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  • Mai Tran

How Diversity Benefits Ecommerce Businesses: The Heroes’ Approach

Lessons We’re Learning About Diversity And Inclusion

In 2021, diversity and inclusion are priorities in about every industry. Results from PwC’s Global Diversity & Inclusion Survey showed 75% of respondents from 47 countries said diversity was a “stated value or priority area” for their organisation. Another study from McKinsey found companies in the top quartiles for diversity were up to 35% more likely to have above-average financial returns.

There’s no doubt that diversity is a cultural imperative. Apparently, it’s also good for financial performance.

So what’s causing this cognitive dissonance? And what does all this talk about diversity have to do with building a booming eCommerce brand?

Diversity and business success are tied more closely than most people realise. In this article, we’ll go through the benefits of building an inclusive business culture and give a little insight into Heroes’ own diversity journey.

Approaching Diversity As An ECommerce Business

Diversity looks different in every business:

  • Gender diversity: closing the gender pay gap, fostering opportunities for women in leadership and respecting individual gender identity.

  • Ethnic diversity: celebrating the national or cultural groups represented in the workforce.

  • Local employment: hiring local talent rather than relocating employees internationally.

  • Skills diversity: cultural fluency and diverse experiences among peers, including non-conventional career pathways.

  • Location diversity: structuring a business that can employ remote workers or have satellite sites in different time zones.

Building a culture that appreciates diversity and operates without bias is a journey. It involves top-down and bottom-up commitment. And, as Amazon points out, diversity is not one single thing:

“Our diverse perspectives come from many sources including gender, race, age, national origin, sexual orientation, culture, education, and professional and life experience.”

Five Ways Diversity Benefits Our Business (And Our FBA Brands)

Here at Heroes, diversity is a commitment baked into our DNA. Our team of 10+ nationalities spread out across the globe walks the talk every day. Not just because it makes us more efficient and innovative but also because it benefits the Amazon FBA sellers, operational partners and suppliers we work with.

1. Building Trust With Amazon FBA Sellers

We buy Amazon FBA businesses around the world. Having a culturally and geographically diverse investment team means we can meet FBA sellers in person and communicate human-to-human to better understand their goals.

When we met with David Stephen, who launched his successful garden tools brand Davaon on Amazon, both sides knew right away that the match was right. Heroes ended up acquiring Davaon, a decision David said was heavily influenced by our investment team visiting in person.

If we were a homogenous, head-office-only corporation, in-person meetings with FBA sellers like David would be pretty much impossible. Even if we bridge the distance, there are language and cultural nuances that only locals understand.

Davaon is just one story in one country; Heroes has team members spread across Europe, Asia, and North America, meeting sellers where they live and work for more productive conversations.

2. Diversity Attracts Diversity

Survey after survey shows that candidates care about diversity and inclusion. At the same time, there’s a generational shift happening, with millennials loudly demanding diversity as they rise through the ranks.

There’s no secret to Heroes’ ability to bring on high-performing talent: we’re an equal chance employer. Everyone receives the same treatment, regardless of gender, ability, race, ethnicity, religion, sexual orientation or any of the dozens of characteristics our people are defined by and define themselves by.

On a day-to-day basis, we make sure that all our Heroes can work in the best conditions no matter their personal situation. Working parents for instance can take advantage of our Workplace Nursery Benefit to help with childcare duties.

Our culture at work relies on real inclusivity. Without a genuine, ongoing commitment to operating without bias, the Heroes candidates we meet with would see right through the façade.

3. Operational Excellence

Growing eCommerce businesses face increasingly complex operational and financial structures. When we expand our FBA brands into new regions and languages, having local boots on the ground (rather than relocating people internationally) eases the growing pains.

Supply Chain is a key example of this. Building trust is the first step to doing business in China. Having locals on the ground and speaking the language allows us to strike better deals with our suppliers in Shanghai and Ningbo, and build long-lasting relationships. Similarly, by streamlining our warehouses, we are able to see the stock and improve efficiencies on delivery.

Multilingual customer service teams can problem-solve with empathy in the customer’s language. And the same goes for optimising Amazon product listings in local languages; Google Translate can only take you so far.

Further, hiring local talent with knowledge of tax regulations, legal requirements, and a wide network ensures a stable supply chain.

And that’s all assuming things run smoothly. When disruptions (like a global pandemic or paper shortage) threaten supply chain stability, having local people helps us smooth out wrinkles with suppliers and partners and grow steadily despite the challenges.

4. Better Decision-Making

Diversity is proven to kick-start innovation by enabling businesses to anticipate unconventional and unexpected opportunities. Representation guarantees viewpoints that challenge homogeneity. In turn, this thinking breeds the rapid innovation that builds FBA unicorns:

  • Uncovering opportunities in market trends

  • Identifying products that resonate with minority groups

  • Getting the jump on a market segment that others miss

At Heroes, we have built a strong portfolio of baby brands, and our working parents have had the possibility to test the products first hand and provide valuable insights.

5. Structured For Growth

Now that we’ve talked about the direct benefits of having a diverse team, it’s time to talk about the long-term advantages of inclusion. To do that, we can look at what past lessons can teach us about future performance.

Hiring local people in our operational regions enables the Heroes investment team to meet with sellers, speak their language and understand the cultural nuances in their decision to sell their FBA business. As we expand, growing our team in Amazon’s established and emerging markets opens the door to more of those mutually beneficial conversations.

Our ulti mate goal is to build the next generation of global consumer good brands, and only a global team can be up to the challenge.

Lessons Learned

At Heroes, diversity can be identified in the following pillars: the talents who support us, the partners who work with us, and the sellers we speak to. As we continue to grow, building long-lasting relationships is a key element to achieve synergies and grow brands successfully. Building local connections truly sets us apart from other players. Our track record has proven that diversity really does breed innovation, and is baked every step of the way.

If you want to know more about Heroes’ presence worldwide or speak to us about your plans to grow and diversify, don’t hesitate to reach out.

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