The volume of mobile commerce is increasing steadily in the retail business. French forerunner BazarChic estimates that m-commerce will surpass ﬁxed online sales in e-commerce this year.
“Starting from 2018, we are going to sell more of our products through mobile phones and tablets than desktop computers. Before, our customers used to browse products on mobile devices and buy through ﬁxed internet, but the trend is changing fast. Now sales are increasingly moving to mobile apps,” predicts Christophe Poutiers, Supply Chain Director from BazarChic.
Millennials in particular are creating new e-commerce standards. According to the Havas Paris-PRW-OpinionWay survey, 49% of the French population aged 18-35 use their smartphone to do everything on the internet, and 45% of them would like to be able to buy directly on social media.
Poutiers adds that outlet sales work very well and they are the real engine of e-commerce.
“We are concentrating on luxury products in clothing, furniture, wines and travel. We offer some 800 brands and we sell our products at a discount of 40-70%. France is the main market, covering around 95% of our sales, but we also operate in Belgium, Luxembourg and Switzerland,” he adds.
BazarChic is the third biggest e-commerce company in France. It has some 6.4 million members who receive an offer by e-mail every day. The annual turnover is approximately EUR 85 million.
The Galeries Lafayette Group bought BazarChic in 2016 to add a digital sales platform to complement its fashion business.
“The biggest change in e-commerce is that all important players in the market are cooperating with retailers nowadays. One option is that customers will buy a product through our web page and then have it delivered to their homes or collect it from the retailer. For example, we are planning to launch the service with Galeries Lafayette later this year,” he says.
How to wow customers
Poutiers emphasizes that in order to succeed in e-commerce, you need to “wow” customers.
“High-quality luxury products have to be delivered fast and reliably in a solid, attractive and beautifully designed package. According to our customers, the package has to be aesthetical and empty space inside the box has to be kept to a minimum. To top off the experience, we want to add an extra surprise for our customers – a small present like a bottle of perfume or a coffee capsule that is included inside the box. The gift will be different every time.”
BazarChic receives roughly 1 million orders and ships over 3 million postal packages in a year. Poutiers estimates that currently some 70-75% of deliveries are packaged in a cardboard box. The rest is delivered in a plastic bag, depending on the product and mode of delivery.
The company is working continuously to develop and optimize its packaging and logistic services.
“We use cardboard boxes that are made of 50-70% recycled ﬁbres to maintain the quality of the box. Boxes made of 100% recycled ﬁbres are too soft. For example, in the wine market it is critical that the bottles do not break during delivery. We have been working a lot with our suppliers to ﬁnd an optimal structure for the carton to enhance our customer experience,” says Poutiers.