How to Shake up a Sector… and Succeed

How to Shake up a Sector… and Succeed
Prezola has taken a centuries-old niche business and revolutionised it for the iPad generation.

With its innovative digital take on the wedding gift business, Prezola, which launched in 2010, manages over 5000 gift lists a year. Forecasting a £10m turnover in 2016, the business has scooped multiple awards including the Retailer of the Year gong at The Great British Entrepreneur Awards and the Wedding Gift List of the Year for 2016. It is run by Ali and Dom Beaven. Here, Dom reveals the steps to success.

1 Take an established business and do it differently

Prezola has taken a centuries-old niche business and revolutionised it for the iPad generation.

### 2 Know your customer

We target young, affluent, brand-aware couples and so it’s vital that we keep ahead of trends with the latest products, colours, styles and brands.

3 Comfort them…

Taking design cues from social media platforms that our users were very comfortable with has certainly helped.

4 …and thrill them

Ultimately though, up-to-the-minute product ranges and constantly surprising our users with new and exciting products has been key.

5 Listen to them

We subscribe to the likes of trend bible and attend all of the key shows, but we also listen to our customers, giving them an easy platform to tell us what they love. If a product, designer or range is requested enough we know there’s an appetite to add it to our range.

6 Focus on product

We see our product range as central to our business growth; a curated blend of established favourites alongside new and emerging designers.

7 Recruit passion

We rarely hire experienced ‘buyers’, preferring to add people to our team who have a real passion for interior design and homeware.

8 Recruit diversity

Our buying team is a mix of men and women spanning the newly-graduated through to mums in their fifties. Their combined passion for shopping means we’re always at the leading edge of trends.

9 Travel

Our team of ten buyers attend the major trade shows throughout the UK as well as trawling smaller events like Tent London and Hackney market.

10 Change your product mix. Fast

Market trends are also critical. Nutri-bullets and spiralizers were best-sellers in 2015 when we had no sales of these products at all in 2014.

11 Play your own game

Be very good at something that’s needed and don’t lose your focus. You can’t beat the Goliaths at the scale game, so you’ll have to start a new game where you can win; whether that’s amazing customer service, innovative product ranges or a brand that makes customers feel special.

12 Remember the competition

Our biggest competitor is John Lewis and ‘beating’ them has never been an option. Nonetheless, we’ve been able to create a huge new business alongside them, acknowledging their strengths while creating our own.