• Jacques Antoine Granjon, CEO and founder of vente-privee, analysed on 15 March in Barcelona, in a meeting organised by the Leading Brands of Spain Forum, the opportunities offered by electronic commerce as a key lever for the internationalisation of brands
  • Lorenzo Fluxá, vice-chairman of Camper and Josep María Oroval, director of  ESADE Brand Institute also took part in the meeting
  • The integration of e-commerce in the global strategy, mobile commerce and customer service, the three fundamental pillars for brands to adapt to the digital revolution and continue to grow

Barcelona, 15 March 2012. In a globalised environment, e-commerce is a key channel to accelerate the international expansion of brands. However, this subject is often one that remains outstanding for many companies that still see the Internet as more of an online showcase than a strategic, priority channel. Without a doubt, it is a business challenge, but also an opportunity to open new markets, generate growth and strengthen brand image. These are some of the conclusions of the 'E-commerce as a platform for international expansion' meeting organised by the Leading Brands of Spain Forum on the ESADE campus in Barcelona.

Moderated by Josep Maria Oroval, director of ESADE Brand Institute, the meeting was attended by Jacques Antoine Granjon, CEO and founder of vente-privee.com company, world leader in private online sales and Lorenzo Fluxá, vice-chairman of Camper, one of the most international Spanish brands with a strong commitment to online business.

In the words of Jacques Antoine Granjon, "for a brand, an e-commerce site is much more than just another store: it represents the opening of a global flagship store open 24/7". In addition, the spectacular penetration of mobile devices and the opportunities they offer have increased the attractiveness and potential of electronic commerce, as the "mobile multiplies indefinitely the number of possibilities for exchange and purchase," as Granjon pointed out.

In addition, the chairman of vente-privee.com stressed that "the challenge for e-commerce is to combine new technologies and the return to reality, to create an interactive store with the consumer. Online, the consumer is alone with the products and this will make them much more demanding in terms of human relationship in the store. Previously, products were sold; in the future, the experience will be sold. The important thing, in each channel, is to give the consumer a distinctive experience that makes them feel pleasure and excitement," he continued. "We are able to bring life back into brands, with 7 million people visiting the store," said Granjon.

The turnover of electronic commerce in Spain in 2011, according to the CMT, reached 9,000 million euros in volume, representing a growth of 25% over the previous year. In Spain there are already 18 million smartphone users and, for example, in vente-privee.com in just one year, m-commerce has reached 15% of the company's global turnover.

Internet helps to create a global brand

Meanwhile, Lorenzo Fluxá highlighted the international experience of Camper and how its strategy and online presence is a key lever in the process of internationalisation and the creation of a global brand. In fact, for Fluxá, the beginning of online activity in 2003 represents one of the historical and strategic milestones for the company, as was the beginning of the internationalisation process in 1992.

No doubt, brands are currently facing many challenges, such as the fall in domestic demand, new forms of relationship with consumers and customers, the growth of new channels: coexisting with a constant need to adapt and reinvent yourself. Thus, Josep Maria Oroval, director of ESADE Brand Institute, stressed that the domestic market only represents 2% of the world market and many Spanish companies, on average, continue to rely on up to 60% of that market, which is not sustainable. "Faced with these challenges, we need innovation, differentiation and internationalisation," said Oroval.The meeting held at ESADE is part of the cycle entitled 'Internationalisation with brands', which has launched the Leading Brands of Spain Forum in Barcelona. Miguel Otero, Managing Director of the Forum, said during the meeting that "today more than ever it is essential to pledge commitment to the brand as a core asset for competitiveness and internationalisation as the only possible way forward for growth and even survival." "It is a case of internationalising the brand or dying," concluded Otero.