E-Commerce Growth Hacking Takeaways from the Winner of Brightpearl’s Lightning 50: Au Vodka

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 1, we caught up with Au Vodka, Swansea-based luxury vodka retailer and the fastest-growing vodka brand in Europe. Founded by young entrepreneurs Charlie Morgan and Jackson Quinn aged only 19 and 22, in just five years they’ve become a buzzing online sensation worth £2.5M. The retailer stocks in premium stores such as Harvey Nichols, UK supermarkets including Tesco and online marketplaces such as Amazon in addition to its Shopify Plus website.

During the podcast, the brand’s Head of E-Commerce, Jordan Major, shared insider knowledge as to how the brand achieved an unbelievable 10,170% growth during 2019/20  and came in 1st place in the Brightpearl Lightning 50 as the fastest-growing e-comm brand in the UK. He also revealed how the retailer plans to maintain that growth moving forward, and the tech they’re relying on to do so. 

Here are some of the highlights from the transcript…

  •     “In the past three years we’ve seen exponential online growth, and social media is to credit for that. The gold bottle is quite iconic at this point – it’s Instagrammable and works well in the right influencer’s hands.”
  •       We were turning over £29k in 2019, by the end of 2020, £2.5M. A massive factor in this is we react to trends and capitalize on them. We leverage social media marketing and paid ads to build relationships with our audience, rather than simply selling to them and letting them go.”
  •     “During Covid everyone was on furlough, sitting at home with nothing to spend their money on, so why wouldn’t they treat themselves? We used the most appropriate [TikTok & Instagram] influencers for our brand, like rappers, Love Island stars, even local celebs in Wales. We had a good idea of who to use and at what time.”
  •       “A new bit of tech for us is our WMS [warehouse management system], so we can get insights about stock flow, when things are dispatched, etc. The tech allows us to pack 150/200 orders a day when we were doing 50 before – and like cavemen; with sheets of paper blowing around, manual orders and hands-on packing. Since we brought on a WMS, there’s been a massive increase in productivity.”

  •       We recently switched to Shopify Plus and we’ve seen huge benefits to that. Things you take for granted – like insights, customer reports, sales flows – again these are things you don’t consider when small but when you’re bigger they become invaluable.”

  •       I was ecstatic when I found out we’d won the Lightning 50 – especially considering the other great brands that were shortlisted. The rest of the company takes the e-commerce team more seriously now we have a couple of awards under our belt!” 

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