RedBubble co-founder Martin Hosking’s two tips for running a successful online retailer

RedBubble’s co-founder and chief executive Martin Hosking knows a thing or two about online retail.

Hosking has been at the helm of the online marketplace for 10 years, guiding the business through its recent ASX debut.

RedBubble raised $30 million through its IPO, with shares jumping 9% after the first day of trading.

The company has more than 400,000 artists on its platform and more than 1.2 million users.

Here are Hosking’s two tips for running a successful online retailer.

1. Present what you’re selling properly 

“A lot of retailers tend to copy what they might already be doing in store,” Hosking says.

“They think, ‘This is what we do in the store, lets replicate that online.’ But if you want to be a good retailer, you need to use it as a new opportunity.

“Good retail can do online what it already has in store, but it needs significantly more detail.”

2. Figure out the fundamentals of your business before chasing growth

“It’s all about developing an operating rhythm and improving as you go forward,” Hosking says.

“You need to have an insight into your company from an investor’s perspective, but they shouldn’t be in conflict with your fundamentals.”

Hosking acknowledges that a large portion of online retail is about finding a customer for the product, but argues Redbubble has flipped that on its head.

“Redbubble is all about finding the product for the customer,” he says.

“eBay lead the way in this and we have followed.”


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