How Delsey increased their online revenue by 142% in a single quarter
Building Their Direct-to-Consumer (DTC) Channel and Growing Online Sales
French luggage retailer DELSEY has been one of the world’s leading luggage brands for over 75 years.
But for most of that time, DELSEY focused primarily on wholesale distribution through stores around the world, and only 3% of their overall sales came from direct-to-consumer (DTC) channels.
Customers were increasingly shopping for luggage online, and DELSEY found themselves competing with DTC luggage startups disrupting the market.
It was time to put more resources into building up their digital channels and DTC revenue streams, especially in the United States, explains Michael Chapin, Digital VP for DELSEY USA:
“Retail shopping, in general, has seen a bit of a downturn as eCommerce has grown,” he says. “We knew it was past time to focus on a direct-to-consumer effort.”
DELSEY was also planning a brand refresh, and focusing more of their efforts on DTC sales presented an opportunity to have more control of its image.
“Strategically, being able to have a direct-to-consumer marketing channel would allow us to have more control of the brand and focus on making it more up-market, which was also very important to us,” Michael adds.
And finally, DTC channels would give DELSEY much more insight into consumer habits and consumer trends than selling through a wholesale model.
“In a wholesale model, you don’t know who your customers are,” Michael says. “With a direct-to-consumer model, not only do you know who you’re selling to, you know what their likes and interests are. You can remarket to them in the future.”
Despite the size of its brand, DELSEY didn’t have the expertise or resources in-house to scale online sales. The company needed to find an agency partner specialized in e-commerce who knew how to work with large brands and could help them take their DTC channels to the next level.
“They did a great job using their expertise to build a media plan based on both our historical data that they uncovered and their market research.”
Finding an External Partner with the Right Experience to Scale Their DTC Channels
On a colleague’s recommendation, Michael turned to QRY to help grow DELSEY’s online sales in the United States. The partnership did not disappoint.
“We’re getting a team of experts who are in this all day, every day, and who know much more than we do about what other companies are doing. They know the media landscape and the marketplace inside and out,” Michael says.
First, QRY worked with DELSEY’s US marketing team to create an initial growth strategy and identify their optimal channels and audiences.
QRY took a deep dive into DELSEY’s historical data and analytics to help them understand their audience and determine customer acquisition costs. They also conducted in-depth market research and competitor research.
“I needed to know that I could acquire customers below a certain cost in order to scale the business,” Michael explains. “And QRY really helped us understand what other companies were spending and where, and how much we would be able to acquire customers for.”
After the initial market research, QRY presented a complete 12-month market forecast that modeled out the investments and expected return by month and channel – which made DELSEY’s potential growth clear.
“They did a great job using their expertise to build a media plan based on both our historical data that they uncovered and their market research,” Michael says.
Once the strategy and forecast were completed, the QRY team began managing all of DELSEY’s digital campaigns in the US. Their strategist continually optimized the campaigns to reach and exceed the campaign forecast.
“[QRY CEO] Samir is a good partner, and that’s what we’re looking for. We don’t want to work with a team that’s transactional or doesn’t have the same interests and financial goals as us,” Michael says. “Being able to work with the team at QRY has been wonderful because they treat our work together like a partnership.”
Without QRY, revenue would flatline
Over 142% Growth in Online Revenue in Just One Quarter, Despite Challenges with Inventory
DELSEY began seeing results almost immediately. After just one quarter, their online revenue increased by 142%, and they saw a 136% increase in transactions. Web traffic grew by 52%, and average order value (AOV) increased by 2.75%, despite inventory challenges due to global supply chain issues.
“Our numbers still look great in spite of the lack of inventory,” Michael says. “We’ve proven that there is a lot of potential.”
Today, DTC sales represent between 7 and 8% of total sales, compared to only 3% when DELSEY and QRY began their partnership. Michael expects that number will continue to grow rapidly in the next few years.
“With the inventory issues resolved, there is nowhere to go but up,” he adds.
And DELSEY’s partnership with QRY is a big part of what made this all possible, he says.
“Without QRY, revenue would flatline,” Michael concludes. “It would effectively be like shutting the water spigot off.”
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