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Ecommerce Forum: Leon Hughes - Piper
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Ecommerce Forum: Leon Hughes - Piper


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  • Not all Private Equity People are DragonsSome have hearts and very humanBut what we do have in common is we back winners ….. Some even have a sense of humour !
  • Piper a Private equity houseWe invest in fast growing consumser brandsAnything from 5-20 millionTeam of 13, mix of brand specialists and financialWe have £100m to spend.
  • Historic examples; Boden, Pitch and Piano, Bottle Green & MaximuscleExisting: Diet Chef, Celtic & Co, Weirdfish and RugCompany
  • Prior to joining Piper.Ecommerce Director at Maximuscle for 10 years.Experience 3 investments.£10m, £75m, £162m 6 year period.Due diligence difficult, easier, fluid.Now I am sat on the other side of the table and questions we ask were as applicable now as they were back then.
  • Firstly when looking at a business, create indepth Key Performance Indicators.Not just at top level visits, orders, AOV – much deeper and wider.Deeper: conv, AOV and orders from Affiliates, eMail, Direct andWider: catalogue requests, newsletter subscriptions, phone calls.3 yrs prior this will give us a good ideaStory: Maxi loosing 18k enquirersStory: Applied to a recent businessKPIs will give you a good berometer of how the business has been trading, if there are any holes, what are the opportunities and forecast – build bottom up.
  • I don’t think that there is any brand in the room that doesn’t know their consumer, demographic A/B classification, But choice, motivation, shopping habits and trends do change which can have a detrimental affect on strategy.Story: As an example, a famous shoe company put an exit survey on their order conf page. 3k completed, of which what % said is was a gift ?Register on the site don’t buyRegister and buyReturn a productRequest a catalogueRequest a newsletterForgotten passwordRecord each touchpointAgain this is key in understanding retention rates, areas of opportunity, is the strategy achievable or a potential risk.And how the consumer engages with the brand.
  • Do we have the right platform & systems in place – is it scalable and integrated.Do we have the capabilities of servicing future demand and what needs automating. If you have the KPIs in place, you know how much traffic and orders will be coming on a week by week basis.You can work with your providers to test & load balance.Story: I am not advocating however at Maxi, instead of sending a £15 voucher to 15,000 as a trial, I sent it to 150,000That very long weekend proved that we could handle level of traffic projected in a 3 yr forecast.
  • When GSK acquired Maximuscle, the consumer database was a true asset.Demonstrate that it has grown organically & ethically.That it is active and responsive,This will inevitably be a great attraction and compliment many businesses.
  • In any business the team is key.Ensure that you have head count to achieve the strategy & that each member is empowered with the strategy and KPIs.If not, and you utilise external agencies, ensure that they are engaged, managed and again share the KPIs – hopefully they had a hand in creating.Story: At Maximuscle we had a complete in-house team: Developers, designers, Adwords, affiliates.At Celtic & Co, there isn’t even an web manager, all outsourced to agencies managed by 1 internal person (makes more than Maximuscle online).
  • Finally, ensure that any online strategy is SMART and relevant to the KPIs.With all of the businesses, knowing the 3 year historic allows you to build a business plan bottom up identifying and prioritising key areas of growth.In Summary: It is worth reviewing/addressing some of these pointers and applying to your existing businesses.Apart from identifying some opportunities along the way, it helps you be prepared for when the Dragons come knocking !
  • Transcript

    • 1. What the Dragons look for2nd May 2013
    • 2. CONTENTSThe Piper StoryMaximuscleAreas of focusQuestions
    • 4. WHAT WE DOWe invest in and help grow:• Brands with good growth potential• Requiring £5-20 million of equity• Each deal structure is bespoke• Majority or minority stakes• Companies with a UK based teamWe invest £5 - £20 million into UK based branded consumer businesses. Which are likely to havea company value of £5 - £30 million and that want to growThe Piper StoryMaximuscleAreas of focusQuestions
    • 5. OUR TRACK RECORD – ALL CONSUMER BRANDSThe Piper StoryMaximuscleAreas of focusQuestionsWe have an excellent track record and have developed deep sector knowledge in these areasBar chain Women’s wear catalogue Travel clothing retailerClothing company Cocktail Bar chain Adult drinksCasual clothing brandUpholstered furniture resellerDelivered diet company Family clothing catalogue Latin American restaurant chain
    • 6. MAXIMUSCLE – SPORTS NUTRITIONThe Piper StoryMaximuscleAreas of focusQuestions2004: £10m 2007: £75m 2010: £162m
    • 7. KPIs – DEEPER, BROADER, 3 YR HISTORIC.The Piper StoryMaximuscleAreas of focusQuestions1 Detailed Key Performance Indicators (KPIs)OrdersNewsletter requestsFree Search Paid Search EmailDirectVisitorsCat requests1.7m1.8m88k5k {{
    • 8. REVIEW ALL TOUCHPOINTS, SPEAK TO CONSUMERSThe Piper StoryMaximuscleAreas of focusQuestions1 Detailed Key Performance Indicators (KPIs)2 Become a consumerGift ?+60%
    • 9. CAN INFRASTRUCTURE COPE WITH GROWTH AMBITIONThe Piper StoryMaximuscleAreas of focusQuestions1 Detailed Key Performance Indicators (KPIs)2 Become a consumer3 Scalable robust platform
    • 10. ORGANIC, ETHICAL, ACTIVE AND RESPONSIVE ASSETThe Piper StoryMaximuscleAreas of focusQuestions1 Detailed Key Performance Indicators (KPIs)2 Become a consumer3 Scalable robust platform4 Database quality
    • 11. DRIVEN, KNOWLEDGABLE, EMPOWERED AND SCALABLEThe Piper StoryMaximuscleAreas of focusQuestions1 Detailed Key Performance Indicators (KPIs)2 Become a consumer3 Scalable robust platform4 Database quality5 The team
    • 12. SPECIFIC, MEASURABLE, ACHIEVABLE, RELATIVE, TIMELYThe Piper StoryMaximuscleAreas of focusQuestions1 Detailed Key Performance Indicators (KPIs)2 Become a consumer3 Scalable robust platform4 Database quality5 The team6 SMART online strategy
    • 13. THANK YOUPiper Private EquityEardley House182-184 Campden Hill RoadLondonW8 7ASt: 020 7727 3842f: 020 7727 8969leon@piperprivateequity.comThe Piper StoryMaximuscleAreas of focusQuestions