Le Slip Français vous dit tout sur leur succès Ecommerce

My name is Clément and I’ve been in charge of e-commerce at Le Slip Français for four years. I update site content and handle development and client acquisition. Le Slip Français is first and foremost an underwear brand, but it now offers a wide range of T-shirts, sweatshirts, accessories and swimsuits, as well. Everything is produced in France by about ten partner workshops. The brand is mainly targeting men for the moment, but we are currently working on a women’s collection for next year. Le Slip Français was launched in September 2011 by Guillaume Gibault. At first, it was meant to be a relaunch of a previous brand and he was hoping to base production in France. He visited a ton of workshops, and seeing all the talented French artisans is what made him want to push forward and launch a textile product entirely made in France. That’s when he decided it would be underwear. So he found a factory in a small village called Saint-Antoine Cumond in the Dordogne region, and he asked the boss if he’d be willing to manufacture underwear. He left with 600 undergarments in the trunk of his car — 200 red, 200 white and 200 blue — then he started a website and put everything up for sale. In 2015, Le Slip Français made 3 million euros in revenue. Of that, 60% was from the website, 20% was from store sales, and 20% came from resellers. Today, around 90% of our revenue is from France and 10% is from abroad. Le Slip Français was born online and social networks have been in our corporate DNA since the very start. We’ve succeeded in building a true community that includes around 90,000 people following us on Facebook, 30,000 on Instagram, and 15,000 on Twitter. When Guillaume Gibault first launched the site, he chose PrestaShop to keep things simple since he was building it himself. He got lots of helpful advice from the PrestaShop community and we redid the site twice with help from web agencies. We decided to stick with PrestaShop because they are constantly adapting their offering and that gives us a flexibility we welcome with open arms. Even now, we can accomplish everything we want on our website using PrestaShop. As for the online store, our web agency Newquest helps us manage it on a daily basis. They handle all of our site development since we don’t have all the technical know-how needed in-house. What we do is deal with updating the site’s content and adding new products, as well as client acquisition. And right now, we are in the process of consolidating our physical and online stores using a site-based product reservation system. Customers will be able to order products online, then pick them up and pay for them in-store. The same way it’s possible to have online products delivered to a store location and then pick them up on-site, it will be possible for customers to order products on the website and have them delivered to their homes if the products are unavailable in store. Once the site was launched, the most complicated part was drawing the attention of potential customers. We had great luck, since we launched the site at a time when “Made in France” was becoming the center of attention, both politically and from a consumer standpoint. We were cited as an example of a small-name brand on the rise, ready to lead this newfound “Made in France” movement. We had quite a lot of TV coverage and we were in the papers, and that really let us get our name out there pretty fast. In addition to all that, we relied a lot on social networking from the beginning; that’s what truly helped us grow and develop. To bring together this community, we used a very unorthodox communication strategy and put together a series of viral videos that we sent out massively. That’s what allowed us to earn a reputation so quickly. Today, we use many different methods to bring traffic to our site. In addition to typical methods like Google Adwords, RTB, and retargeting, we are also very active on social networks. We launch lots of ads on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram and send out email campaigns, for example. Another major way we keep in touch with our customer base, both current and potential, is through regular newsletters. But what really ensured our success is that we are a brand with unique products that we produce ourselves and sell on our own website. If I had to give one piece of advice, it would be for future similar companies to find a way to produce and launch their own products or services. I think that’s what’s best, because today it’s gotten really hard to sell products that are easy to find elsewhere, considering the competition from huge competitors like Amazon. Alternatively, you can offer a unique experience — something very original you can’t find elsewhere. Finally, I’d say that it’s essential to surround yourself with good people, if possible from the get-go. As e-commerces, our two best and most strategic partners are: our web agencies, which manage site development and can also include in-house developers, and our logistics partner, who is also important because in this day and age, logistics has become a key factor for a successful e-commerce. Right from the start, our partners helped us succeed. It’s thanks to them that we were able to grow into what we are today, and we hope that they will be with us for years to come.

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