UK Seller Creates Private-Label Treasure [Case Study]
Five years ago, two former accounting professionals decided to become business partners, and Gotrovo Treasure Hunt Game was born.
We recently had the opportunity to talk with Jo about everything from launching this private-label business on the Amazon marketplace to managing product reviews.
“Do You Fancy Starting a Business?”
The business began one day when co-founder Aley texted Jo. She said, “Do you fancy starting a business?” The company started very small. Jo and Aley met as recent third-time mothers and knew that they didn’t want to go back into the corporate environment they had been working in. They wanted to spend more time with their families.
“We wanted to do something that meant we wouldn’t at some point feel desperate to get back into the workspace, and also just to show the children that you can be there for them but you can achieve other things too,” Jo said. Today, Aley has four children and Jo has three—all under the age of nine.
“We just wanted to create something a bit apart from the trend, really, which is screen technology and children growing static on sofas. We wanted to get back to the way we grew up, active and with a little bit of imagination and magic,” Jo said. As their product reviews attest, the Treasure Hunt Game that they created is much loved by children, parents and grandparents alike.
Launching on the Amazon Marketplace
Jo and Aley brought the game to market quite quickly and got started selling it in the United Kingdom. When they first launched the product on the Amazon marketplace, they found that sales were slow. The FBA program quickly changed that. “Once we went FBA – we made the decision that we didn’t want to spend our lives in post offices with the kids, so we decided to fulfill through Amazon. Of course, Amazon pushes the FBA sellers much harder than they do the FBM sellers, and things really took off from there, so that turned out to be a really key decision for us,” Jo said. The company is currently selling in the UK, European and US marketplaces with plans to expand to Canada and Australia.
Safety and Product Testing
Product safety and testing is important to both Aley and Jo, both as mothers and as chartered accountants (who are inherently risk averse, as Jo pointed out). They hire a company to test all of their products for compliance with both EU and US regulations. They also only work with suppliers who are willing to share a list of raw materials with them. Upholding safety standards is a top priority for this private-label business.
After Aley witnessed one too many picky eater meltdowns, she and Jo teamed up with a nutritional therapist to develop a new game designed to encourage children to try new foods. This product must meet regulations for food contact safety in addition to general safety guidelines, so it requires additional safety testing.
Jo and Aley hired an administrative assistant to help them manage tasks such as requesting product reviews and seller feedback from their Amazon customers. However, there were many other tasks to complete, which meant that feedback emails tended to get deprioritized and sent in batches, sometimes too long after the sale to capture feedback. Sometimes the emails just wouldn’t get sent.
“Once you’re selling at a certain level, actually having someone do that [send feedback and product review requests] manually just ceases to be efficient. It is much more efficient to have an automated engine that really supports the business,” Jo said. “The other thing is that we would have to check manually to see new reviews coming in.” While most customers have a great experience, there is the occasional snafu.
A recent stock mix-up led to some unhappy experiences as Jo and Aley worked to resolve the issue. “We felt pretty much across the board let down at some point or another by everyone...the one team that stands out is the FeedbackFive team, who are so helpful and accommodating,” Jo said.
“The one that thing put me off doing this system was that I just thought, ‘I can’t learn another system, there are so many different systems that we deal with, and I just haven’t got the energy to do another one,’" Jo said. Our Customer Success team was there to help with an onboarding call and initial template set up. "And that just made it so easy, and then they showed me how it worked,” she continued. “I can’t recommend you guys highly enough.”
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Originally published on December 5, 2017, updated July 7, 2019
This post is accurate as of the date of publication. Some features and information may have changed due to product updates or Amazon policy changes.