Danone uses “B to C” e-commerce codes to attract new distributors



You can be a giant in the food industry and it’s strange not to have operational sales channels wherever there is a market. This is the case of Danone France, which is very present in traditional sales channels but has not been around for 6 months with small independent professionals, such as cafes or restaurants.

Online store for young, independent professionals

Since then, the manufacturer has launched a dedicated online store, Electronic shop, targeting that specific sector and without mobilizing an associated sales force in that area. The e-commerce site B to B distributes its range of food products, from yogurt to vegetable drinks. In order to attract professional clients, Danone France was inspired by the “B to C” e-commerce tokens commonly used with the general public. Directs the first evaluation.

Danone lacked presence in the canal by independent professionals such as cafes, restaurants and bakeries

The outcome is being seen as positive, and it is time for an international spread, with Great Britain and the United States at the fore, says Camille Lavignant, global e-commerce pioneer at Danone. The director described the realization of the online store project during the “Les Enjeux Innovation B2B 2022” event, organized by Next Content, on April 7. Danone has established channels with major retailers but lacks a presence in France in smaller sales channels such as independent professionals such as cafés, restaurants or bakeries as well as in express commerce or new delivery services and social commerce.

These channels have become strategic because they represent growth and new customers. This also played some tricks on Danone since through these sales channels new brands are gaining momentum by offering, for example, plant-based food products. So Danone France worked to plug this hole in its racket. Its French teams have built an e-commerce site, called Online Store, which has been operating for six months now. This e-commerce site strives to use as many temptation tokens as possible, trade buy from “B to C” and brands that sell directly to their customers, in “Direct to Consumer” (DTC) while we are in “B” to B.

Personal client relationship by type of professional

The goal of the online store was to personalize the relationship with customers. This allotment takes into account whether the buyer is either a restaurant, coffee shop, bakery, etc. But it also targets the end customer, the consumer. The goal is to deliver Danone products directly and provide professional customer service. This personalization is materialized thanks to the specific web pages of each representative depending on whether it is a bakery, a coffee shop, etc. The selected technical e-commerce platform, which was purchased from Salesforce, was used to define various career goals, in terms of pricing and product portfolio.

It’s not just about introducing our products, it’s about creating a new relationship. The end customer will discover new recipes”

The goal is to introduce and incorporate our products into the daily lives of these professional clients and end customers. What recipe can we give them with the product, to give them ideas? What a vending machine [NDLR : machine à café] Can they use it in the day-to-day management of their business? Camille Lavignant explains. ” It’s not just about introducing our products, it’s about creating a new relationship. The end customer will discover new recipes. Thanks to vending machines, cafes, restaurants, etc. More time, so there are fewer queues. There is a benefit for everyone She completes.

Danone France has adopted a very “B to C” approach to designing this online store. ” We don’t differentiate between a coffee shop restaurant or the end customer in our way of communicating The director explains. ” We’re talking about a human being who needs to feel drawn to our brands, whether they work or consume our products. We have chosen to use a “B to C” approach too She adds. The website of the online store is designed to be attractive and lively, and not as an administrative tool for placing orders. ” It’s humanizing the experience a bit. We want to remove all administrative aspects that were previously present in the customer-Danone relationship. We want to humanize it thanks to the platform that transforms all human interactions into service and value added and we don’t have a “re-order”, “out of stock” system, etc. “Says.

The front end of the online store is inspired by Danone’s “D to C” expertise

In order to make the project a success, Danone France relied on its experience in “D to C” e-commerce websites, Direct to Consumer. ” Thanks to “D to C” we know what kind of images and what kind of description marketing works. What we used from “D to C” is how we manage the visual, the front of the site, and therefore the content and the search engine and how to improve that, the digital management store She lists. On the other hand, Danone France did not want to use the “D to C” site experience like “Evian at home”, for the logisticswhere large quantities of bottled water are delivered to individuals.

For this project, 18 people from Danone France were mobilized, coming from several departments

For this project, 18 people from Danone France were mobilized, coming from several departments. The main support came from the general manager of Danone in France and the vice president of e-commerce. ” It didn’t happen overnight, it was a project that opened the eyes of different departments who were not familiar with e-commerce. These people now support any e-commerce initiative in France and internationally. The director is happy. The project required internal persistence. It took several months to persuade.

You must be very clear about your goal “Emphasizes. In the case of the online store, the goal was not just to sell, or to allow professional customers to receive products more easily, more quickly, etc. There is a whole concept of service. So it was necessary to integrate all of Danone’s marketing teams. ” And you have to find the right sponsors, that’s the most important thing. When we talk about 17 people, 17 people are the ones pushing the project with us. It wasn’t person “B to B” who started the project. We weren’t Danone’s B to B grade experts, we summoned the outside interlocutors she insists.

A project launched by the e-commerce team at Danone France

The project started with the e-commerce team that took over the sales team, then the supply chain and IT team were added. ” We can not do without computers. This is where connecting technology to business was complicated, but we got there. It took several months. 70% of the site’s success is due to choosing the right contacts at Danone She notes. If the technology part is based on Salesforce, Product delivery is guaranteed on its own within 48 hours by ChronofreshNew Danone partner and specialist in fresh produce.

We got 90% of new customers. These are the clients we never had in our portfolio from B to B

The initial evaluation of the online store is positive. ” It was very positive. We got 90% of new customers. Today, this is a bit more for Danone because these are customers we didn’t have in our B-to-B portfolio. The manager is welcomed. Getting rid of turnover overnight was not the goal of the online store even if sales are there, they are going down. The important thing was not to leave these little freelance professionals aside. “ We need to give them new products, especially vegetable ones. It is growing in all cafe restaurants, shoppers are looking for this type of category. We should be able to give them what they’re looking for Pointing to the young lady.

Danone France measures the interest of professional customers by analyzing how many pages they view and whether they are interested in service pages. Danone managed to recruit cafes as customers, which it did not have until then. For the future, the goal is to recruit 90,000 professional customers within two years in France for the online store. Danone France will see if it can add other product categories as well as expand the project to other countries, including first the UK and the US.

International spread and across partner platforms

There are already over 40 “D to C” e-commerce sites in Danone, and it will be a matter of knowing how to coordinate “B to B” and “D to C” sites, since the products are the same and the messages must be the same in “B” to B”, and in “D to C”, in express trade and in “off line”, i.e. in physical stores.

The new circuit cleared by the online store must fit into Danone’s existing B to B platforms overseas or with larger platforms such as those it has developed Unilever with Compra Agora in Brazil. One could imagine Danone launching or participating in markets aimed at professionals such as those designed by Coca-Cola by associating non-competing brands. This type of strategy is supported by the French company Mirakl, which specializes in technical manufacturing of the market.




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