Scooter Hut was founded by Scott Mackintosh in 2008 in Queensland’s Burleigh Heads. It began as a one-person business and has grown into the world’s largest freestyle scooter retailer. It now operates in six retail locations nationwide, has a distribution and manufacturing arm, online store, marketplace presence, and sells to 15 countries globally. It employs over 85 people Australia-wide and reports $15 million in online sales annually. From its humble beginnings in a small warehouse, it has become an Australian icon.
Scooter Hut had an eBay presence and wanted to make sure it had a foot in the door when Amazon launched in Australia. “We were in a unique position,” says Trent Disney, Head of E-Commerce at Scooter Hut. “We were pushed by our US manufacturers that Amazon needed to be our focus. They really pushed us to seek out an expert.”
ChannelAdvisor was recommended to Scooter Hut by BigCommerce. “They told us ChannelAdvisor would be one of the first to integrate directly with Amazon. For us, that ticked all the boxes. We have a large number of SKUs and very varied ways to sell them on different marketplaces. ChannelAdvisor was the only one able to individually manage each marketplace. It was something we hadn’t found from others we looked at.”
Scooter Hut needed a multi-marketplace strategy, re-launching on eBay, launching on Amazon and with plans to launch on Catch and Trade Me. With multiple SKUs and internal brand laws, it needed a partner that could list differently on each marketplace and address each system as it came.
Scooter Hut also knew that it wasn’t making the most of the data available to them. “We were reporting on marketplaces but knew we weren’t doing it well. We weren’t exploring data or analysing it the right way,” explains Disney.
Scooter Hut integrated with ChannelAdvisor’s Managed Marketplace Solution and Managed Digital Marketplace Solution in mid-2018. “We knew instantly we were headed in the right direction,” Disney says. “The man-hours it would have taken us to list on Amazon —we wouldn’t be listed on Amazon now if we hadn’t worked with ChannelAdvisor.”
Scooter Hut was able to list on Amazon Australia instantly and is in the process of re-launching on eBay. “Everything is just faster. We are able to utilise an expert and grow our knowledge at the same time because of our interactions with ChannelAdvisor. We’ve had to make changes to ensure we’re compatible with the Amazon system which means our overall processes and warehouse systems have improved as well,” says Disney.
“We wanted Amazon and we wanted it now,” Disney explains. “It’s amazing how quickly we got 5,500 SKUs straight onto Amazon. We understand there is a long-game in our industry with the Amazon marketplace. Going live first will give us the biggest leg up in the long term. ChannelAdvisor was transparent with what we needed for our business – expertise. These are the instant positives that we’ve seen straight away,” adds Disney.
Scooter Hut understands it’s all about the bigger picture. “We’re setting ourselves up so no one can knock us off that platform. Getting set up so quickly and partnering with ChannelAdvisor, we know we’re ready for things like the introduction of Prime.”
It was also important for Scooter Hut to retain its premium brand experience across its marketplace expansion. “We come from an industry where it’s easy to lump ourselves in with other skate shops,” says Disney. “So far, the launch on the platform has held that brand aesthetic and message really closely.”
The integration with Scooter Hut’s current systems has been seamless with its expansion and it has already seen an operational and training return in just a few weeks of launching with ChannelAdvisor.
“These marketplaces aren’t going away,” adds Disney. “Amazon is here, eBay is making changes, Catch is popping up and becoming a big deal. The longer you hold off, the more likely you are to miss the boat. Using a partner that knows what they are doing and has the direct connections to eBay, Catch and Amazon is vital. It’s past the time for umm-ing and ah-ing. We know we made the right choice with ChannelAdvisor.”
With help from ChannelAdvisor, Scooter Hut is getting valuable information from its reporting and utilising data to get real results. “The reporting helps in every aspect of our business,” says Disney.
“Marketplaces also showed us that traditional methods of marketing are a successful way of doing things. It’s allowed us to expand our operations rather than focus on a single web store. Taking this path has made us look back at our store and rethink things and get back to basics.”
“Every conversation we have with the ChannelAdvisor Managed Services team, every experience we have, we’re treated like the most important thing. It’s a true partnership. We might otherwise feel like we’re out of our depth, but ChannelAdvisor is able to simplify everything. Everything is drilled down to our level and we benefit from the continuing education.”