Made In Britain: Bertie Stephens, Flubit.com

What does your company do? What products services does it provide? 

An innovative and disruptive new way to buy and sell, Flubit is a marketplace that is changing the face of buying online. It empowers the consumer to get a better price on a product they want to buy and helps independent UK online retailers drive more orders without sacrificing margins.

Instead of listing products for users to browse, they simply copy and paste the weblink of the Amazon item they wish to buy, and receives back a unique, private offer, on average 10 per cent lower.

For merchants, there are no set up costs or monthly fees. By alleviating the usual marketplace fee, the merchant can provide a more competitive price, giving customers a better offer and a unique shopping experience. Merchants enjoy a boost in sales via an additional route to market at no extra cost.

Where did the idea for your business come from?
I was an enthusiastic early adopter of the first wave of flash sale sites and group buying sites and all the rest. However, like many, I got fed up with being spammed and pushed to buy products I didn’t want. 70 per cent off is a great discount, but it’s just noise unless it’s on something you want. It made me determined to build a service that did the opposite: create a better offer on the product you want, when you’re ready to buy.

When did you start up, and what support were you given?
Flubit launched in April 2012. We were lucky enough to secure an initial £50,000 seed funding, which really helped us get going.

What has been your biggest achievement so far?
Pulling together a team of talented and dedicated individuals who have created a unique, compelling online shopping service that customers love using and want to use time and again.

What has been the biggest challenge so far?

Every day brings new and varied challenges but a key one is finding and recruiting the right team members. We’ve grown from about 25 to over 65 heads over the last year which brings it’s own set of challenges including moving offices and ensuring we have robust HR procedures in place.
We’ve been incredibly fortunate that for the most part we’ve recruited well and have a dynamic, committed and expert team in place from a wealth of backgrounds. I’m exceptionality happy with the team that drives us forward everyday.

How would you say you differentiate yourself from the competition?
First and foremost, all our offers are unique and created in private. You cannot browse or search for products on Flubit.com, that’s the beauty. Because of this, Flubit never spams its users with irrelevant products or offers. The service is instead all about users coming to the site in their own good time, demanding exactly what they want cheaper, whenever they want it. We then create them an offer, which is exclusive and private. With this open and transparent approach, we are unique in the world of e-commerce. This is leading to high conversion rates and a large percentage of our shoppers coming back to buy from us multiple times.

What has been the best decision you have made to-date?
Do things the ‘wrong’ way around. We want to take on and ‘disrupt, the major players in eCommerce. We achieve this by diverting sales away from them to smaller UK retailers. Flubit’s ultimate goal is to empower consumers and independent online retailers on an international scale. We want any consumers, worldwide, to be able to benefit from lower prices on products they actually want, whenever then want. And we want online retailers to be able to get a fair price for the products they sell. Our platform is built to be global and infinitely saleable so if we get it right any online shopper worldwide could be saving money through Flubit.com

Where do you see the business in 12 months’ time?
We want to continually improve the experience for customers, expand our technology and create new services and of course significant growth is something we are looking to achieve.
We want to continue onboard UK online retailers who can benefit from a new incremental sales channel and with the introduction of BeFlubit.com we’re looking to increase the number of partners who are benefiting from our technology and 20 million + discounted products.

What advice would you give to other entrepreneurs?
If you believe you have a great business idea, have done your research and have a credible plan they go for it.  But make sure you have people you can turn to for solid advice and ensure you are working with people who share your vision and you can trust implicitly.
It could be one of the best moves you ever make and even if it fails you’ll probably regret not doing it more than giving it a go and not succeeding. Oh, and get thick skinned quick.

What do you find most satisfying about running a business?


Progress. Metrics and KPIs are addictive, but they’re not the only measure. Seeing the team learn and improve is pretty cool. When you’re a team of 10 (as we were back in 2012) it’s one thing; when you’re a team of 60+, every day is the equivalent of one person working 2 months – things change so fast, and you get put on a journey and it’s incredibly cool to see how things progress and the results of our efforts paying off.

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