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Posted on May 21, 2019 by staff

Changing the face of eCommerce

Changing the face of eCommerce

Dean Lee speaks to Chris Maguire
Dean Lee speaks to Chris Maguire

If you could pay a £10 subscription charge and buy everything on Amazon’s website for the wholesale price would you do it?

The answer would be an emphatic ‘yes’ – which means Amazon will never do it.

Who can forget Hoover’s disastrous promotions offer in 1992 to give two free return flights to anyone spending £100 on Hoover products? It ended up costing the company millions and caused immeasurable reputational damage.

However a website that sells protein supplements, shakes, bars etc is looking to turn the world of eCommerce on its head.

Protein Dynamix was bought by Manchester-based Supreme Imports in July 2018 and has established a niche for its sport supplement products through a combination of a strong ambassadors programme, athlete sponsorship and strong content.

The average order value for Protein Dynamix is £50 – which makes what they’re planning all the more radical.

For an annual £10 subscription visitors to the site will be able to buy all the products at wholesale prices. That’s right. Everything at wholesale prices.

Customers don’t have to opt into the subscription model but the maths make it hard not to. The company’s top selling product is a 1kg bag of whey protein, which retails at £17.99. However subscribers to the new model will be able to buy it at round £7.99.

Dean Lee is the head of eCommerce at Supreme Imports and the man tasked with making the subscription model work.

He says in a congested marketplace like protein products, websites need to stand out and even 40 per cent off sales don’t cut it anyone – hence the need to be different.

Lee, who has worked in eCommerce for the last 15 years, admits the move is a risk but says it’s a calculated one.

“There are multiple big name brands in the market and to compete we needed to change our approach,” he says.

“That’s where the subscription idea came from. It’s a risky move but that is part of the excitement. We don’t know how successful this will be because we have nothing to compare it to.

“If people don’t want to subscribe, they can still purchase our products as non-members at full price.”

PD

The crucial aspect is Protein Dynamix manufactures a large number of their own products so they can keep their costs to a minimum.

“We have our own manufacturing site and all of our powdered products are made here in the UK,” he says. “A large part of the production and packaging process is done in-house which has allowed us to move forward with this business model.”

Lee is in no doubt that if the concept works then other eCommerce retailers will follow suit.

“It is something that isn’t really being done in eCommerce and it’s an exciting step forward,” he says. “We could have easily just relaunched the website and kept things the same but we feel it’s a good time to try something new.”

Protein Dynamix stock around 50 products and say they’ll be concentrating on their core items of protein shakes, bars and pre-workout drinks.

“New customers may be a little sceptical at first but our regular customers have nothing to lose and will save a small fortune throughout the year and hopefully they can help to get the message across to others,” says Lee.

The company’s new website www.pd.co.uk launched in March and has been backed by a TV and social media campaign.

The world of eCommerce will be watching how they get on.