Bitesize Breakdown: E-Commerce Growth Hacking Takeaways from Lightning 50 electronics brand, Maplin

Brightpearl’s Lightning 50 E-Commerce Growth Hacking podcast, hosted by Caroline Baldwin, gets under the hood of highly successful e-commerce brands to discover the key technologies they are using to power growth.

In series 1, episode 7, we caught up with Maplin, an online electronics specialist. The well-known brand was a mainstay on the British high street going back to 1976, but closed its physical stores in 2018 to relaunch as a fully online retailer. Today the brand sells all things electrical, from computing, television and audio equipment to entertainment systems and smart gadgets via its Magento website. 

During the podcast, Managing Director of Maplin, Ollie Marshall, shared tons of fascinating insight into how the brand achieved immense 495% growth during 2019/20, winning fastest-growing brand in the Electronics, Leisure & Hobbies sector in the Brightpearl Lightning 50, and coming 7th overall. He also revealed the tech the brand depends on for success, and how they plan to maintain growth moving forward. 

Here are some of the highlights from the transcript…

  •     “At Maplin we sell everything from routers and gaming supplies, through to the weird and wonderful products we’re known for such as metal detectors, smoke machines and soldering irons.”
  •       “When we relaunched as online only, it meant we could reimagine what a supply chain was. We work heavily with a concept called dropshipping, so we don’t fulfil all of our orders but work closely with a number of suppliers who conduct service on our behalf, and that means we can be very agile and definitely gives us a competitive advantage.”
  •     “I get a lot of inbound marketing from tech vendors – but I do think the best ones tend to rise to the top in terms of coverage and word of mouth. You just need a good feel for what your business actually needs. I also consider the culture of the business, their support, level of service – those are all big factors for me.”
  •       “Cost of commodities is a huge challenge for us, such as shipping and shortages overseas. Container costs, for example, have gone through the roof – and will only go higher in 2023 when new legislation comes in around lowering emissions. To tackle this, we’re working with a company called Quiver which offers 3PL for more sustainable, diverse delivery options.”

  •     “It’s really nice to be recognized by the Lightning 50 – having that acknowledgement of our achievements does make you feel better about all the hard work you put in!”

Want to hear more of what Ollie had to say? Catch up with the full episode, and subscribe to upcoming ones, here.