Online boutique aggregator Shoptiques.com has entered its sixth country: the Netherlands.
Olga Vidisheva, founder and chief executive officer, said the platform already has a presence in the U.S., the U.K., France, Canada and Australia. “For us, at the core of who we are is globalization. We want to be in all these places that you don’t get to travel to over the weekend,” Vidisheva said.
The ceo said the company so far has been targeting countries that have both travel appeal and are English speaking. France was the exception, but that’s due to its fashion and cultural influences and because for many the country is a “dream destination,” she said.
Vidisheva said the company uses a “rubric” to assess which markets to go after. The analysis includes: retail environment factors, such as how attractive the market is from an opportunity-size perspective; Shoptiques economic factors, such as attractiveness of market from a profitability perspective; strength of supply, such as what the potential supply of boutiques in the targeted market, and ease of operations, such as logistical issues.
Vidisheva said there isn’t any set number of boutiques required for the platform before deciding whether to enter a market. “That really depends on the country. In the Netherlands, the predominant place is just Amsterdam. Most tourists go there as well. In Canada, there were a lot of cities that were brought on board,” she said.
The company makes adjustments in pricing for each locale since it takes care of duties and taxes, and in some cases, because the goods are exported, it also takes out the value-added tax from the pricing.
The boutique aggregator was initially funded through friends and family, and there was a seed round that included Andreessen Horowitz and Greylock Partners as investors. The site initially launched its platform in October 2011. Its operating model provides for a split by percentage of the sales between itself and the boutique owner.