Spotlight on WatchWarehouse
This happens to be a very interesting time for the watch market, having survived the proliferation of the smart phone, now traditional watches face competition from emerging wearable technologies and smart watches. When asked about the current state of the industry, Leah states that traditional watch sales remain healthy, but consumer preferences have shifted away from utility in the last decade, towards fashion and luxury instead. "The average person wearing a watch these days doesn't check the time on their wrist like they used to", she says; "People are still buying watches, in fact wearing a watch has become a fashion statement."
WatchWarehouse was born from a 4th generation family business called Peter Burrowes Ltd which was founded in 1939. The company changed hands in 2007 and began trading under the WatchWarehouse brand. Leah describes the company as a "Clicks and Bricks" retailer. The latest brick and mortar location was opened in Watford Intu about a year ago and Leah is happy to report that it is doing very well.
WatchWarehouse has been operating on eBay since 2007. The company also operates on Amazon in addition to managing a standalone website at www.watchwarehouse.co.uk. Amazon is a huge source of visibility for their products. According to Leah, opportunities on eBay have declined slightly since the eBay Deals program was restructured, but eBay remains an important channel for the company. Leah remains confident that she can drive more sales performance on eBay with a lot of hard work and focus. The key is to stay on top of shopping trends, competition and marketplace changes year on year.
Demand in our market is very seasonal, and Terapeak helps us observe large scale changes in sales trends. We rely on competitor analysis to stay aware of who the biggest watch sellers are and which brands and styles are doing well.
With access to a huge range of inventory and multiple channels to push inventory to, Leah uses Competitor Research and category trends to make decisions on which models belong on eBay. "One season it might be a Seiko watch that is doing well, then the next season it's Hugo Boss or Guess." Leah adds that Terapeak is helpful in determining how to market certain items effectively. She uses keyword research to improve titles and the newly updated MySales dashboard to monitor impressions and clicks on their eBay listings. "We want to connect shoppers with options that appeal to their taste, whether they're very fashionable, or more interested in classic styles."
It is incredible that a business can grow so much and adapt to so many changing dynamics over 80 years (including the transition to online retail) while still remaining like one big family. When asked what the immediate future holds for WatchWarehouse, Leah reveals that they have recently expanded into the Australian eBay market. (The company already trades on Italian, French, German and Spanish eBay sites.) She adds that Terapeak international sales reports have been really helpful in exploring differences between each market.
Find the WatchWarehouse store on eBay.co.uk and visit www.watchwarehouse.co.uk