Clic&Pick is a DIY marketplace based in France. Initially, it started as an offline business, however, recognizing the evolving landscape of commerce, it leveraged Yo!Kart to build an eCommerce platform that addresses the changing needs of both suppliers and consumers in this digital era. Today, the platform unites manufacturers and suppliers of all scales, customers can easily access a diverse range of plumbing and sanitary equipment, regardless of their location in France.
Let’s read on the Q&A session to delve into their exciting journey from a brick-and-mortar business to an online multivendor marketplace. Moreover, explore the challenges they faced and the strategic choices they made that propelled their success.
Q1. What was the inspiration behind choosing an eCommerce business? How did you come up with this idea?
The choice of e-commerce was obvious to me. The world has evolved in the digital domain and users – customers want to be able to enjoy and occupy their free time other than in stores where they unfortunately cannot find what they want.
I come from the world of traditional commerce (purchasing/storage/logistics/shipping). This distribution model seems to me to be becoming more and more obsolete and complex at the same time.
Consumers increasingly want to buy online. The COVID-19 outbreak was an accelerator of this trend and today online purchasing has become a consumption habit among most French people.
The solution of a marketplace platform (multi-seller) was the best solution to offer users the greatest choice and the widest range of products possible and available without leaving home.
Q2. How did you identify your target market?
My job for 15 years was to wholesale plumbing, sanitary, and heating equipment. We had an extremely large range and product offering but it was impossible to have 100% of market demand.
The solution that we are putting in place and that we wish to provide with this marketplace is to be able to bring together all French manufacturers/wholesalers and distributors on a single platform to be able to offer end consumers, both professionals and individuals, a set of products that would cover 100% of needs at very competitive prices and shipped to them in less than 24 hours.
Q3. How did you finalize the ideal eCommerce solution? Did you require any additional integrations or customizations?
We were able to finalize our e-commerce solution after years of reflection and studies on user/consumer expectations.
We have also surrounded ourselves with the best partners in the digital world.
The expertise and experience of all the actors and stakeholders in the process of developing this platform was an incredibly effective source of creativity and performance.
We have now found a balance that allows us to be effective and efficient in producing the elements necessary for the growth of our platform and the success of our project.
We achieved our objectives later than we had planned in our forecast but we managed to satisfy our ambitions.
Q4. How did you define your Unique Selling Proposition for the users to set yourself apart from established platforms in your niche?
Our platform was designed to be fast, fluid, ergonomic, and easy to use. We provide as much information as possible so that users have enough details to be sure to find the products they need.
In addition, our commercial strategy allows us to offer the lowest prices on the internet with professional product quality and speed of delivery without counting the most important element which is service. We have provided a free hotline 24/7 to help users before, during, and after their purchases. We try to create a perfect model to satisfy everyone’s requirements.
Q5. What hurdles did you face initially? Can you share how did you overcome these hurdles?
From the start, the crucial point was to create the entire system and digital technology that met enormous functionality constraints. We spent more than 2 years developing and implementing this eCommerce platform.
We have launched continuous testing phases and are constantly seeking graphical, organic, ergonomic, and intuitive performance so that the user benefits from the best possible browsing experience. It’s daily work, a form of continuous quest for perfection.
Q6. Can you share the experience of witnessing the first sale on the platform?
The first sale is anecdotal! This was an order for 10 barb sprinkler fittings. So far nothing abnormal except that the product in this specific diameter was not available from our merchant!
We had not yet linked our inventory and dynamic stock system with that of our merchant.
In order not to disappoint our first customer and with a view and obsession with customer satisfaction, I myself traveled 120 km to Lyon to find these 10 fittings, I bought them with my credit card and I shipped them myself even in an emergency!
It was undoubtedly the least profitable of the sales but the customer was completely satisfied! Obviously, he didn’t know how much effort this entailed, but it was a rather comical situation!
It is thanks to unforeseen events like this that we are able to constantly perform better, improve, and innovate.
Q7. What is your vision for the business going forward – let’s say 5 years down the line?
The plumbing/sanitary/heating market in France represents around 9 billion euros per year. We want to capture 0.5% of this market in the next 5 years and 3 to 5% of this market in the 15 years that follow.
Q8. What advice would you give to aspiring eCommerce entrepreneurs like yourself? Any tips/success mantra that you would like to share?
If you are passionate, determined, and love the product, the technology, and the customer, then you will have the best basis for entrepreneurship. That said, the key word in an adventure like this is “Sacrifice”. Don’t be afraid to spend most of your time-solving complex puzzles! It is a work of endurance that can pay off over time but is only achievable if you are driven by a project that excites you.
We hope you find this journey of Clic&Pick with Yo!Kart inspiring and motivates you to ideate and launch your eCommerce marketplace.
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