In 2019, when the company’s US distributor retired, it brought an end to an 18-year relationship – and left Lenric in need of a new partner to help SnuggleSafe make strides in the lucrative North American market.
“Every day I’d get five to ten emails from people in the States who love our products but could no longer get hold of them,” says Chris. “It was clear the opportunity was there, we just needed the right partner to help us.”
A specialist in marketplaces
The US market is a difficult one to crack. And legislation introduced in recent years to help boost American industry has made the import sector more challenging than ever. But, with 25 million pets across the nation, compared to just 6 million in the UK, it’s also a market Lenric can’t afford to miss.
Chris had worked with Onogo since 2016, so knew the company could help in this regard. In February of 2020, he travelled to Jersey to talk to the team, view its facilities and processes, and discuss the US opportunity. This first-hand knowledge of who Onogo are and how they work was a big factor in Lenric’s decision to work with them.
“I get emails every day from people looking to partner with us,” says Chris. “But ultimately you don’t know them from Adam. Trust is really important with a proposition like this, so the fact we had an existing relationship, and that I got to talk to people face-to-face and see Onogo’s operations in action – it made it easy to see they were the right people for the job.”
“Another major advantage was that Onogo was already very successful in US market. Ranked in the top 0.42% out of 1.11M sellers. And, most importantly, had an in-depth understanding of how the Amazon marketplace works in the US – something that can only really be gained through years of experience.
“America is its own beast,” says Chris. “I know the Amazon machine really well, as we supply it for the UK and Europe, but there’s no way I’d want to tackle that in the US. The great thing about this relationship is that we can supply Onogo and they can supply the US, and we know that we can trust them to do a good job of that. Having them take care of that entire market is a huge load off our minds.”
A collaborative relationship
So far, Onogo has generated almost £500,000 additional sales in the first year selling SnuggleSafe products into the US, which is a figure both parties expect to grow over the coming years. Especially as Lenric has plans to scale up its production to meet the huge demand for its products.
The company currently undersupplies the UK market by around 40%, but in the near future plans to produce upwards of 160,000 units a year – which will provide both companies with the opportunity to reach a wider audience.
“Once Onogo has firmly established its presence in the US, and we’ve ramped up production, I’m confident that we’ll see even more growth in that market” says Chris. “Going forward, I think they can help us to break into other markets too, like veterinary practices and other retail channels.”
“Ranking in the top 1% of sellers across 18 global marketplaces means we’re always helping partners break into new markets,” says Adam Blampied, Partner Programme Manager at Onogo. “Whether it’s a US brand aiming to access European marketplaces or vice-versa, we’re happy to help”.
Although in its relative infancy, the partnership between Lenric and Onogo has enabled Snugglesafe to regain an important foothold in a market with huge potential – all without having to deal with the complexities of the Amazon Marketplace or directly establish distribution networks from scratch.
“Onogo know eCommerce better than anyone,” says Chris. “Both Amazon and the US market are incredibly complex playing fields, so having Onogo handle that for us is great. And I know they’ll do their best, because our priorities are aligned – ultimately, our success is their success.”