Entrepreneur changes retail marketing model

The online retail outlet uses specialist social networkers to promote its products and services.

Parslow has created a bespoke social network, which enables customers to refer products to their friends and receive cash rewards in the process. At the same time, suppliers benefit from a cost-effective route to market without the hassle of minimum opening orders and excess stock gathering dust at the end of the season. “I look at it as an extension of marketing, rather than a replacement,” Parslow says. “Marketing is a process, it’s not one individual thing and having a referral from your friend is very qualified and can cut through the noise of the web.”

Parslow decided to launch e-Say after observing the usual retail business model becoming “increasingly difficult” for manufacturers, with margins being squeezed.

“I wanted to pay a supplier more for their product and I didn’t think it was necessary to discount products to get footfall. There is a trend to do that but people go bust, like Woolies. Then the supply chain goes bust,” he says.

“The motivations were to find a more efficient route to market and to fully engage the customer in the process of building a brand. I also wanted to try to put more money into manufacturers so they can reinvest in new products and create more jobs.”

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