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Modnique Focuses On E-Commerce Expansion Following TOTSY Acquisition

  • Written by Alicia Fiorletta


ScreenshotIt has been a busy few months for fashion eTailer Modnique. Following its acquisition of children’s flash sale site TOTSY in June 2013, the company is setting sights on penetrating the kidswear market, as well as establishing itself as an around-the-clock e-Commerce destination for fashion-savvy consumers.

Modnique was founded during the flash sale boom in 2010. Competing with Rue La La and Gilt, among others, the eTailer established one core differentiation: connecting consumers with beloved brands from around the world.

“When you think about it, fashion travels at the speed of Twitter,” said Einaras von Gravrock, CEO of Modnique. “But most of the time you’re limited in terms of what distribution can offer you. For example, when you buy something in a Macy’s or Nordstrom in the U.S., you’ll receive a very similar experience online in terms of the inventory available. We wanted to change that.”

Popular brands and products are sourced from all around the world, with buyers focusing on core markets across Asia, Australia, Canada and Europe. Partnerships are established based on Modnique’s ability to liquidate old merchandise from older seasons. “We help brands move that merchandise to different parts of the world through the web site,” von Gravrock said. “Now, at any given time, a consumer in Canada can buy from a popular brand in France.”

Consumers worldwide are recognizing the fashion value of Modnique, which has lead to the eTailer’s exponential growth. In August 2013 alone, Modnique ran 500 flash sale events, according to von Gravrock. Now, with 300 employees across five locations worldwide, 55% of total business is done outside of the U.S.

“There are some great businesses in the flash sale space, but all of them focus on specific geographies,” von Gravrock explained. “They may ship to other countries, but that is an additional part of their business. The core of our business is being able to offer brands from around the world to all consumers.”

Now that Modnique has established a loyal customer base, the team is breaking outside of the flash sale market to turn the site into a go-to fashion destination. As a result, the eTailer is able to expand its customer base and appeal to all forms of consumers, regardless of their shopping goals.

“When we launched, our focus was on impulse shopping,” von Gravrock said. “That was a great way for us to engage the customer base, but it was missing the fundamental purpose for consumers that were shopping with a mission in mind.”

In November 2012, Modnique launched its shops, which von Gravrock believes represents “our evolution as an e-Commerce site. Flash sales are an inspiration mechanism, while our shops offer a wider variety of inventory.”

The TOTSY acquisition also has inspired Modnique to expand into other verticals. Not only is the eTailer focused on offering a wider variety of products, the site also will expand to other countries via localized web sites.   

Digital Word Of Mouth

When Modnique initially launched, the team focused first and foremost on customer service and word of mouth to drive customer acquisition, according to Ivka Adam, VP of Marketing and Mobile.

“As we got a customer, it was important that we provided them with a great experience,” Adam said. “Because if they did, they basically marketed for us and told their family and friends about the great shopping experience they had.”

Although this method was successful in the early stages of Modnique’s growth, and most consumers “have very high re-engagement rates,” the eTailer is laser-focused on branding and international customer acquisition, according to Adam.

“Right now we’re very focused on online and digital marketing,” Adam explained, “but we’re also looking into partnerships that would potentially support our brand efforts.”

Overseeing all things marketing, Adam is spearheading the development and execution of the Modnique mobile app, which is set to launch in Q4 2013. The app, she explained, is “geared towards existing customers to ensure they have a great, personalized experience.” Modnique also is launching a responsive version of the e-Commerce site, so mobile consumers can have a seamless online shopping experience on their devices.

Social engagement and acquisition also will become a more strategic focus moving forward. Von Gravrock explained that Modnique was active and obtained a loyal following on Facebook “long before we had a media buying strategy.” However, the eTailer is expanding to other sites, such as Instagram and Pinterest, and quantifying their impact on customer loyalty and sales.  

“We’re starting to execute more social campaigns,” Adam said. “For example, we’ll announce a sale on Instagram but nowhere else. The role of social is driving engagement and aspirational content and use it as a channel to answer any questions or issues customers may have.”

Pinterest specifically has been a large revenue driver for Modnique. “As a result, we’re paying more attention to the site and have held our first Pinterest promotion so we can be more active on the site.”

Adam and the marketing team also are discovering new and emerging social networks.

“We try to be early adopters in the social space,” Adam said. “We’ve engaged in a few new social apps and are exploring international channels to determine the best networks to engage on.”