A global focus on French style, fantastic shopping experience and fair pricing – the “three F” strategy – were key to La Redoute’s international growth.
DDF Michael Truluck
At the Drapers Digital Festival, chief executive of La Redoute International Michael Truluck discussed the French brand’s shift from catalogue to online business, the ways it has tackled international growth in the digital age and the importance of localising experience across different markets.
“People expect digital tools to solve problems, but the teams in each market need to really understand the customer,” he said. “For example, in Russia, shoppers are divided into different ‘tribes’ based on their buying, and each tribe has a leader in the team who understands them and works with them.”
He also stressed the importance of local understanding when working internationally: “Culture is the biggest challenge in expansion. Culture eats strategy. To keep the backbone of the business with content curation, we have one common platform rather than separate developers for each market, but the CMS is handed over to the local teams.”
He noted La Redoute’s shift to online marketing, and its increasing focus on mobile, as core recent developments.
“Spending at La Redoute is around 90% online, and now our marketing spend in that area is similarly proportioned,” he said. “The customer is at the heart of what we do, and now mobile is very much a part of what we do.”
Personalisation was also core to the brand’s development from a catalogue business.
“We’re focusing on personalisation and artificial intelligence to ensure a great customer journey. We’re always trying to answer the question of why a customer is on the website,” he said. “The less the customer does, the more we have done, and that’s what we strive for.”
“When we were a catalogue, we used to have a call centre. Now we’re looking into shop bots and chatbots. We want to beat the external people making these things with our in-house team.”
Truluck also highlighted the influx of data that came from the move to online, and how this shaped the business: “We have so much more data than when we were a catalogue. We’d never know which pages people folded down or which items they looked at – now we have to answer the question of how we take that data and ensure that we give a personal experience.”