The online store On Achète Français, opened in 2020, the go-to marketplace for products “Made in France” has been growing steadily. This ecommerce site has now nearly 6,000 items in its catalog, and works with nearly 150 sellers who list their products on the marketplace.
On Achète Français was born from a simple idea that had been in the minds of Benoit and Carole Venessy (the co-founders). The first lockdown in the spring of 2020 pushed them to take the plunge and open On Achète Français bringing the values of local consumption and defense of “made in France.”
Benoit agreed to chat with us, to explain the key to success of On Achète Français in a niche market and the central role of advertising campaigns played in the online stores’'s rapid growth.
A measured start, and a PrestaShop migration
During their first months, Benoit and Carole made the site grow slowly but surely. It is only in spring 2021 that the new Made in France marketplace reached a new level.
The first few months allowed us to ask ourselves the right questions about the ecommerce solution we were using, which was a solution specifically adapted for a marketplace like ours. In April 2021 we told ourselves: 'we're making progress, but we're not going to make it with this solution, we need to migrate.
Initially built on the Kreezalid platform, On Achète Français was growing faster than expected so the decision to migrate to a more efficient platform that better could meet their growing needs and ambitions was quickly taken. This transition to PrestaShop - also Made in France - was the beginning of a new era for the brand.
Besides the "huge" SEO benefits that followed the migration to PrestaShop (better crawling of the pages by Google), the team tested several advertising formats: ads on different social networks, Google Ads with search ads and Smart Shopping campaigns*, that allows you to show your products on different networks. After each campaign, an analysis of ads performance allowed Carole and Benoit to identify the most profitable strategies, that were Search ads and Smart Shopping campaigns*, this represented respectively 20 and 80 % (respectively) of the advertising budget.
Following the transition to PrestaShop and the recurring focus on Smart Shopping campaigns*, the team was introduced to the PrestaShop Marketing with Google module as soon as it was released.
Efficiently tracked marketing campaigns
While the store was “opened” to the general public, and the team was waiting for search traffic, several advertising strategies were put in place to improve the site's visibility: ads on social networks (LinkedIn, Instagram, Facebook), search ads and Smart Shopping campaigns* via Google Ads platform. The first results were very clear: from a return on investment point of view, the Smart Shopping campaigns* were the most effective and "the best way to generate qualified traffic. "
One of the advantages of Shopping tab is the fact that people who visit it are already engaged in a buying process, unlike ads on social networks, for example, which are seen more for image building, which has notably contributed to a significantly higher ROI for Smart Shopping campaigns*.
To manage these campaigns, the team uses the PrestaShop Marketing with Google module. "A module that is much easier to use than the previous solution," according to Benoit. Even if it took a little time at the beginning to manage shipping costs "the module was easy to learn and use moving forward. And thanks to automation it makes it easy to manage our campaign.”
Today our strategic choices are paying off: sponsored links and Smart Shopping campaigns* are very complementary, they allow us to do the targeting we want, and most importantly, they are very profitable.
3 key figures:
60% of sales come from Smart Shopping Campaigns**
80% of the brand's advertising budget goes to Smart Shopping Campaigns*
3% = conversion rate of Smart Shopping Campaigns*
An ambitious future for the brand and an even more effective advertising strategy
Smart Shopping campaigns* now achieve a conversion rate of more than 3 %, and are responsible for 60 % of sales, which is proof of the success of this advertising strategy.
Even if more and more traffic comes from SEO, Smart Shopping campaigns* are still the keystone of the company, which does not prevent Benoit and Carole from always seeking to improve their strategy:
"Our advertising strategy, which is currently focused on Smart Shopping campaigns* and search ads, will have to be adapted: Smart Shopping campaigns* tend to automatically highlight the products that convert the most, which is a very good thing, but the downside is that other products lack visibility on this channel.
What the marketplace team wants is to be able to keep a maximum of automation and efficiency with the Smart Shopping campaigns* while being able to put forward all the products in the catalog, including those that are not retained by the automation of the campaigns, in order to cover all types of customers, and to satisfy the greatest number of sellers who choose to sell their products on the marketplace.
Another subject that the merchants are dealing with (and not only those behind the On Achète Français site) is the question of tracking:
"Our buyers, who want to buy products made in France, are certainly more sensitive to privacy and cookie policies than others, which certainly accentuates our difficulties related to tracking purchases . This generates some uncertainty as to where they come from, making ROI calculations for ads a bit more difficult."
On Achète Français has become one of the well-known marketplaces for Made in France. Even if the constraints linked to this niche market persist (entry-level products are more difficult to offer and products Made in France are more expensive than those produced abroad, etc.), this will not stop Carole and Benoit who are very ambitious.
Soon, the site should offer a loyalty program to its customers as well as a mobile application. These are two more arguments to support the marketplaces sellers, in order to cover all the product categories of the store, beyond the best sellers that are food products and home and garden products.
PrestaShop Marketing with Google
* Since July 2022, all Smart Shopping Campaigns have been upgraded to Performance Max.
** Based on early testing, advertisers who upgrade Smart Shopping campaigns to Performance Max see an average increase of 12% in conversion value at the same or better return on ad spend (ROAS). (Google Data, Global, Ads, Sep–Oct 2021.)