Launching a startup ecommerce store in the motorsport industry
Startup motorsport retailer competitive at the front of the grid in 18 months
DRIVER61.com is a start-up retailer in the motorsport industry. Launched in February 2017, the business is now a high-ranking industry competitor with a projected six-figure year 2 turnover, supported by 202% year-on-year organic growth and a growing audience of loyal Facebook fans and email subscribers. Revenue is entirely driven by direct or indirect sales from organic search, email and social media via guides, product recommendations and original video content.
The content strategy captures potential customers (track day drivers, amateur to professional racing drivers) at various stages of research intent. Driver61's funnel drives audience growth while delivering guidance on driving technique, supporting drivers who might be learning new circuits or helping them with buying decisions.
Motorsport industry retail-to-consumer online sales are worth £25-30m annually in the UK. Across the EU, we estimate the market is worth £100-120m.
The market leader in the space has first-mover advantage and brand awareness spanning over 30 years. Their online presence is strong, and at the inception of our project they held position 1 rankings for almost all competitive terms in organic search.
The challenge: to work with the founding team to create a new motorsport retailer and establish the brand to challenge the incumbent market leaders, all in less than 2 years.
Some 6 months prior to launch, the founding team were hard at work creating a video series known as the Driver’s University, a free resource for aspiring track day and intermediate racing drivers to help hone their craft.
By establishing and promoting this content before the ecommerce launch, we achieved some early audience growth objectives. Specifically:
- Establishing the driver61.com domain with inbound links and traffic
- Growing an email subscriber list
- Establishing a Facebook audience
Working on a simpler, content-only version of the site gave us the breathing space to drill down on strategy, refining what did and didn’t work before commercial goals set in.
Behind the scenes, Builtvisible were hard at work designing the ecommerce and branding aspects of the site.
Once the design work was signed off and complete, development partner Firecask provided WooCommerce theme development. We chose the WooCommerce platform because its diverse ecosystem of well-supported plugins provided all the features which were required for launch “out of the box”.
By the time the store was ready to launch in February 2017, the Driver61 website had 200-300 visitors per day, a growing email list of ~2,000 subscribers and some extremely encouraging early rankings in Google.
From February 2017 we followed a high-level project plan. This encompassed data collection to create and upload product data, development of commercial relationships with suppliers, building out product feeds, structuring retail categories, and more.
Driver61 has achieved its goal of becoming a high-ranking website in the motorsport retail industry.
Revenue expectations for year 2 place the ROI of this project in the region of 1,600%.
Organic performance from the Driver’s University and commercial retail category pages has strong year-on-year growth, and – thanks to ongoing content development – we expect this trend to continue.
Our growing Facebook audience (56,000 brand page likes) and loyal email audience means that we have a targeted source of sales every time we broadcast a new item of content or product addition.