find the right people when you start working with agencies,” Forshaw said. “It’s trial and error really. Don’t invest too much in one person or one company, and don’t rely on an agency to do all the work. With online marketing, the key is to get everything working in tandem.”

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