Patrick Bousquet-Chavanne, an executive with decades of international experience working at Emaar Malls, Marks & Spencer and The Estée Lauder Cos. Inc., has joined eShopWorld as president and chief executive officer, Americas.
It’s a new position at eShopWorld, underscoring how e-commerce continues to rapidly grow and present opportunities for brands and retailers to extend their reach to markets around the world.
EShopWorld, often referred to as ESW, sets up brands and retailers with an “end-to-end” solution for conducting cross-border e-commerce. It’s worked in 200 markets around the world and with brands such as PVH, Movado, Tarte, Nike and Estée Lauder.
“In the complex world of international retail, if you think about taxes, tariffs, VAT, pricing, translations, logistics, returns, data security, fraud protection, customer service — all those complexities — ESW takes that away from their clients so they can focus on what they do best — merchandising and developing product,” Bousquet-Chavanne said in an interview Tuesday.
“This is a young company. It’s been amazingly successful,” he told WWD. “Their technology has been integrated into many of the leading global brands in the world. The company provides very fast and efficient access to international arenas with minimal capital. In six to eight weeks, we can on-board a brand in a new market.”
ESW, a privately owned Irish company headquartered in Dublin, was founded in 2010. It indicated a GMV (gross merchandise value) at more than $1 billion in 2020. Regarding filling the new role at ESW, Bousquet-Chavanne said, “The timing could not be better. This acceleration in the world of digital retail is unprecedented.”
Bousquet-Chavanne will have overall responsibility for ESW’s Americas business and growth strategy as well as worldwide marketing. In addition, he will lead ESW’s new consulting division: The Reach Advisory. Bousquet-Chavanne previously served as a member of ESW’s retail advisory council.
“Our U.S. business has accelerated significantly over the past 12 months and Patrick’s global retail and e-commerce expertise will allow us to continue to expand our reach in the Americas,” said Tommy Kelly, CEO of ESW. “He also brings to the team strong business relationships in Asia and Europe that he’s built over decades. As a member of our advisory council, Patrick provided invaluable insights and guidance that have informed our growth strategy in recent months.”
The Reach Advisory team, according to a statement from ESW, “will help brands articulate their global expansion strategies, provide perspective on building end-to-end digital architecture, craft routes to market, localize the shopping experience, and help brands engage more deeply with customers across the globe.”
Bousquet-Chavanne said his client focus will be on fashion, beauty and luxury. “Clearly, those three verticals all care about brand equity, delivering an exceptional customer experience online and having more and more control of the direct-to-consumer route. We have seen brands just wholesaling or engaging with marketplaces such as Amazon. Now they want to control their own website. Why? Because it is so rich in analytics and so rich in customer data.”
ESW competes with other cross-border e-commerce facilitators such as Flow and Borderfree. But Bousquet-Chavanne cited as ESW’s key differentiators the ease with which it integrates technology and solutions into the client brand’s existing e-commerce platform and its ability to deliver a “completely localized” shopping experience. “If you are a French or American brand entering another market, your site has to feel intrinsically as a local storefront. That’s where ESW really excels.”
He also cited the company’s ability at “demand generation,” involving developing a brand’s local consumer base. “It’s one thing to be open for business in a local market, but you have to make sure you have traffic coming to that local platform. We work with consumer analytics and data at the very local level to increase conversions on those local websites. Demand generation is critical in today’s highly competitive retail marketplace.”
Another main differentiator is ESW’s investment in technology, Bousquet-Chavanne added. “They invest close to $15 million in technology innovation that benefits all the brands [which] probably couldn’t afford these kinds of investments.”
ESW, he said, has been successful entering brands into “very complex markets, namely Russia. Before and after COVID-19, Russia will be a very dynamic retail market. The Middle East is challenging as well, but the economy there is exploding.” He also cited South Korea and Japan as complex markets to enter. “Canada has tremendous potential as well and we will focus on Latin America where there are substantial opportunities,” he added.
Retail and brand clients pay ESW a commission based on revenues generated, the level of services and solutions provided, and the country of entry.
“If retailers were to factor in all the potential costs of opening localized websites of their own brands, dedicating logistics, governance teams, local demand generation, it would be quite expensive as an internal undertaking,” Bousquet-Chavanne said.
He starts his new job today, and is based in New York City. ESW also has offices in such cities as Amsterdam, Singapore and London. He’s recruiting to expand the team, for analytics and customer insights capabilities versus traditional marketing, account managers and others.
Prior to joining ESW, Bousquet-Chavanne was CEO of Emaar Malls, owner of The Dubai Mall, the largest shopping center in the world at 5.5 million square feet.
Before that, he served as executive director, customer, marketing and M&S.com, for Marks & Spencer, and prior to that he was group president at The Estée Lauder Cos., where he oversaw some of its largest brands, including Estée Lauder and MAC, as well as the designer fragrances division.
“Early in my career, Leonard Lauder gave me very good advice. He said, ‘Demand has got to precede supply. Brand awareness has got to exist.’
“There’s no point opening up in a country where you have very low brand awareness,” Bousquet-Chavanne said. “The cost will be just too high.”
At ESW, “We are looking to work with brands in expansion phase, that have some degree of brand recognition, and are well known to some consumer segments. Brands today have unprecedented access to growth outside their home markets, but many don’t have the digital capabilities and local expertise they need to fully leverage international opportunities.”