SME Q3 2018

12 SME NEWS / Q3 2018 , eSpares is amulti-award winning online retailer of appliance spare parts. They save hundreds of appliances from landfill every day by empowering people to repair their household machines. We spoke to their Director of Sales &Marketing, JonathanMetcalfe, to find out more. Repair Don’t Replace Here at eSpares, our mission is simple. We want to help as many people as possible fix their home appliances, no matter how much prior repairs experience they have. We’re well established in the UK. In October this year, we will be marking 15 years in business and since the very beginning we’ve focussed on a simple message. We encourage a “repair don’t replace” mentality. On our website, eSpares., we sell our customers the spare parts they need to repair their appliances. Our product catalogue contains over one million appliance parts and accessories. But what sets us apart from our competition is that we also provide comprehensive resources to teach people how to complete their fixes. Our on-site Advice Centre has over 700 step-by-step articles on diagnosing, repairing and maintaining appliances. As well as written content, we’ve produced over 500 how-to video guides on appliance repairs, hosted on our popular YouTube channel ( ). Plus, we have a library of over 9000 appliance user manuals. Our resources are freely accessible so that anyone with an appliance issue can rely on us to help them get to the bottom of it. The reason we put so much effort into providing resources is that we genuinely care about helping people with their appliances. Our ethos is to make appliance repairs as easy as we possibly can. If we don’t leave our customers happy we’re not happy and our passion for great customer service is reflected in the feedback we receive. On the popular third- party review site TrustPilot, we have over 100k reviews about our advice and our service with an average rating of 9.4/10. Here’s what one customer, P Ross had to say about our advice videos: “I found the part I needed, received it quickly and found the short video on ‘How To’ extremely helpful. All in all, a super service.” Similarly, another customer Richard complemented our speedy delivery: “Having smashed a shelf in our fridge, I searched eSpares and found a replacement which was ordered over the weekend and arrived Monday pm. Service and price were excellent, so I can recommend them without reservation.” As our customers’ experiences show, appliance repairs really can be easy. A cooker that’s not heating up, for example, can be fixed in half an hour and cost under £20. Compared with the cost of a new cooker, that’s a huge saving. Brexit is looming and with fears of a return to austerity in the UK, our business helps families out of a potentially stressful and costly situation. Allowing them to repair their appliances lets them save money on the costs of brand new machines. We’re proud to be part of the UK appliance industry. Our country has a strong pedigree of innovative UK appliance manufacturers. That said, the need to encourage appliance repairs is worldwide. To help more customers complete their fixes, grow our business and better protect our planet we have spread our core message of “repair don’t replace” further afield. We have customers from all around the world and in 2016 we decided to better cater to our European shoppers by creating dedicated international websites in France, Germany, Italy, Spain and Austria. Since then our international presence has gone from strength to strength both in terms of sales and brand awareness. One of the challenges our industry faces is our modern throwaway society. People with a predisposition to repair faulty appliances instead of buying new ones tend to come from older generations. To combat this, we work hard to raise awareness of our business with younger audiences and integrate technology that suits their needs. We maintain an active social media presence both to increase engagement with our brand and to provide customer service. Customers with queries can also talk with us in online real time via our convenient live chat service. Our website and the advice resources within it are all easily accessible on mobile phones and tablets. This is a necessity for our business as around 60% of our customers now use handheld devices to browse our website. We constantly change and adapt to spread the word to people of all ages about the benefits of repairing. It feels amazing when the work we do is rewarded. As well being named Domestic Parts Supplier of the Year 2018 at the SME Enterprise Awards, we’ve also recently been awarded the Best International Performance Award at the ECMOD Direct Commerce Awards and named Online Retailer of the Year at the Retail Systems Awards. We’re very proud that the hard work we put in is recognised across our industry. With large multinational corporations dominating the ecommerce market, it can be hard for SMEs to compete. Luckily, we can provide something they can’t. The genuinely personal advice we offer throughout every step of the customer journey is what will drive our success in the future. UKE18151