Vente Privee is ten years old in November and is preparing to cross the Ocean thanks to an agreement with American Express. But, whilst waiting to take off towards New York’s JFK, by the end of the year, Jacques-Antoine Granjon’s creation is not losing sight of the brands and mobile commerce (which today reaches over 10% of turnover).
company has dedicated an ad hoc concern, Digital Commerce Factory, to the labels. This concern is based in Paris, in the headquarters of Vente Privee, in La Plaine de Saint Denis, a stone’s throw from the first audiovisual production centre in Europe, where the company makes the films and photographs for the event sales that, in 2010, took turnover to 969 million (+15% from 2009). There are over 14 million site members. Very respectable figures: it is no surprise that in France Granjon has earned the name of “left-wing capitalist” and even less that there is a red Bentley parked in front of his office. The dominant colour, which unites the exterior of the warehouses, the website and parts of the furnishings, is a cheerful, and certainly “porte-bonheur”, shocking pink.
A few stats. There are 75 thousand packages sent every day, there are 6 warehouses and 3 logistical centres in Spain, Germany and Italy. The facility that produces all the videos for the sales in France, Spain, Germany, Italy, the United Kingdom, Austria and Belgium, to which America and the Netherlands will be added, amounts to 60 photography and video studios, 5 recording studios, and takes 15 thousand photos a day. Models, photographers and make-up artists, photography equipment, professional clothes presses, sofas, dresses and clothes-stands live side by side in hyper-organised chaos in the Digital Factory. 260 people work there out of a total of 1400 employees.
In other words, a task force at the service of the 1450 partner brands. From prêt-à-porter to home design, from toys to high-tech, available to the brands that since March have decided to turn to the French giant, through the newborn Digital Commerce Factory, in order to create an e-commerce site. “Our customers include Courrèges, Descamps, Jalla, Cwf and Le Tanneur”, Catherine Barba, partner and C.E.O. of Digital Commerce Factory tells FashionUnited. The company will look after both the implementation of the sites and of the logistics. And the costs? “The management costs are linked to the sales trends, so we earn if the site works”, adds the C.E.O., specifying that today Vente Privee is the first brand recommended by the French in the e-commerce category. And the fifth brand recommended overall, before Chanel and Nespresso and after Google and Apple, according to a Brandz/Millard Brown survey. Barba adds that the new company also offers consultancy and audits on e-commerce sites that are not working. Which are the most common errors? “Often there is no ad hoc culture, and then one has to be well positioned on Google, bespoke operations should be put in place in order to draw attention on the web”. But not only that. Mobile marketing too requires the same care and attention.
2011 the company expects to exceed € 100 m in revenue generated from mobile commerce and already well over 240 thousand people are connecting every day to vente-privee.com on mobile devices. The company has proposed to vary its site for mobile marketing: apps for iPhone, iPad, Windows Phone and Android. “The issue is not whether this support inserts itself as a complementary element or will cannibalise web sales: for us it already represents a further service for our members”, highlights Granjon, C.E.O. and founder of vente-privee.com. “Tomorrow we will always have a smartphone in our hands. It will be the magic wand of consumption”. Judging by the road he has travelled - from clothing stockist clutching a diploma from the European Business School and with a shop in Rue Pierre Chausson, to the head of a company that in order to land in America, where e-commerce and mobile commerce were born, has managed to seduce a giant like American Express - we can believe him.
From our correspondent: Isabella Naef