19 Jul Focus on our London office : interview with Fabien Delettre – UK Country Manager
As part of its international development, B.D.C. opened its London office in 2014. Located in the heart of the European capital for connected commerce, the office is under the responsibility of Fabien Delettre, who gave us an interview:
Q : “What are the current ecommerce and retail trends in the UK? ”
FD: “UK retailers continue to invest heavily in their physical stores to offer innovative customer experiences through digital (such as the Google corner at Curry’s, or the recent opening of the first Dyson concept store on Oxford Street), through personalisation (fashion articles directly customizable in stores) or through the introduction of additional services (corners, cafés, entertainment in-store…). The aim, obviously, is to allow customers to stay longer in stores. As for payments, mobile payments via Apple Pay in particular have already become a common practice here. More recently, Android Pay announced its arrival on the market … Use of mobiles and also tablets is obviously growing and leading retailers such as Argos (1st UK multichannel retailer to hit £1bn in m-commerce sales) and Mothercare (mobile sales now account for 61 per cent of total online purchases) have succeed in their the mobile first strategy.
On verticals such as fashion, London remains the major entry point for international fashion brands in Europe: J Crew, Club Monaco and Kate Spade have opened their first store in the capital in 2015 with the aim to conquer other European capitals, more recently the american fashion brand True Religion has opened its flaghsip store on the famous Carnaby Street.
Finally, historical retailers are all fighting against the giant Amazon: Sainsbury’s is finalizing the acquisition of Argos, second largest online retailer in the UK. (behind Amazon obviously…)”
Q : ” What are the UK specificities and differences with the French market? ”
FD : “The UK e-commerce market is 12 to 24 months ahead of France in terms of digital maturity. And this is particularly true in the mobile and digital analytics area. Also, retailers are more in a “Test & Learn” approach, which fosters collaboration with innovative start-ups. Digital Hubs, incubators and acceleration programs have recently multiplied: John Lewis with JLab , Tesco Lab, Argos Digital Hub, Boots BetaLab and many more. Regarding services, the ” next day delivery” has become a key standard in the industry… “
Q : “How is B.D.C. partnering with companies on the UK market ? ”
FD : “Our offer is basically the same as in France that we have adapted to the UK market. We therefore support retail actors on this very specific and highly competitive market. We are currently working with a French pure player giving key advices on its first steps on the British market. We also try to make the most of our local British network to organize inspiring Learning Expeditions for retailers’ board of directors, helping them to source and discover the latest innovations in the retail sector. We also perform market researches for brands wishing to enter the market.
For startups, we collaborate with them on their market approach strategy, on the localization of their marketing and key stages of business development including the creation of a promising ecosystem to accelerate their development.”