Hawkers is a company that sells “low-cost” polarized sunglasses exclusively on Internet. This firm is a good example to understand the benefits that e-commerce offers to any business.
The sunglasses industry was monopolized by Luxottica (the owner of several well-known brands such as Ray-Ban, Oakley and Persol) which exerts power to every step in its supply chain. But four Spaniards came up with an idea to disrupt that industry: “What if there is a company that offers sunglasses with a stylish design, good quality and a competitive price”.
Understanding this business model implies considering two factors: logistics and marketing strategy. In addition, the supply chain is vertically integrated and they can control all the steps to ensure a low cost and guarantee a good quality.
The logistics, which is completely outsourced, plays a fundamental role in order to minimize Hawkers total costs. The production is outsourced by selecting some suppliers in China (they meet quality standards), distribution is outsourced to Zeleris (at least in Spain) which allows to the customer to track its order. The lead time is quite fast (3-5 labor days in Spain and Portugal, 5-7 labor days in Italy, Greece, Germany and UK). And the online store is supported by Shopify (a Canadian technology) which permits them to show its product line (around 50 models) in an intuitive and easy way.
As important as logistics, the marketing strategy is also essential. According to them, “the important is to focus in the product and its sale to customers”. Their HQ is in Elche where a team of 40 employees are working hard in designing & advertising the product as well as giving an after-sales service. Their marketing strategy consists in promoting its sunglasses through social networks (especially Facebook) and “influencers” (such as Luis Suarez, Jorge Lorenzo, sponsoring Los Angeles Lakers…) to reach a high base of potential customers with a small budget (its tactics are based on reverse engineering) and expanding the brand over the world.
This business model is bringing to Hawkers more than €15 million in total revenues (2014) and the forecast for this year is to sell more than 2 million of sunglasses.