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THG Ingenuity x Elemis

Partnering with the L’Occitane Group and Elemis to deliver international DTC expansion

    “A game changer in speed and cost efficiency to market; service to end customers, and delivering the dream of Elemis.com in a box globally, profitably and successfully.”

    Sean Harrington, co-founder and CEO at Elemis and executive director at L’Occitane International S.A.

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      The pandemic has dramatically accelerated changes in consumers’ interactions with brands. DTC had been explored extensively by brands in the lead up to 2020 but two key changes over the last 18 months have driven a fundamental shift in the suitability of DTC for many: 


      1. Consumer demand has skyrocketed. This has had a material impact on order level DTC economics – customers are easier to acquire in DTC channels than they were pre-pandemic and they are more likely to continue buying from that channel over time – unlocking DTC for brands which before would have had to pay too much to acquire customers who spent too little. 


      2. Barriers to entry have come down. The emergence of models such as THG Ingenuity, which brings together an end-to-end ecommerce platform, with its provision of a fully managed service across technology, fulfilment, trading, marketing and customer services significantly lowers the barriers to entry for brands considering DTC and allows for a rapidly scalable and efficient method of entry. 


      Elemis is one such brand that had a well-established and successful DTC strategy, with strongly performing operations in its two key markets of US and UK, but identified an opportunity to roll out the channel at speed into markets with lower levels of existing penetration.  

        Elemis is one such brand that had a well-established and successful DTC strategy, with strongly performing operations in its two key markets of US and UK, but identified an opportunity to roll out the channel at speed into markets with lower levels of existing penetration.  

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        Scaling DTC globally, at speed

        From the start of the partnership in 2020, THG Ingenuity and Elemis worked together to strategically map the brand’s international rollout, plotting a course to bring Elemis DTC to global markets at speed. After launching the first Elemis site in Germany in May 2020 as a pilot market, the partnership built on the learnings gained to roll out 15 further sites across Europe and APAC.  

        This significantly accelerated the brand’s digital expansion plans, condensing what was an initial five-year strategy into a period of just 10 months.THG Ingenuity and Elemis worked together to strategically map the brand’s international rollout, plotting a course to bring Elemis DTC to global markets at speed. After launching the first Elemis site in Germany in May 2020 as a pilot market, the partnership built on the learnings gained to roll out 15 further sites across Europe and APAC over the space of 10 months.  

        THG Ingenuity powers the Elemis sites with its end-to-end infrastructure across multiple elements of the proposition, from THG’s proprietary Elysium platform to fulfilment using THG’s network of distribution centres and a proprietary Warehouse Management System - Voyager, plus fully managed trading and marketing services. This has played a part in enabling Elemis to gain a foothold in international markets, powered by THG’s deep experience in building, managing and trading beauty sites, without significant up-front investment in infrastructure. 

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        “It’s been an incredible learning curve, and fascinating to be involved in the process.”


        ELEMIS’ GLOBAL PRESIDENT AND CO-FOUNDER, NOELLA GABRIEL

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        ROLLOUT TIMELINE


        Germany



        May 2020

        France and Italy



        August 2020

        Spain, Netherlands, Hong Kong, Taiwan and Singapore

        September 2020

        Belgium, Poland, Thailand and Malaysia

        October 2020

        South Korea



        November 2020

        Japan and Switzerland


        February 2021

        Australia



        March 2021

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        THG Ingenuity powers the Elemis sites with its end-to-end infrastructure across multiple elements of the proposition, from THG’s proprietary Elysium platform to fulfilment using THG’s network of distribution centres and a proprietary Warehouse Management System - Voyager, plus fully managed trading and marketing services. This has played a part in enabling Elemis to gain a foothold in international markets, powered by THG’s deep experience in building, managing and trading beauty sites, without significant up-front investment in infrastructure. 



          Using DTC to drive tangible customer insight



          THG Ingenuity's approach to trading, marketing and UX has positioned the partnership to begin driving data collection in these new markets, generating customer records and learnings from an operational perspective. The speed to market with which the partnership was able to deliver, enabled Elemis to move from strategizing to analysing real world data in under a year.  



          Two areas were particularly valuable in delivering insight:



          CUSTOMER ACQUISITION AND DATA


          In addition to generating more than 50,000 new customer records in EU markets since launch, THG IQ — the platform’s customer insight and data solution — has been used to provide insights into Elemis’ consumers in new markets and the way they behave.



          OPERATIONAL LEARNINGS


          The pace of expansion has uncovered learnings for Elemis in new markets, with trading levers, marketing campaigns and even fulfilment models iterated and tested continuously. The adaptability and appetite for growth on both sides of the partnership has enabled rapid optimisation of the model, with decision-making driven by the data obtained.

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          THG INGENUITY X ELEMIS

          Looking ahead

          As the partnership develops, there is huge potential for the DTC sites to bring value to other channels by acting as a real time barometer of customer behaviour through further integration of the data and insight gleaned from DTC into the broader Elemis business. As THG Ingenuity's global operations continue to evolve, the capacity to delight customers in all territories will increase and DTC will play an ever more important and profitable role in Elemis’ global growth. 

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          Next project


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          THG INGENUITY X HOMEBASE

          Driving Digital Transformation: THG Ingenuity x Homebase

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