While succeeding in e-commerce requires a lot of hard work, the e-commerce world is also full of success stories that can inspire you as you look to leave your day job behind.
One such example is Rhian Allen. Allen wasn’t toiling away in a thankless 9 to 5 before making the jump to launching her own brand. She was actually a sales director at a successful media outlet in Sydney, Australia.
However, after she became pregnant with her first child in 2010, she felt a lack of fulfillment with her career — and that eventually led to the foundation of what has become a multimillion-dollar brand that caters to a specific audience.
Solving Her Own Problem
Like so many other entrepreneurs, Allen’s business began by focusing on a problem she was facing herself — and one that was hardly unique to her.
As Allen explains on The Healthy Mommy website, she quickly discovered during her pregnancy that “there was no holistic national support system to help moms shape up and get healthy after having a baby. I wanted to create a program which offered safe and healthy plans and support to all moms after having children – and which offered programs and products that were safe in breastfeeding.”
Finding a diet and exercise regimen that worked for herself to lose baby weight and improve fitness after becoming a mother led Allen to start sharing healthy recipes and exercise routines on Facebook under the moniker The Healthy Mummy — The Healthy Mommy is the brands’ U.S. name.
But Allen’s efforts weren’t just focused on the physical aspect of post-pregnancy weight loss. She also wanted to create a supportive, nonjudgmental space for moms to lose weight without feeling guilty or pressured into doing so.
It should come as no surprise that these goals quickly struck a chord — and as the number of Facebook followers grew, so did the business potential for The Healthy Mummy. Allen ultimately quit her job and sold her home to fully fund this new business venture.
Expanding the Scope
As reported by the Daily Mail Australia, the next major step in The Healthy Mummy’s growth was the 2014 launch of an app that provided 28-day fitness challenges, weekly meal plans, healthy recipes and daily motivation, all offered in the form of a monthly membership subscription.
The concept took off, and by 2018, the brand was valued at $22 million. The success of the app in Australia then led the brand to expand to the United Kingdom in 2018 and the United States in 2019.
A big part of this growth was fueled by quality content. The Healthy Mummy quickly filled its website (and app) with a host of recipes, as well as articles covering related lifestyle topics such as navigating pregnancy, achieving healthy weight loss and parenting.
All of this further cemented the loyalty of the brand’s audience, many of whom have come to view The Healthy Mummy as a one stop shop for achieving a healthy lifestyle. It should come as no surprise, then, that a major driving force in the brand’s growth has come through expansion into e-commerce.
Growing Into E-Commerce
The Healthy Mummy’s e-commerce offerings grew as a direct outlet of the brand’s health and fitness focus. The company primarily sells meal replacement smoothie mixes, though it also offers recipe e-books and fitness apparel.
As with other aspects of the business, e-commerce provided several valuable learning experiences for Allen. In an interview with SmartCompany, she explained, “There have been many times where we have sold out of a new line at launch because we didn’t order enough. When there is consumer demand for a product, as a retailer, you always want to deliver on that demand, so it is always hard when you sell out and the restock time can be eight weeks or more. So now we do a much better job of ordering more on launch and getting a second order in early so customers aren’t left disappointed.”
In the same interview, she also noted the importance of working with reliable suppliers to avoid losing time and money. Not only do reliable suppliers ensure that you get quality goods to sell to your customers, but they also minimize delays and other setbacks that could negatively impact the customer experience.
With an expansive range of e-commerce products, the brand is able to expand its sales beyond the base income of the app subscriptions. With an online community now over 1.5 million strong, Allen has created a significant following for her brand’s products, ensuring steady (and ever-growing) sales.
The Vision to Succeed
One thing that becomes abundantly clear from the story of Allen and The Healthy Mommy is that her brand is about so much more than selling individual products. By crafting a distinct identity that caters to a specific (and often underserved) audience, Allen was able to create a groundswell of support from the get-go.
Additionally, the emphasis on providing real value to customers’ lives with fitness programs and actionable information that complemented her e-commerce products helped create lasting loyalty to the brand.
No matter what your niche, expanding the vision for what is possible for your e-commerce products will help you carve out a strong foothold in your market. When your products are linked to a lifestyle — or even a movement — they will stand out that much more and help deliver the financial growth your business needs to thrive.
- Featured Image, Unsplash