Rose & Grey sells everything from sofas to wall art, with a predominantly online customer base alongside a flagship showroom in Altrincham, south of Manchester.
The company was founded by Lyndsey Goodger in 2008, and today she runs it with her husband, Guy. Its newly relaunched website offers 3000 SKUs and receives approximately 60,000 unique visitors every month, and the business enjoyed YoY growth of +8% in 2018-19 (+50%), says Lyndsey …
Why visit your website?
The newly launched ecommerce site offers easy-to-shop homeware, including our revenue-driving, made-to-order collections, which are styled to stand out from the crowd. Our informative blog and homepage Instagram highlights give visitors inspiration and reassurance, and as part of the updated site we’ve added a wishlist function to help customers with those higher price point items that aren’t impulse purchases.
How did you enter the industry?
My background is in media, but after a relocation from London to the North-west I became frustrated when trying to find well-made but stylish pieces for our new home, and spotted a gap in the market for quality, chic homewares. I began sourcing my first collection from my dining room, and the company has grown organically. Eleven years on, we have a thriving online business and showroom.
Who is your ecommerce hero?
For fashion it would definitely be Net-A-Porter. They have invested in the logistical side of the business to ensure ordering, delivery and returns are seamless and hassle-free for customers – you’re able to buy at the click of a button and have returns collected from your door.
I also enjoy how they use content and Instagram to engage with customers, and their tailored newsletters are a brilliant way of making customers feel unique. It is something we will be working on at Rose & Grey as we continue to grow.
Describe a typical working day
I am in the office for 8am each morning and it’s usually the most productive hour of my day, as I can get things ticked off my list before the rest of the team begin to arrive from 9am.
Each day is varied, but I usually dedicate the morning to buying and merchandising – depending on where we are in the cycle of collections. I can be working on anything from making decisions on new suppliers and planning visits to trade shows in the UK or abroad, or monitoring how new lines are performing.
I check in with the customer service team at around 11am each day to help with any issues they may be facing and keep things running smoothly. I try to keep the afternoon free for the more creative aspects of my role – we will either have a shoot ongoing in our showroom, or we will be planning the next one, whether it be in-house or on location.
I also dedicate time to working on marketing, and liaise with the team on creative ideas and forward planning. My husband Guy and I stagger our days so he can do the school drop-off, while I’m in charge of pick-up, so I ensure I’m out of the office for 3.30pm – but I usually fit in another hour of emails before dinner.
What part of your job would you prefer to avoid?
Anything too admin-heavy, such as HR and accounting, isn’t my natural habitat, so we tend to outsource these activities to trusted partners.
What has been your greatest challenge to date?
When the business was around five years old Google reworked their algorithm and we dropped significantly in their rankings. We quickly recovered, but it highlighted how precarious these things can be for an ecommerce business. We had been mulling over the idea of opening a showroom, and it was the push we needed to make it happen.
How much do you invest in making your site more visible?
We recently reinvested £50,000 to create a new website which links to the brand’s social media channels. We also spend around £20,000 per month to drive traffic to the website through our digital marketing agency and in-house content creation.
What’s your take on how the relationship between online and physical retail might develop?
I believe the relationship between online and physical retail will become even stronger over time. We see customers in our showroom every day who have heard about us via Instagram, visiting us to try sofas and see dimensions of various pieces and then later ordering their items online from the comfort of their home.
As the market continues to grow it becomes more important to provide customers with touchpoints to access products and content in the way most convenient to them.
Do you have any plans to grow your business?
Since the day we started the business we’ve been constantly working on the next steps to continue to grow. Last year we extended our premises and showroom, this year we’ve reworked the website and launched the first catalogue, and next year we will introduce a series of exclusive collections, including our first own-branded collection. There’s no standing still in this industry!
What advice would you offer an aspiring etailer?
Imitate what you’d like to be as closely as you can – no matter the size of the business or your budget, set up your branding and styling as closely as you can to your vision so that as budget begins to grow, it’s a natural evolution.
Pictured: Lyndsey and Guy Goodger