Hotel Chocolat reaps a 6% sales boost from selling on third party sites

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Hotel Chocolat has seen a 6% boost to digital sales in 2017 through selling on Amazon, Ocado and other third-party sites.

The omni-channel chocolate monger reported overall revenues of £71.7million in the six months to December 31 – up 15% up on the same time last year. Pre-tax profits of £12.9 million were also 15% up. Hotel Chocolat also supplied to online retailers including Amazon and Ocado, contributing 6% to digital growth, says the company.

Hotel Chocolat has a first-party relationship with Amazon Retail as an official Amazon vendor. This gives it the ability to exercise a lot more control over its product presentation – although somewhat less control over the price, since Amazon decides that and wants to keep things competitive.

The retailer saw strong sales across all digital and corporate channels, including stores. Website sales grew by 16%, year-on-year, benefitting from strong mobile growth driven the launch of its new mobile-optimised website, launched in January 2017.

Mobile and tablet traffic, which now accounts for 62% of all web traffic, while mobile conversion rose by 19%, from 2.6% to 3.1%.

“This has been another period of strong progress for Hotel Chocolat with growth in both sales and profits. The critical Christmas period was again successful, helped by further improvements in availability, our best ever seasonal range and the extension of our one-stop gift solutions range. We have exciting plans in place for the key spring seasons of Mother’s Day and Easter, and have recently launched a new cacao beauty range and a weekly subscription called Mbox. We are confident of further progress during the year.”
– Angus Thirlwell, co-founder and chief executive of Hotel Chocolat

Brands and retailers wanting to also do this can use either Amazon Vendor Central, which let’s a brand of retailer such as Hotel Chocolat, register and Amazon effectively becomes a full-time distributor of the brand or retailer’s products. The marketplace effectively buys and stores the inventory, taking care of everything from shipping and pricing to customer service and returns.

For smaller brands and retailers, Amazon also offers Vendor Express, which again let’s the retailer or the brand sell directly to Amazon who then sells it for them.

Half the products sold on Amazon worldwide are from businesses that offer their products through Amazon Marketplace in these two ways, says the marketplace.

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