Chloé Germain, Head of Customer Experience & Business Development at Angarde shares her perspective on the retail industry.
Which brand initiatives have recently impressed you?
The first one I’d like to mention is the new rental service offered by Petit Bateau. It’s a particularly relevant offering in terms of sustainability and in the current context of rising costs. The experience is innovative and well-executed. It’s a brand that knows how to reinvent itself by creating initiatives that resonate with its
Another experience that stood out to me is Bonsoirs, a DNVB (Digitally Native Vertical Brand) that specializes in bed linen. The unboxing experience is exceptional in terms of sensory appeal and emotion. The package includes an olfactory card with a scent that immediately makes you want to put the sheets on your bed, and the handwritten name tag attached to the tote bag adds to a highly personalized experience.
According to you, what are the major challenges ahead for DNVBs?
In my opinion, there are five major challenges ahead for DNVBs.
Firstly, the increasing competition is a significant challenge. The number of DNVBs is growing despite the challenging economic conditions, and traditional brands are also investing more in e-commerce.
The second challenge is customer retention, which requires constant innovation to offer increasingly exceptional experiences.
The third challenge is diversification of distribution channels. Around 75% of DNVBs have an omnichannel presence. Retail is a priority for their development, with brands like Ysé expanding their store network and Asphalte opening their first pop-up. International expansion and wholesale partnerships are also important channels for acquiring new customers.
The fourth challenge is sustainability. While DNVBs are already well-positioned in this area, they need to continue improving to meet the increasing demands of their customers.
Lastly, but certainly not least, profitability is a significant challenge. This is evident from initiatives like the “Pétition des Lucioles.” DNVBs must find the right balance between investing for growth and achieving profitability, considering the rising customer acquisition costs and the tightening regulations for brands operating online.
What have been Angarde’s strengths in terms of customer experience up until
now? And what are the upcoming challenges?
Our main strength lies in the development of a customer-centric approach with a customer experience that is closely connected to our customers through cocreation and an in-house customer service. We have engaged with our customers through “apérostormings” (creative brainstorming sessions) and the opening of our store. Listening to our customers also involves gathering their feedback throughout their journey – on the products and the experience itself. In the future, we aim to further enhance this approach with Angarde Meet-ups in-store and greater transparency regarding our creation process and commitments.
You have just launched the Colorama collection, what experiences have you
implemented to accompany the launch?
We are thrilled that the Colorama collection was a direct response to our customers’ demand for vibrant-colored espadrilles. To accompany the launch, we implemented a pre-order system, including in-store, to allow customers to try on the shoes. Additionally, we invited customers to two festive events with contests and games. Creating a friendly and enjoyable atmosphere is a cornerstone of our brand, and it’s important for customers to experience that as well.
After a few months of opening your first store, what advice would you give to a
young brand looking to expand into retail?
Finding the right location is crucial. It requires thorough research and communication with other retailers. Then, the challenge is to successfully translate the brand’s values into a physical space – every detail matters to create coherence with the website. At Angarde, this extends to choosing tiles made from marine sediments. Finally, retail demands impeccable execution, as small mistakes can go unnoticed on a website. To succeed with a store, there is no room for error and an obligation to deliver an exceptional customer experience.