Oriol Puig is the Global Production Director at Privalia. With a degree in Business Administration and Certified in Digital Marketing by the Google Squared program, he’s worked in marketing, sales and operations for companies in the tourism, retail, and ecommerce sectors. He’s the father of a 1 year old and when he’s not working or reading, he loves to ski and windsurf.
Oriol at Privalia´s HQs in Barcelona
The Fashion Retailer: Could you define what Privalia is? What’s its Business Model?
Oriol Puig: Privalia is the leading online-fashion outlet. It was created in 2006 in Barcelona as an online shop, offering daily sales of products from top brands at exceptional prices and exclusively to its registered customers. Our mission is to inspire people every day to feel better and save money.
Privalia is the leader in its 4 markets (Spain, Italy, Brazil and Mexico). With more than 34 million registered users around the world, Privalia is the clear reference for its sector.
With efficient and innovative initiatives such as its mobile channel, Privalia has managed to obtain over 26 Million of downloads of its apps. The company employs a team of more than 1000 people all over the world only for its Privalia brand.
Privalia was acquired in 2016 by the french vente-privee Group, creator and worldwide leader of the flash sales concept.
TFR: What´s your role at Privalia?
O.P.: I’m the Global Production Director. In our company, Production includes the work that happens between the moment a Buyer closes a deal with a brand to hold a sales event in Privalia, until the campaign is live online.
We currently have production plants for each of our countries with over 400 awesome VPrivali@s dedicated to providing the best shopping experience to our customers.
TFR: Can you explain a “day in the life of” of your role in the company?
O.P.: The Production process includes all activities required to get a campaign online: receiving samples, preparing them so they look perfect, shooting them with models, retouching the images, describing and uploading them and configuring the campaign on the platform. This process must be fast, efficient and with the highest level of quality so our customers can fall in love with the products we sell.
Example of campaigns at Privalia
A typical day might include lots of meetings (probably too many). Some with our Production Managers to follow up on the daily operation, others with our Product team and vendors to work on the tech developments to boost our production quality and processes, or with our Marketing team to understand what our customers want and what we can improve on product display.
We are fully accountable for making sure that each one of the 3 million references that we put up for sale online every year are perfectly shot and described so our customers can fall in love with the product (or at least make informed buying decisions) and that all campaigns start at the exact date and time they have been scheduled.
TFR: What is the average lead time to create a campaign?
O.P.: The average production Lead Time is currently around 7 days.
TFR: How many campaigns do you manage every week or month?
O.P.: We launch over 40 different campaigns every day, (weekends included) The average number of references of a campaign is 300 products, each one of them with its 3-7 images, descriptions and correct stocks (and lowest possible price!).
Guess Handbag Campaign at Privalia
TFR: What is the most important variable to succeed in a campaign?
O.P.: This is a tricky question. The variables that influence the performance of a campaign are probably hundreds, but if I had to choose three, they would probably be being able to offer the best products, from the best brands, at the best possible prices.
TFR: Why a well-known brand (e.g. Nike) would like to sell at Privalia? Selling products on discount (like outlets) is not impacting negatively in the positioning of a brand?
O.P.: Privalia offers a differential benefit to the brands. Even though many brands also own their own online channels, there’s no direct competition since we are an “extension” of the brand, with a different value and service proposal. Many of our customers have discovered new brands thanks to Privalia, and many brands have discovered new customers thanks to us.
TFR: What are the benefits for the brands apart from selling stocks?
O.P.: Privalia is a great channel to get brands closer to a wider audience thanks to the attractiveness of our offers. It’s also a great tool for brands to help them identify new potential customers and better understand their audiences and preferences.
TFR: What are the main differences in a campaign at VP versus Privalia?
O.P.: The portfolio of brands, the markets where the platforms operate… The business model is the same, and there’s obviously some brand and customer overlap, but they are two different platforms.
Very linked to the geographical and cultural gaps, there are also some different sectors, like travel or food and beverages, which are not offered in all platforms and countries.
Example of a campaign at Vente Privée
TFR: What do you think is the key success factor of a marketplace like Privalia?
O.P.: In our case, I would say that our top success factors are 3: First, the great discounts (price); second, the best brands (design); and last but not least, offering products from different seasons that are not available through other channels.
I think the combination of these three points is what defines our differential value and what has made Privalia the leader in all our markets.
TFR: What are the main topics you take into account to customize the campaign at country level, assuming that every country has different customer behaviors and tastes?
O.P.: We have different sourcing teams in each country which ensure that the offer is relevant to each geography and its culture. We also have country specific marketing teams that make sure the offer is correctly communicated and relevant to the country audience.
TFR: Do you envisage Privalia or VP opening an offline store or a pop up?
O.P.: It’s not on our strategic plans.
TFR: Is Privalia using data analytics to customize the product by location and customer profile?
O.P.: We have what we call the Relevance Team, which is dedicated to making sure that we offer the most relevant products, at the most relevant time, to our customers.
TFR: Some analysis conclude that millennials and generation Z are not loyal customers. Other analysis mention that online shoppers are loyal to price. What do you think about those insights and what is Privalia doing to manage this potential issue?
O.P.: We are loyal to our brand promise, offering the best brands at the best prices. We’re a digital native company and we believe our value proposition fits perfectly with the new generations’ habits. The Flash model is actually very aligned with some of the millennial definers, like speed of consumption and constant offer renewal.
The fact that consumers are loyal to price is actually something that we love! We’re also loyal to good prices and we have them.
TFR: Retailers are highly investing to survive during the retail apocalypse. Walmart, for example, is acquiring many digital companies specializing in AI, last-mile logistics, pure players, security, amongst others. What is your strategy to compete in an omnichannel environment?
O.P.: We are investing steadily to satisfy our customers in all interactions. Our key focus is to always be able to offer the best brands at the best prices, but we are also extremely focus in ensuring the best shopping experience, product display and information, shipping costs, delivery speed, and return process and customer service. We have a strong omnichannel strategy when it comes to constantly improving all interactions with our customers.
We don’t have an omnichannel strategy if it’s related to becoming a brick and mortar company, but I understand pure physical players are in the road of complete digitalization to try to mitigate the effects of, as you say, the retail apocalypse.
Some of the Campaigns at Privalia
TFR: What do you feel is the most important part in your role, creativity (taste for fashion, vision, trends understanding) or science (excel pro: forecasting, planning, finances)?
O.P.: It’s definitely science, since process optimization is key in a speed based business, as well as finance, tech strategy, and team management (Production being the area with the biggest teams).
Of course, creativity is also important when it comes to finding the best solutions to the operational issues, and there’s always a need to have an amount of trends understanding. I would say more in the field of online shopping than in the fashion industry in particular.
In the end, we have an incredible team of young talented people always challenging the present to create a better future, so I would say most of the innovating power comes from the men & women in our production teams.
TFR: What do you think are the most important skills to succeed in your role?
O.P.: I would say probably three: Analysis, Focus and Team Management. Being one of the companies that directly put online the biggest amount of products every year, being able to analyze the data to understand where to draw the line between production efficiency and the value of product display to a customer is key. Also, being able to maintain focus of our project & production teams is vital in an environment that changes faster than ever and where new trends and challenges appear every week. Of course, last but not least, I would say team management is key with such people intensive teams.