Online marketplaces propel FreestyleXtreme

Like many businesses, Bristol-based specialist sports retailer FreestyleXtreme has seen big growth through online sales overseas. They started out selling online in 2012 through eBay, then grew by launching on eBay stores globally through the cross-border programme. They then further expanded on all Amazon’s markets.

But it was online marketplaces that really helped their exports take off and make them into the thriving business they are today: FreestyleXtreme now have a projected annual turnover of £10 million.

Sales went from 0 to 1,000 NZD within a few days of listing on the New Zealand based TradeMe online marketplace platform. And it’s been a similar story on French online marketplaces La Redoute and Cdiscount, who are now generating more sales for FreestyleXtreme than Amazon France.

FreestyleXtreme also had some assistance from the Department for International Trade (DIT), who helped them set up a local cooperative to reduce international shipping costs. ‘Parcel Rate Experts’ brought together local online retailers to get competitive rates and solve one of the main barriers to exporting.

“My advice to brands is to try these e-marketplaces,” says founder Shaun Loughlin. “Because nobody could have convinced me of the success we are having now.”