News, Insights and Stories from the Australian and New Zealand tech ecosystem.

Ecommerce entrepreneurs killing it in Australia

Disclaimer: To determine this list over the last 6 months we have been assessing along with various contacts of ours 50 high performing or fast growth, Australian based online stores based on their pricing, estimated revenues, social activities and PR exercises and most importantly customer service levels.

 

You only need to look at the growth of engines such as BigCommerce, Chargify and the other 18 or so real players in the game to see that the eCommerce space is fiercely competitive. The fact that all of these platforms alone have hundreds of online stores using their services competing with each other selling similar products and services, makes the space perhaps the most cut-throat in the Australian marketplace right now.

Amongst all this noise though, there are a select few that have really done a great job over the last couple of years in standing out from the crowd. Some use platforms such as the above to manage their payment systems and others have put the massive amounts of cash back into their venture and built slick custom, end to end solutions, enhancing their customer service levels and leveraging that to acquire a greater market share.

Here are ten eCommerce businesses that are absolutely kicking arse right now in Australia.

image: bambooinnovator.com
Cofounder, Dean Ramler. image: bambooinnovator.com

Milan Direct

Founded by Dean Ramler and Ruslan Kogan (founder of Kogan) this online store is taking the furniture space by storm. Especially the office spaces all over Australia. Their great pricing teamed with stylish and functional items, keep customers coming back. It is estimated that Milan Direct are turning over in the vicinity of around $15 million dollars in revenue at the moment. They have a great internet marketing strategy and great products backed up with a slick delivery model.

Jane Lu, founder Showpo | image: AFR
Jane Lu, founder Showpo | image: AFR

Showpo

Founded by Jane Lu, Showpo (previously Show Pony Fashion) has taken the 17 to 30 year old female market by storm with their approach to fast and affordable fashion. We estimate that Showpo is on track to deliver revenues of over $6 million this year. With a social media strategy that has literally eclipsed the competition Showpo has a Facebook following of over 300,000 people and an engagement level where at any one time at least 60,000 + are talking about the brand.

 

Rose Hartley at the "Pop-up" exhibition for the SALA festival in Adelaide
Content Curator Rose Hartley at the “Pop-up” exhibition for the SALA festival in Adelaide

Bluethumb

Founded by brothers George and Edward Hartley, Bluethumb has bought a new dimension to the way people buy and sell art online. Their online store currently at the moment has $2.6 million dollars worth of art for sale as of the time of this being published. The store makes art accessible to everyone with pieces ranging from $150 to $21,000 and a stable of popular urban artists from around Australia. Recent developments of their technology has enabled the company to increase their marketing reach and even if they only sell half their current inventory they are setting the business up for a strong first year in revenue.

style runner founders
Founders of Style Runner, Julie and Sali Stevanja | image: SR Blog

Stylerunner

Founded by sisters Julie and Sali Stevanja, Stylerunner is becoming the dominant online face for men and women’s activewear online. The company is currently experiencing rapid growth and executes strategic brand partners like no other on this list. With a killer content marketing strategy using their own blogs The Runway and The Locker Room the business engages potential customers with a range of fashion, health and lifestyle content. We estimate that revenue’s for 2014 will be in excess of 2 million dollars.

Braaap founder, Bradley Smith | image: The Examiner
Braaap founder, Bradley Smith | image: The Examiner

Braaap

Founded by Bradley Smith, Braaap Motorcycles is a true story of turning your passion into a multimillion dollar success story. Braaap take a three tier approach to their sales right now with their ecommerce store, a channel strategy and a bricks and mortar presence in Tasmania. The company has built a cult following amongst both children and adult motorcycle enthusiasts and this year introduce their new ‘Sol Invictus’ Cafe Racer as part of their plans to be a world class niche manufacturer of motor bikes.

Founder of BirdsNest, Jane Cay | image: Canberra Times
Founder of BirdsNest, Jane Cay | image: Canberra Times

Birdsnest

Founded by Jane Cay, Birdsnest sells clothing to the female market focusing on servicing age groups between 20 and 50. The company is based in Cooma NSW making the cut through of the business even more significant in being able to reach such a wide Australian audience. In the last three years the team has grown from 5 to over 90 people and that growth looks like it is going to continue throughout 2014 as they become a household name for women’s affordable fashion.

Shoes of Prey Founders, Jodie Fox, Michael Fox and Mike Knapp
Shoes of Prey Founders, Jodie Fox, Michael Fox and Mike Knapp

Shoes of Prey

Founded by Jodie Fox, Michael Fox and Mike Knapp, Shoes of Prey is perhaps one of the most talked about companies on this list with some of their media coverage to date including O Magazine, Vogue and the Wall Street Journal. They now have a multi channel strategy within the business and are delivering multi-million dollar revenue and are set to grow even more this year as they work towards being an international player in the women’s shoe market.

Founders of Yellow Octopus, Derek Sheehan and Russell Brookes
Founders of Yellow Octopus, Derek Sheen and Russell Brooks

Yellow Octopus

Founded by Derek Sheen and Russell Brooks, Yellow Octopus launched in August of 2013 but are already gaining massive traction in the male gift industry. With gifts ranging from $5 to over $2 million dollars the store has every angle covered for useful and not so useful gift ideas, including a personal submarine. We estimate that revenues will reach $1 million in 2014 as they start to scale their online marketing efforts.

Sofia cofounders, Jack Teoh and Steve Davis | image: Power Retail
Sofia cofounders, Jack Teoh and Steve Davis | image: Power Retail

 Sofia

Founded by Jack Teoh and Steve Davis, Sofia Furniture is both manufacturer and seller of their online armchairs and lounges. By having such a strong online retail arm the company is able to offer great quality furniture that rivals expensive bricks and mortar changes saving customers in some cases up to 70% of what they would normally pay for a similar piece. The company is well backed and we estimate revenues in excess of 1 million dollars for 2014. For some awesome House Porn for design lovers, check out their Tumblr.

Surf Stitch cofounders, Lex Pedersen and Justin Cameron | image: The Australian
SurfStitch cofounders, Lex Pedersen and Justin Cameron | image: The Australian

SurfStitch

Founded by Lex Pedersen and Justin Cameron, SurfStitch currently has revenues in excess of $30 million dollars, and talk last year suggested they may be preparing for an IPO this year. The business has become the largest action sports and fashion business in the world according to the founders. Billabong is also a shareholder of the company. They have a global presence and represent over 500 brands.