Luxseeker: Lee Williams
The man behind AutoTrader.co.uk, launches his own online marketplace, offering over 100,000 new and pre-owned luxury goods
Name: Lee Williams
Company Name: Luxseeker
Date Launched: 24/02/17
Tell us what your business does:
Luxseeker is a new online marketplace offering over 100,000 new and pre-owned luxury products for sale – from watches and jewellery, to shoes and accessories.
LuxSeeker.com integrates detailed buyer guides, trends and fashion news, plus the best of social media photos and videos to provide the buyer with an inspired buying experience.
The LuxSeeker.com recommendation engine also crunches over 1,000 data points to deliver recommendations, curations and alerts across media platforms and social channels, ensuring “LuxSeekers” are aware of the latest news around their favourite luxury products.
Where did the idea for your business come from?
I’ve launched automotive and general marketplaces around the world. The new trend is segmentation as audiences swarm around interests rather than a broad one-fits-all platform. Luxury is perfect for digital where niche buyers can come together around their passions and interests, whether they are in Chelsea or Cheltenham.
From a personal perspective, we have a passion for luxury cars, watches and fashion. Who doesn’t?
How did you know there was a market for it?
Globally, markets are increasing going digital, from automotive to property. It was only a matter of time before luxury products would go online as brands’ web presence developed and consumer confidence rose to buying higher priced items online.
Social media has been the wake-up call for many fashion brands in terms of the following and interactions they have developed, and realising their market and aspirational audience can be reached and engaged digitally.
What were you doing before starting up?
Digital director for media companies from Daily Mail Group to Haymarket media.
Have you always wanted to run your own business?
Always. I have been fortunate to be exposed to great entrepreneurs and business leaders in the media world.
How did you raise the money?
Self-funded, through step-by-step revenue delivery enabling for further investment.
Describe your business model and how you make money:
Three primary revenue streams.
1.Reputable high street and independent retailers list their luxury products for sale. This can be through a highly affordable fixed listing fee or through commission only on sale. An independent retailer, for example, can list all their stock from £33 per month.
2.Advertising: We deliver highly targeted advertising from our luxury data platform driving performance goals for advertisers.
3.Email and social marketing. Brands and retailers are able to target our membership and highly active social followings with content and offers.
What challenges have you faced and how have you overcome them?
Biggest challenge was building credibility with luxury brands who quite rightly are precious over where and how their content is displayed. A major winning position has been LuxSeeker, unlike Amazon or eBay, does not take direct from public private listings or from warehouse or home trading operations.
What was your first big breakthrough?
My own personal breakthrough was creating and launching AutoTrader.co.uk
What advice would you give to budding entrepreneurs?
Test and refine continually. Care passionately about customers. Do not do too many projects and be ready to pivot your model.
Where do you want to be in five years' time?
Building another start-up!