With the aim of bringing to Europe relevant names currently present in the global contemporary fashion world that we are living in, Natacha Esmail created Melie, an online store that offers the latest fashion trends seen all around, targeting the modern, active and confident woman who is looking for the perfect and exclusive item (piece) of clothing in order to make her own fashion statement.
Covering the mid to high end market segment, the brand’s main competitive advantage is the fact that 90% of the brands available on the website are exclusive in Portugal. Specific known brands being represented by Melie in Portugal are Misha Collection, C/Meo Collective, For Love and Lemons, AQ/AQ, as well as the Brazilian brands FARM, Água de Coco and Schutz.
During the next summer months of July and August, the brand will be physically present in a store located in Avenida da Liberdade, with the aim of showing its products and brands, while generating initial buzz.
“We believe that fashion needs to be lived, and that the essence of each individual woman is what makes the right piece of clothing shine”
Founder, Natacha Esmail
- How did the idea of opening a pop-up store emerged?
The idea of creating a pop-up store came from the need of promoting and advertising our brand to the broad public, boosting the activation of the online shop with the physical action of opening of a temporary store. The concept of online shopping is already known in Portugal, however, when looking at conversion rates, they still smaller than the ones seen in other countries such as the UK, France or Germany.
Make people aware of our brand and letting them purchase our products in a physical store seemed the required step that we needed to take in order to keep growing.
One of the key success factors related with the e-commerce business is consumer’s trust. Consequently, nothing better than developing that trust in a tangible way.
- What was the main objective?
Taking into account that Melie is a new project with an online focus, we decided to concentrate our efforts in two main objectives: increasing the brand’s notoriety, as well as creating awareness of the brands being represented on our website. Subsequently, the consumer will be familiar with the products’ sizing, creating an easier “connection” with the brand, facilitating potential future consumer’s online acquisitions.
- What were the biggest challenges faced?
The biggest challenge is, with no doubt, the logistics and transportation of the needed inventory. Considering that the number of products being offered on the website is great, all the procedures done, from the choice of the portfolio, to the products’ transportation from the warehouse to the pop-up store, are complicated.
Being the space available to store inventory minimum, our planning and organization is put to the test. After all, loosing the sale of a product due to its physical unavailability is frustrating.
- How did you measure the success of the implementation of your pop-up store?
As the pop-up store still open, it is hard to take effective conclusions in terms of numbers. However, there are already some positive outcomes. First, our sales are exceeding all expectations; second, there was a positive impact in terms of conversion rates from those who entered the physical store; and third, unexpectedly, the press covered our event, which was great advertise for the brand. Finally, we cannot miss to state that, as the shop is located in a very touristic area, the promotion of the brand was done, not only at a national level, but as well at an global one.
- Do you pretend to implement this new concept of Pop-up in your growth strategy / future internalisation strategy?
Yes, for sure! Even though this is not our first pop-up initiative, this concept is very interesting as it able our brand to not only increase sales, but as well strongly increase the number of new and future clients. This boost of advantages creates very important synergies with the digital component of Melie.
- Do you have some recommendations to those who pretend to create a pop-up store in the near future?
First of all, it is important to understand that this action requires a lot of efforts at all levels. Brands should delineate objectives and inventory all materials needed to be at the pop-up space, while making sure it will offer the best possible balance with the brand’s positioning and values.
Each example is different, however, if looking for similar initiatives as the one made by us, the most important issues are the ones related with the inventory selection, its transportation and the advertising and promotion of the event, being these the key success factors of our experience.