Cécile Roederer celebrates a promising 10 years of Smallable
Congratulations on your 10th anniversary. As the Smallable founder, you basically pioneered the idea of a concept store for kids, stocking one of the largest selection of brands of any online retailer – what an achievement! How does that feel? And how did you get ahead in the competitive world of e-commerce?
Lots has changed. Some websites have disappeared, others were created. Mobile phones have taken on more and more importance… We had to face all these changes, sometimes successfully and sometimes with less success. But if today we are the leading company in our sector it’s because we are more than just “e-commerce”. We offer more than just a product catalogue. We’ve built a brand with a clear positioning that we have remained loyal to. We’ve acquired a legitimacy, and an undeniable recognition from our customers and our brands.
How did your background help with what you wanted to achieve?
I studied economics; I wanted to become a professor at university and conduct research on economics. After a year in England, I took a gap year in India, where I worked in an NGO on a micro credit programme (that helps women create their own micro-business). This trip really made an impression on me and when I went back to France, I realised that I really wanted to get involved with a company as an entrepreneur with more immediate results (rather than spending five years on a thesis). I specialised in marketing and management and I worked in the fashion sector as Product Manager for Dim – a lingerie brand – then as Manager of the Women’s collections at Lancel, a brand of leather goods and accessories. This experience was key for my professional development and really helped me when I first launched Smallable.
You’ve opened another physical store – was it always the plan to do so? How is this one different?
Our boutique in Saint Germain de Près, despite being 300 square metres, was not enough to display our entire baby range, which really needed a space of its own. Our second shop is located at 82 rue du Cherche-midi, just in front of our concept store. This new baby shop offers a selection of babycare products, pushchairs, furniture and décor completely devoted to kids from zero to 18 months. We’re now ready and willing to advise future parents. Mums- and dads-to-be can book an appointment to arrange the nursery or to create their own birth list. Along with the opening of our new shop we are also publishing The Great Birth Guide, with the best babycare products, suggestions and inspiration.
What’s next for Smallable? How do you see the future of online shopping?
We have “Dream Big” on the wall of our boutique in St Germain des Près; that’s our motto. We’re constantly striving to offer the best selection and the best service to our customers. We want to keep surprising our clients with new designers and new products.
We’re currently working on international deployment, as 65% of our turnover comes from international buyers. We’re now experiencing major success in Asia and in the United States.
Users are changing the way they access e-commerce websites, as now they mostly shop via mobile. As far as furniture and décor are concerned, shoppers are looking for inspiration: they want to discover, they want to dream. As such, online retailers will focus more on personalised content.