September 26, 2022
As part of the "Merytorycznie o Ecommerce" podcast hosted by Marcin Rudzik, Oleksii Danchenko, COO of Reteno, met with Wojciech Tomaszewski, board member and director of marketing and ecommerce of the Answear brand.
Wojciech talked about the growth of the Polish company over the past decade, entering the international market, the brand's activities, and plans for the future.
In this article, we share some insights that will be useful for the development of international ecommerce businesses.
Investors not only provide you with the necessary funding to cover your expenses but also intensively push you towards more ambitious goals. And this becomes an excellent stimulus for founders and the team to look for more opportunities and challenge yourselves.
So, in 2013, one of the largest investment funds in Central Europe – MCI.TechVentures – invested in the development of Answear. After that, investors pushed the company to grow and expand the brand beyond Poland. This became a prerequisite for solving the global task of conquering new markets in Central and Eastern Europe.
In 2014, Answear started operations in the Czech Republic and Slovakia. Although they made some mistakes when entering the Czech market, it was the best decision for the company's growth.
Until now, the business continues its development strategy in European countries' markets. They started working in Ukraine and Romania in 2015, Hungary in 2016, and Bulgaria in 2018. In 2021, the company expanded to Croatia, Greece, and Cyprus. In the summer of 2022, Answear already sent parcels to the first customers from Slovenia.
Due to geographic expansion, business profits are growing by 40% year over year.
The company currently operates in 11 European markets and plans to continue expanding. Their long-term strategy covers the countries of Central and Southern Europe.
Answear has a hybrid development system: partly it relies on experience and common tactics for all countries, and partly leaves some autonomy for the brand of a specific country. The communication strategy is built by the joint efforts of the central office and local teams.
Answear approaches country selection with careful analysis. For example, the company does not plan to expand to the German market. The reason is that there are brands with many years of history that have a strong connection with customers, so it is challenging to compete with them.
In 2014, Answear created its own women's clothing and accessories brand.
And in 2020, it was rebranded to Answear Lab. The first collection of the renewed brand included more than 100 outfits, the total assortment reached 87,000 models, and the audience embraced all capsule collections.
Creating a private label allows to:
In 10 years, the Answear company has come a long way from developing in the local market of Poland to becoming an international brand and operating in 11 countries. This result became possible thanks to a balanced approach to selecting markets and building strategies. And, of course, thanks to a powerful team – more than a hundred managers and specialists.
Answear's experience is an excellent example of a gradual movement towards global goals. We hope it will be helpful for the development of your business. After all, it is better to learn from successful examples than from your own mistakes.
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