January 7, 2018 | Author: Antony May | Category: N/A
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eMarket Services makes it easier to use eMarkets for international business


By Inés Ramírez Nicolás eMarket Services Spain March 2014

In March 2011, Marianne Brucy was named International & Business Development Director at tasked with drawing up and developing the strategy for company growth by identifying strategic partners for agreements and alliances in each market. Marianne oversees the analysis of growth potential of each European market, compiles the business plan for entering new markets and prepares the opening and launch thereof. Brucy graduated in Political Science in Paris and holds an MBA in Finance and Strategy. Before joining Showroomprive, she worked as Senior Consultant at Mars & Company and, in London, as Senior Partner at Moodys in the field of Financial Services.


eMarket Services: Showroomprive is one of the leading online fashion outlets. How did the idea to create a business like this come about? Was it difficult to convince French fashion houses to support this business model? Marianne Brucy: Showroomprive was founded in 1993 as an offline company by David Dayan, one of the founders of what is today At that time, the company specialised in managing the stock of top French fashion houses, giving a new lease of life to items from collections that had not sold out through traditional sales channels as well as their distribution in key outlets in France and other European countries. In 2006, David Dayan met Thierry Petit, a prominent entrepreneur from the new technologies sector who had already created Toboo, France's first online price comparison site, and together they were able to transform Showroomprive from an offline to an online company. Thanks to David Dayan's expertise in the fashion industry, Showroomprive enjoyed close relations with key French labels, who also had belief in the company when it was first decided to launch online activities. That was also one of the factors behind the success of Showroomprive, the sum of the founders' DNA; in-depth knowledge of both the fashion industry and e-Commerce.

What made you include Spain in your plans for international expansion? After France, Spain was the first country where we launched the site. In 2010, we took the decision to launch our operations in this market based on multiple similarities to France: a broad potential customer base, a high Internet penetration rate, unparalleled fashion sense, a strong retail industry, appreciation for fashion design and accessories, an extensive logistics network, etc. It was a wise decision and we have never looked back. Spain was our testing ground. It helped us to optimise our internationalisation strategy and carry the model across to other markets.

You have recently opened offices in Barcelona. Is this indicative of the belief you have in this market and in the companies from this sector? Most certainly. The Spanish fashion industry is an international benchmark. If you look at the European fashion map, the best-loved fashion labels and those boasting the highest volume of sales are also in Spain, France and Italy. In Spain, where our turnover in 2013 came to 28 million euros and where we have 2.5 million registered members, we have offices in Madrid and Barcelona to allow us to set up more direct contacts with fashion houses, listen to their needs and work closely and directly with them in optimising their strategies, not only in terms of stock distribution, but also and very importantly, in strengthening their branding, their advertising both in Spain and beyond, analysing the online behaviour patterns of existing and potential customers and providing them with all this business intelligence to help them make decisions that affect their sales via Showroomprive as well as on a more generic level.

What are the main advantages for companies of selling their stock through Showroomprive? And for consumers?

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Obviously, those mentioned in my previous reply, along with the ability to reach a customer base of 16.2 million registered members in 8 countries (Spain, France, Italy, the UK, Belgium, Holland, Poland and Portugal) and showcase their brand, a designated portfolio of references, carry out sales testing prior to offline distribution, etc. We have come across cases in which, after carrying out a sales campaign at Showroomprive, the brand has discovered greater potential in a product line they believed had come to a dead end or a country where their market share had not been very high. Several brands that enjoy excellent offline positioning and market share have failed to carry over this success to the online market. We are here to help them achieve this by working together to create a marketing campaign through Showroomprive channels while respecting their prime positioning and corporate identity. Moreover, and as a distinguishing factor, Showroomprive is especially strong in mobile commerce: over 40% of turnover in 2013 came from mobile devices (smartphones and tablets), representing 140 million euros of the 350 million total turnover. We have been fully committed to m-Commerce since 2011 and, in 2013, we were able to reap the benefits. Consumers are shifting towards mobile devices, and people who had never bought anything online, in any industry, are starting to do so through their tablet or mobile phone. Our strength in this channel is the driving force behind the spectacular growth of the company and of Showroomprive's partner brands. Internationalisation is our second flagship. In France, we have just been named the top French pure player in terms of international presence according to the latest Google studies. Over 20% of the company's turnover comes from outside France. And as regards the advantages for consumers, I should mention the level of services, the premium shopping experience, added values such as Express Delivery in 72 hours (we are the first private sales club to offer this type of delivery in all countries), exclusive brand and product offers, customer service, the easy purchasing process and the great value for money. 50% of our members (who are mostly women) visit our website every day and 63% of sales are to members who had already made purchases in the past, which is a good indication of the high satisfaction levels.

You are able to offer discounts on products of between 30% and 70%. How do you manage to negotiate such offers with the companies? It mostly involves items left over from the previous season that customers are not willing to pay full price on and, therefore, have come to the end of their life as regards traditional sales channels. They are, however, high-end items that can be given a second lease of life through the private sales club providing all the brand's values are upheld and the items are offered with the same exclusive, differential values as at the brand in question's online or offline store. In this regard, communication between brand and club is essential for creating conceptual positioning campaigns that both support and enhance the brand's positioning.

Respect for brand image is a key part of your strategy. How do you manage to integrate that image into each campaign? Our production team works in a similar way to the production teams at fashion magazines. We have 12 photo studies and 80 image and creativity professionals who handle each campaign meticulously. In 2013, we took 650,000 photos, worked with 900 models and published 450,000 product references.

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The brand has complete control over their brand image and products at Showroomprive, from the type of setting in which they wish to present their products through to the models who are to show off their collections, campaign scheduling, and so on.

What does a company need in order to start working with you? Showroomprive's portfolio of partner brands corresponds to fashionable brands that stand out within their category on the basis of quality and design. They must also have large volumes of stock due to the high demand from operating in 8 European markets: we recently ran a campaign in which 100,000 products pertaining to a single fashion house sold out in just three days.

Are campaigns run exclusively for one country or do you sometimes run joint campaigns in more than one country? Both options are possible.

If a Spanish brand wanted to sell their excess stock through you to help promote them in other countries, would they be able to? Is it possible to negotiate where to sell such products, or do you decide where there is likely to be the greatest interest? Each market is unique. For instance, in Spain, Italy and Portugal, there is a specific preference for bright colours, whereas in France, Holland and Belgium, for example, they prefer more subtle tones. There are also many unique preferences as regards type of product, material, etc., due to the climate as well as the different consumer habits and tastes. We therefore offer advice on the type of references or the best time to launch a particular campaign. As it is our duty to create the campaign that best responds to the brand's needs, it ultimately comes down to team work between the brand and Showroomprive, as if we were a department within the brand itself.

Do you take care of the logistics involved in delivering the products to consumers? We manage all storage, picking and packaging in-house. For shipment, we rely on local suppliers according to the country.

Do you buy stock from the brands in advance, or is this done after the campaign based on sales? Around 35% of our campaigns include the option of Express Delivery and, in such cases, all stock is acquired in advance.

You operate in 8 European countries. Are there any differences in the shopping habits of Spanish consumers compared to other countries? Besides the usual ones related to time zone differences that mean Spanish people connect up and shop later in the evenings using their tablets and smartphones, there are also

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differences in terms of the type of categories that prove most successful, the colours we mentioned before, the brand's desired visibility in the media, the average basket, the form of payment and type of delivery of the chosen product. Each market has its own unique features that influence shopping habits and it is vital to understand them so we can tailor our offers to the expectations and wishes of the local user.

How are Spanish brands regarded in other countries? Very highly. European consumers hold the quality of materials and Spanish design in high esteem. Spanish brands make a very positive contribution towards strengthening the brand "Spain" in other countries.

What are your plans for the future, both in Spain and beyond? Will Showroomprive be launching in new markets? In 2014, we are going to undertake a major investment in marketing and human resources in Spain. Furthermore, on a global level, we will be opening new business offices and working on the five points we regards as being key to achieving the goal of 500 million euros in turnover for 2014: the brands and products on offer, the reputation of the brand “Showroomprive”, m-Commerce, innovation in services and international development.

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