Round Table in Paris: Online retailers must focus on becoming their client’s favorite gateway


On the evening of February 14, 2013, the Parisian restaurant Alcazar hosted a new round table organized by Ecommerce Europe and E-Commercefacts. Attending the event were representatives of national association FEVAD, the French organization for online businesses as well as representatives from various multinational corporations. Our featured panelists were Olivier Vialle and Anne-Lise Glauser of PwC and Gaele Wuilmet of ASOS France.

Marc Lolivier, Vice-Precident, member of the Executive Committee and director of FEVAD, welcomed participants and presented the goals and projects of Ecommerce Europe. Ecommerce Europe supports and represents companies and service providers in the European online commerce sector who wish to create a presence in the European E-Commerce market and extend their activities beyond their borders.

Large Differences in Behavior and Expectations among International Online Shoppers
Olivier Vialle and Anne-Lise Glauser of PwC presented a new survey on the 10 myths about multi-channel online commerce. 1,000 shoppers in 11 countries were polled. They emphasized the fact that online shoppers’ behavior and the processes driving Internet purchases vary significantly by country. Chinese shoppers, for example, are much more active on online social networks than western consumers.

They also rebuked the theory that local online businesses have an advantage over international online firms. The international players are already very well established in emerging markets. Furthermore, Amazon and eBay are the dominant online companies in several markets.

The main goal of e-commerce firms, according to Olivier Vialle, is to find a way of becoming shoppers’ favorite company in order to get a solid grip on a portion of their clients’ purchasing power.

72% of Visitors to ASOS’s Websites Come from Abroad
Speaking of becoming their clients’ favorite store, ASOS is a good example of how to do so on a global scale. Gaele Wuilmet, head of ASOS in France, presented the company’s international strategy. According to ComScore, 754,075 internet users visit ASOS’s website every day, making it the second most-visited Internet fashion store in the world behind the Chinese site H&M follows in third place.

ASOS already sells its products on seven localized websites and hopes to have a total of nine by the end of the year. These new websites will serve the Chinese and Russian markets, which the company has its sights set on. A single warehouse in the United Kingdom currently handles deliveries to 190 countries around the world at no additional charge (in most cases) and promises delivery to European address within five business days.

Long term, ASOS is considering the possibility of opening warehouses in other countries. According to Ms. Wuilmet, the company is currently considering installing a logistics center in the Asia-Pacific region. ASOS also wants to open stores in other countries. After opening a store in Australia last year, the company is now focusing on France (Lille), the United States, Germany and Russia.

Stay in touch for more information about our next series of round tables in Europe!