Royal Essence drives international expansion with Airwallex
Integrations, speed, and simplicity are key for global eCommerce self-care business.
saved yearly on invoices
Seconds VS. Hours
Transactions done in
30-Min VS. Days
to pay international employees
Royal Essence aims to improve women's well-being through life’s unexpected surprises by creating memorable products that would delight women through the surprises each one contains.
eCommerce, self-care products
Co-Founder and Creative Director
"We can go into Airwallex, look at transactions, approve them and get on with our business in a matter of seconds. Using a brick-and-mortar bank system requires a lot more time and is more expensive."
In 2016, Paul Chamberlain came up with the idea of creating a candle with a surprise ring inside. Since then, Royal Essence has dominated the international market as a niche self-care eCommerce business. From its humble beginnings in Adelaide, Australia and with just candles, the company has grown internationally with a presence in New Zealand, the UK and the US They’ve now grown its product line to include bath bombs, body scrubs, bath crumbles, and whipped soap – all with a surprise ring inside. With revenue growth nearly doubling in the last year, Royal Essence, including its sister companies, Zoey.co and Zolly.co, is leading the niche market and is on track to be an eight-figure business this year.
Providing women with memorable experiences is at the heart of what Royal Essence does. Every candle, bath bomb, body scrub, bath crumble and whipped soap is made with fresh ingredients and is ethically sourced. The company believes in “Surprises Made Fresh” but when it comes to business operations, surprises aren’t welcome.
As the company grew, the need to automate processes and use the best and most efficient technologies became increasingly important.
“We were making tens of thousands of dollars in the first month of business. We are now looking at doubling our revenue year over year, and 2021 was our best year to date!” said Paul Chamberlain, Co-Founder of Royal Essence. “We are growing so fast and we need systems in place that will let us focus on the strategic direction of the company versus tasks that can be easily automated.”
About 40% of the company’s revenue comes from outside of Australia. Although impressive, it adds complexity as payments need to be made to Shopify accounts in Australia, New Zealand, the UK and the US, manufacturing in Asia, and third-party logistics companies located in 3 continents (US, UK and Australia). Their accounts require different currencies for payment which adds approximately AUD5,000 per shipment in conversion fees.
Adding to the complexities of the international business, half of the day-to-day operations are led by the team in the Philippines. Previously being paid via PayPal, the team was consistently receiving their pay late and without any notice of delays. Additionally, regardless of when payment was received, Royal Essence still had to pay conversion fees to pay the employees in Peso.
Airwallex partner automates processes for Royal Essence
Xero + Airwallex + Bean Ninjas = Success
Royal Essence’s team ran into a problem that many eCommerce companies face: they worked with an accounting firm that didn’t understand their business and reported numbers 90 to120 days after the month closed. “We just weren't getting our books done in a timely fashion and I couldn't look at the metrics month by month and make real-time business decisions,” said Paul.
After a search for eCommerce accountants in 2019, the team found Bean Ninjas, an Airwallex accounting firm partner in Australia that specialises and works with eight-figure-plus eCommerce businesses.
With their extensive experience working with companies like Royal Essence, Bean Ninjas quickly adapted to the company’s processes and their needs. Bean Ninjas provided the previous month’s numbers 15 days after the month closed. This was a dramatic improvement over the previous accounting firm.
“As an eCommerce business, it's crucial to know the numbers as close to the end of the month as possible. Before Bean Ninjas it would take 3 to 6 months to get our numbers which won’t work when the decision to spend money on advertising is based on outdated numbers. It was incredibly frustrating. With Bean Ninjas we can make decisions at the right time with the right information,” said Hannah Chamberlain, Co-Founder and Creative Director at Royal Essence.
Another benefit of working with Bean Ninjas is their expertise in working with Xero and the Xero integration with Airwallex. Depending on the time of year, (i.e. Mothers’ Day, Black Friday, December) Royal Essence can see anywhere from 300 to 1,200 transactions a day and up to AUD1.5M in revenue per month.
“With Airwallex, Xero and Bean Ninjas, I can sleep easier at night knowing that the numbers and transactions are all up to date and accurate. It just makes our life so much easier,” said Paul.
“With Airwallex, Xero, and Bean Ninjas, I can sleep easier at night knowing that the numbers and transactions are all up to date and accurate.”
Airwallex Borderless Cards reduces timely bottlenecks
0% transaction fees allow the Royal Essence team in the Philippines to use Airwallex Borderless Cards to pay bills and purchase items without added costs. Borderless Cards also allow Paul to track spend in real-time to make sure that unnecessary or over budget items aren’t being purchased.
“The team can purchase the software or services they need in order to do their job. I still have the ability to view those purchases but I don’t need to approve every single one. Being able to see what’s being spent gives me peace of mind. And, with Airwallex Cards, I’m no longer the purchasing bottleneck for our team,” said Paul.
Simplifying and saving money on transactions
It was not unusual for Hannah to sit at her computer with multiple screens open to see where she could get the best transfer fees. Besides it being an antiquated process, it was also time consuming and very manual. With Airwallex, she can see the transaction rates immediately on the screen and is confident that she is always getting the lowest rates. This translates into up to AUD100,000 when paying for manufacturing in Asia and third-party logistics companies in the US, UK and Australia.
Airwallex also allows Hannah to be more efficient because the process is so simple.
“We can go into Airwallex, look at transactions, approve them and get on with our business in a matter of seconds. Using a brick-and-mortar bank system requires a lot more time and is more expensive,” added Hannah.
Happy employees drive more revenue
Since using Airwallex to pay their employees in the Philippines, Hannah and Paul have seen dramatic improvements. Not only are employees getting paid within 30-minutes of the transaction being initiated, but the employees are also happier.
“Our employees now know when they’re going to get paid and they don’t have to worry about any delays with their paycheck. This makes everyone happy! With Airwallex there are no complications,” said Hannah.
See how our customers are finding Airwallex
"Airwallex solves the problem of creating currency accounts almost instantly. I can click one button to create a UK account. We haven’t looked back since day one."
Business Improvement Manager, Deliciou
“Like many high growth businesses, you’re dealing with multiple currencies. Now, with Airwallex we’re using the one platform to make multiple currency payments.”
Virtual CFO, Orbitkey
“We couldn’t just look at the cost of the product, but also the cost of selling that product. We needed to factor in things like digital marketing spend, merchant fees and currency conversion fees on each sale. With Airwallex, we’ve saved over $12,000 each month that I re-invest into the business for the long-run.”
Founder, The Sheet Society