For Marie-Laure Durier, the Founder and Director of this new player in the French market, the explosion of new eco-responsible cosmetic brands, which coincides with new consumer expectations and purchasing habits, implies a transformation of distribution methods. "We need to accelerate the off-line and on-line consumer experience," she explains.
After 25 years in the luxury sector, this former Clarins and Guerlain executive noticed the absence of young French green beauty brands on the shelves of retailers, at a time when consumers are on the lookout for committed French brands. This sparked the idea of a platform capable of facilitating and accelerating the setting up of contacts between young brands and retailers.
Reduce barriers to retail access
"Young brands often find it difficult to find outlets or retailers because when they start up, they often only have about ten references whereas a large group will often offer more than 300; it’s not the same return on investment for a buyer," underlines the entrepreneur.
Marie-Laure Durier believes that independent brands have a key role to play in revitalising the French cosmetics market, one of the most challenging in the world, with a highly concentrated distribution system and consumers used to a very high level of quality. According to her, among the many local and independent brands that are created each year, there are many promising companies capable of shifting lines, especially with more responsible products.
"We exclusively chose French brands, with a clean formula and aiming for zero waste. We are looking for disruptive and committed products, such as chewable toothpaste, waterless formulas, bamboo fibre linen, natural perfumes,...".
To facilitate the interaction between these start-ups and the various distributors in the sector, La Beauté Française does not require any subscription, nor any fixed costs, and only pays itself via a commission on the sales made. Access to the platform, therefore, does not involve any drain on the brands’ cash flow as long as no sales have been made.
The platform also makes it easier to grasp the complexity of retailing and to access its variety in a much easier way. "Distribution channels on the platform are varied, such as in-home players, beauty salons, hairdressers/barbershops, hotel spas, drugstores and pharmacies, perfumeries, perfumery groups and chains, department stores and travel retail," details Marie-Laure Durier.
A user-friendly and ergonomic platform
For her project, the founder wanted a technological solution capable of managing the complexity of the sector, adapted to the needs of professionals while offering an attractive and functional interface.
"In addition to cosmetic products, we also have products for professionals such as linen, aesthetic outfits, or gift packs," she explains. We chose to manage the variety of products through a system of tabs allowing for easy navigation between the different categories offered.
To launch the first BtoB marketplace dedicated to French beauty, Marie-Laure Durier chose to work with the publisher Wizaplace.
"La Beauté Française was launched in a few months using our all-in-one marketplace solution. As with any BtoB platform, payment was a key issue. Adapting payment terms and allowing 30-day direct debit was a prerequisite for La Beauté Française to meet the expectations of both professional buyers and sellers," explains Eric Alessandri, CEO of Wizaplace.
To access the platform, the various stakeholders must identify themselves and show that they belong to the beauty or well-being sector via an online registration form. Once their registration has been validated, retailers have access to professional prices for the different products on offer and only need to place an order!