In a world of digital technology, there are a lot of clothing items and accessories that move virtually from one continent to the next by exploiting the Net’s power. Many are the websites that were born over the years, and many are the Italian companies (though the percentage is lower in that found in other countries) which are increasingly relying on the e-commerce business.
Far-sightedness and the right choices are behind the creation, eight years ago (and in the digital world, eight years is a long time) of SaldiPrivati, owned by the Banzai group, the first national e-commerce company. 1500 sales of about 600 brands with over 200.000 products delivered to customers. Sales last an average of 4-5 days on the website, with the most experienced or simply faster Net surfers making great bargains. In 2012, SaldiPrivati gained three major recognitions: best European e-tailer, best Italian e-tailer and Italy’s best social commerce site.
The driving force behind all this is Bruno Decker, a degree in business economics at Bocconi University and the man who created and designed the website.
When and how was SaldiPrivati created?
We legitimized the online fashion business in 2007. When I said I wanted to persuade the brands to hold up goods, take some samples, have them photographed and put online and then buy what gets sold online, everybody said I was crazy. They said: “Customers need to touch the garment, try it on, and brands give their stock away to dealers who come and get it in person”. Then came the first online dealers and the brands setting up virtual stores. In the past few years, they went from virtual stores to the Net.
What distinguishes you from your competitors?
We go on relying on flash sales, in partnership with brands in order to sell discounted items and safeguard the classic sales channel. We currently generate a turnover of 50 million euros, 60% of which comes from fashion articles.
Doing business at the speed of digital technology requires constant updating and new offerings all the time…
In order to improve our supply performance, we realized that it was necessary to diversify our offerings into segments within the same website. This means that a woman buying childrenswear will view a website different from the one a childless man is viewing. This allowed us to go from 3 to 7-8 sales per day. In the past two years, we introduced a vertical search engine to focus on a specific segment, with the first over-35 men’s target. That is how Vico42 was born, for men who have a different shopping behavior compared to women’s. It is a new website, divided into three areas: the flash sales with higher-end brands to enhance the offerings; Essenziali, with the must-haves that are always available on the site; Vizi & Passioni, with about 200 items that go beyond fashion and are designed for men who enjoy pampering themselves.
Do you also sell abroad?
We see a lot of .ru e-mails, which we believe come from people who buy from us and sell somewhere else. Suffice is to say that we have customers buying clothing worth € 50.000. We have built partnerships with foreign websites with which we share the technological platform we personally developed. But we are so busy here in Italy that for the time being we are not planning to sell abroad.
Where does Italy stand with respect to digital technology?
Well, let’s say that the broadband connection is not that fast, but we make 50% of our turnover through mobile telephone network, which allows us to “bypass” the problem.