PARIS — Menlook.com is stepping it up a notch.
The French men’s e-commerce platform, billed as the largest in the country, revealed plans to increase the number of products it carries and include lifestyle as a new category.
By the end of 2014, the online retailer will stock “books, pens and notebooks on top of fashion — we want to embrace anything you would expect to find on a man’s desk, and of course accessories,” the company’s founder and chief executive officer Marc Ménasé told WWD. He said Menlook.com would function as “an aggregator for products, based on the Amazon business model. Take a pair of headphones by Bose for instance — we will sell it, but it’s Bose who will ship it.”
Later this month, the company will launch Menlook Today, a new smartphone application allowing clients to receive special product offers, which will be valid for 24 hours and available only via phone.
“We know from our data that our clients are highly connected,” Ménasé said. “But what we need to do is to adapt the offer to their devices. Nobody buys a collection on his smartphone,” he acknowledged, adding that the “event sales” through Menlook Today would include “either very iconic products or key basics.”
Meanwhile, a “personal shopper” will assist with more detailed demands. According to Ménasé, men in general have trouble choosing while shopping alone in front of their computers. “They tend to wear the same Polo Ralph Lauren shirt for 20 years,” he said, “so they quickly get overwhelmed. Offline they are accompanied by their wives or girlfriends for assistance; online, we want the personal shopper to take that role.”
A test version is slated to launch at the end of April.
Menlook.com registered 16 million visitors in 2013 and reported a traffic increase of 104 percent versus the previous year, while its sales jumped 114 percent during the same period. In January, the site for the first time registered two million visitors in a single month.
According to the company, the average amount spent on its Web site last year stood at 160 euros, or $220 at current exchange, up 17 percent from 2012, with France, the U.K. and Germany as its top three markets, followed by the U.S., Australia, Korea, Japan and Singapore.
Ménasé said the idea was to establish Menlook.com primarily as a destination for Asian and European customers, where he deems there is a greater need for it. “The truth is, unlike in the United States, where department stores made an early move to go online providing their customers with a great shopping experience, in Europe and Asia, [the department store options] are poor.”
To drive traffic in Southeast Asia and Australia, the e-retailer set up an office in Singapore in January, with a second bureau to follow in Japan by the end of the year.
Separately, in 2013, Menlook.com added four new Web sites — in German, Dutch, Spanish and Italian — to its French- and English-speaking platforms, making deliveries possible into 125 countries.
Founded in 2010, Menlook.com carries about 400 brands. The digital group’s online properties include Timefy.com, specializing in watches; SaintSens.com, dedicated to bespoke French shirts, and Oki-ni.com, focused on “creative and luxury” fashion, including brands such as Rick Owens, Maison Martin Margiela and Marni.