Development drives us. Interview with Szymon Bujalski, Ecommerce Director at MODIVO SA
What was the path of the MODIVO brand to other markets?
As MODIVO SA, we meticulously prepare ourselves to enter new markets. We analyze the specificity of each country, customers’ shopping preferences and development opportunities on a given market. Our company has developed quickly on the Polish market, achieving particularly good results. Therefore, it was the next natural step for us to go beyond this market. We made our debut abroad in 2013, launching a sales platform in the Czech Republic. Thanks to a wide range of products and an innovative purchasing process, the Group grew and gained a following of loyal customers. Therefore, a year later we appeared on the Slovak market. Currently, eobuwie.pl operates in 19 European countries, while MODIVO in 16.
We are a dynamically growing business that focuses on development, including physical stores. We opened our first store outside Poland in Prague, the Czech Republic. Later this year, the concept of both brands will be launched on the Romanian market. Our ambition is to strengthen the position of the sales leader in the CEE region. We are also present in Western Europe, where we plan to further scale our business.
What is the specificity, similarities and differences between the markets and consumers from CEE or the West and the Polish market?
Each region has its own distinctive features. In one market, customers value access to a wide range of products more, while in another they prioritize fast deliveries. That is why at MODIVO SA we carefully look at consumer preferences and analyze their behavior to adjust the way we operate to their expectations and needs. However, regardless of the country in which we operate, our overriding differentiator is the way customers can shop. We offer the same digital purchasing process everywhere and implement modern technologies that guarantee unique experiences. It is thanks to this that our brands stand out and gain a group of loyal and regular customers. We successfully provide our customers with access to many paths of contact with the brand, while responding to the needs of both amateurs of traditional shopping and regular users of sales platforms.
Why did you decide to be present in these markets?
One of the goals of our strategy is to strengthen our position as the online sales leader in Central and Eastern Europe. Therefore, the countries in this region are key markets for our business development. We see here great potential for further growth and customer interest in our brands. They like the assortment we offer and the entire purchasing process and they are happy to come back to us. When it comes to selling shoes online, we are number 1 in Poland, Greece, Romania, Bulgaria, and the Czech Republic. In order to serve consumers in these countries even better, we opened a distribution center in Bucharest, which was also related to the transition to the Next Business Day philosophy. We want to develop the fast delivery service abroad as well.
Was it difficult for a multibrand store from Poland to appear on a foreign market? Do consumers know that it is a Polish brand?
Of course, like any company entering a new market, we faced some challenges. However, thanks to the established position of the CCC Group, of which we are a part, and our activities, we have successfully overcome them. Currently, customers have access to a wide range of stores, both domestic and foreign. More than the country of origin, modern consumers take into account whether a given company is socially responsible, operates in accordance with the objectives of the ESG strategy and what assortment and quality it has. MODIVO SA meets all these conditions and provides many products of various categories in one place.
Marketing plans for 2023. What are the MODIVO e-commerce forecasts for 2023.
We carefully observe and thoroughly analyze the economic situation in Poland and in the world. There is no question that the economic environment is undergoing dynamic changes. However, the effective business model and completed investments have consolidated the position of MODIVO SA and prepared us well to respond efficiently to the changing market conditions and customer needs – in all areas of our activity. It is worth emphasizing that despite the changes we are seeing today, online commerce is expected to maintain its upward trend in the coming years. Innovative solutions allow us to operate efficiently and reduce potential threats, which is associated with maintaining liquidity and eliminating unnecessary costs. Due to the current macroeconomic situation, we actively manage the price. We try to conduct our pricing policy appropriately to the prevailing situation. We offer a wide range of products in different price ranges, and we are constantly competitive. We will continue to implement our business strategy and conduct marketing campaigns that will bring our offer closer to customers. Next year, there are many surprises and campaigns waiting for buyers that will surely appeal to them.
What marketing campaigns have caught your attention? (Polish or other markets).
We closely monitor many marketing campaigns of various companies. Some surprise us with their creativity. Remarkably interesting activities are carried out by, for example, InPost, which has an innovative idea for delivering orders and effectively uses it in its marketing. It shows the most important advantages of its services in everyday situations that concern every single one of us. And by inviting people from different age groups to cooperate, they reach customers from every generation.
What advice would you give to other companies thinking about expansion? Where should they start?
The first step is to conduct in-depth research and analyze the market which the company would like to enter. Collecting and processing information about the macroeconomic situation in a given country and consumer behavior is crucial for the success of a project on such a large scale. Thanks to this, the company knows what customers expect, what challenges may arise and prepare for them already at the expansion planning stage. We should carefully check what resources we have and whether they will be sufficient. If not, consider which processes within the company need to be improved. Then, of course, it is worth investing in promotion and marketing, which will present our offer to a new target group and start building the brand’s position in its awareness.
Thank you for the conversation.