Freddy Ward, co-founder of Wild Cosmetics
1. What is the greatest opportunity for your business?
We believe there will be an unstoppable wave of change in the way consumers think about sustainability and how their buying behaviours impact the world we live in. Wild is well positioned to help consumers on this journey and to drive sustainability-focused innovation in the bathroom. If we can deliver on our mission to create innovative, sustainable and high performing natural products for your everyday personal care routines we will be in an exciting place.
2. What is the biggest challenge to your business?
Whilst in the short term we have benefited from the surge in online buying activity, we believe this sudden change in emphasis for large retailers, who need to move online, will put a lot of pressure on CPMs and online marketing inventory and it will be very hard for start-ups to compete efficiently. Now more than ever smaller businesses will have to find different channels and areas for growth away from Facebook and Google.
3. With the benefit of hindsight what would you have done differently so far?
Plan that everything will take longer than you expect and avoided knee-jerk reactions as you figure things out.
4. What is the future of the physical store and the high street?
My belief is that physical stores will become a lot more experiential and used in tandem with online rather than being treated as siloed channels. There is no doubt there will be some exciting opportunities to deliver value in this space as everyone else is looking towards digital.
5. What technology-related plans have you got for the next 12 months?
Our focus is on making our user experience seamless and as quick and easy to understand as we can. We will continue to invest a lot in the development of our website and the user journeys particularly for the subscription side of our business.
6. Which retailers/brand owners do you admire?
I am a big fan of well executed D2C companies in the UK. In particular Huel, Mindful chef and Gymshark. Also I’m very excited about what the team at Smol are building. From a brand perspective we look up to Oatly a lot for the disruption and clarity of purpose they have created.
7. Who would you include in the Movers & Shakers in Retail report?
Ed Boyes (CCO at HelloFresh).
This is one in an ongoing series of profiles with individuals that are featured in the annual ‘Retail Insider Movers & Shakers in Retail Top 100‘. The 2020 edition will be launched very shortly.