Manor Interview: “Our partners benefit from 98% brand visibility in Switzerland”

4'

This year, Manor, Switzerland’s largest department store chain launched its own online marketplace. With Lengow, retailers and brands are already selling their products directly on this new platform, reaching even more Swiss shoppers. To find out more, we asked Yves Latrubesse, Marketplace Business Development Manager at Manor, what the new marketplace is all about and how retailers can best sell their products there.

Manor is the largest department store chain in Switzerland. You have now also launched an online marketplace. What was it that prompted you to take this step?

Our online store “Manor.ch” is now also open to third-party partners. With this, we are taking a significant step towards the omnichannel business model. The industry is changing and Manor wants to assume a leading role in the Swiss retail sector. Manor’s main focus is thus heavily concentrated on our digital activities.

Various projects have been launched to increase our online performance fivefold by 2024, and the launch of a marketplace is the first milestone in our digital transformation. By the end of 2021, 100 selected partners with at least 200,000 articles from main categories including fashion, household, and beauty are to double the product variety on manor.ch.

With the new online marketplace, our customers benefit from a greater product offering, depth of assortment, and availability of goods. Simply put, this means that the store will become more attractive. Likewise, we facilitate deeper or new access to the attractive Swiss retail market for both retail companies as well as established and emerging brands. By working with new brands and retailers, we can offer our customers new product categories such as furniture or books while giving our retailers a high level of offline and online visibility for their product ranges.

In an instant, partners benefit from 98% brand awareness and reach 1.4 million Manor loyalty cardholders, covering nearly 20% of Switzerland’s population.

Manor also plans to complete other omnichannel functions on an ongoing basis. Manor has been offering “in-store ordering” (ordering in one of the 59 stores using installed terminals or tablets) since the beginning, and the return of goods (Click & Collect) of marketplace products in the store will be possible starting at the end of the year.

Which merchants or brands can sell on Manor’s marketplace? Are there any specific requirements that need to be observed?

In addition to the wholesale model, we offer our existing suppliers the possibility to list their complete product range on Manor through the marketplace model and thus gain more visibility.

However, new brands can also join our marketplace to serve an even broader customer base. Our Marketplace team selects each partner based on their adherence to Manor Group values and also in consideration of their existing product assortment. If the following requirements are met, that is already a solid basis for collaboration.

  • Independent management of inventory updates as well as offer and product data
  • Management of logistics relating to shipments and returns
  • Responsive and multilingual customer service
  • Product information available (at minimum) in German and French
  • For partners delivering from outside Switzerland: responsibility for customs clearance (DDP)

Currently, we are first focusing on the categories Fashion and Home & Living, then Beauty, Multimedia, Toys, and Sports are the next step. We should have every marketplace category open by the end of the year, though.

In other words, any merchant who wants to sell online in Switzerland should rely on Manor. Are there plans to expand the marketplace internationally as well? In other words, can shoppers from abroad also order from there? Or are there plans for further Manor marketplaces in other countries?

There are no plans to expand our online marketplace to additional markets. Our customers are located exclusively in Switzerland and Lichtenstein.

What should merchants in Switzerland keep in mind? Is there anything unique about Swiss e-commerce? Do you have any advice for international traders who want to sell online in Switzerland?

Since Switzerland is not a member of the EU, customs duties must be paid when importing products into Switzerland and also when exporting returned goods from Switzerland. Logistics and customs management is a big issue for a merchant who wants to operate in Swiss marketplaces.

Our marketplace team can provide support in this regard as well. We have already been working with companies that can provide fast delivery, customs clearance, and returns management at an attractive price.

Given that our marketplace is still under construction, new merchants benefit from a large reach (>50 million visitors/year) as our platform is virtually free of competition in certain categories. In addition, Switzerland is known as a profitable market – Key facts such as a great degree of price flexibility, strong purchasing power, attractive shopping cart values, and low returns rates can be quite enticing.

Thank you very much for the interview!

Sell on Manor

Gain visibility and boost your sales on Manor with Lengow Through this…

Learn more

Naomi Botting

Senior Communications Manager - UK, Northern Europe, China