Rockit shows international business prowess

Rockit is expanding its international footprint to Africa after securing a significant new contract with support from DIT.

The Portishead-based business creates baby rockers designed to mimic the rhythm of a human hand rocking a pushchair and can help comfort babies and rock them to sleep. 

Rockit was first launched at Kind + Jugend in Cologne, Germany, a trade show dedicated to showcasing the best new products and innovations for babies and toddlers. The business turned to DIT to assist with costs and market research ahead of the trade show. 

Since working with local DIT International Trade Advisers (ITAs), the business has exported more than 25,000 Rockits to distributors in countries including Australia, Canada and Hong Kong, with international sales accounting for 60% of its turnover.

The new deal with wholesale distributor TDI Brands will significantly boost Rockit’s international operations and see its products sold in retailers across Africa, including chain stores, independent boutiques and the region’s largest online retailer.

Matt Dyson, Co-Founder and CEO of Rockit, said:

“Exporting has always been part of our business model. That said, we had no idea just how much international demand there would be.  

“Working closely with DIT has been vital to us and our international success. The team has been able to provide both funding and market insight to help us attend trade shows overseas, which has in turn led to hundreds of enquiries from international distributors. 

“Because we launched overseas and in the UK at the same time, we knew that our website had to be ready to process international orders from the very first day. DIT was able to help with this through its local Export for Growth and Online Marketing workshops. One of the biggest concerns we had before we launched was that we didn’t know how to approach international buyers, as many like to do business face-to-face, but DIT helped us get out to trade shows to meet potential business partners. 

“If a start-up business like ours can find success overseas, so can many other local businesses.” 

Paul Shand, DIT’s Head of Exports in the South West, said:

“Rockit’s success shows how exporting can be a core part of any business model, particularly as demand rises for British-stamped goods. However, we understand that the exporting process can be daunting, especially for firms with limited time and resources.

“That’s why we have a dedicated team of ITAs, export finance managers, sector specialists and colleagues based in the South West and in more than 100 overseas markets which can help a business to kickstart its exporting journey. We’d encourage any firm with an interest in exporting to get in touch.”

Online support, find a buyer, and export readiness tools are available at great.gov.uk, where thousands of live export opportunities are also promoted.

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