“The shoe world has no secrets in Sarenza.” This popular ecommerce has taken the world of footwear to the next level, with a platform that rivals the benchmarks of this market and a wide selection of the best models and manufacturers. Sarenza is stepping on the e-commerce ladder.

According to the recent ‘World Footwear Yearbook 2018’, the footwear sector grew by 2% internationally last year. Despite its traditional character, many entrepreneurs are betting on this market, and although there are many competitors (only in Spain there are almost 10,000 points of sale), certain brands manage to stand out.

Zalando, Shoes.com or JD.com, not to mention marketplaces such as Amazon, AliExpress or eBay, have revolutionized the world of shoes, which still seems to have room for a new actor, Sarenza. Is your success the result of the universal need for shoes and heels, or is there something else? As the saying goes, “even shoes don’t fit”.

SARENZA, AN ECOMMERCE FOR SHOE LOVERS

The growth of Sarenza cannot be explained without the good work of its founders Francis Lelong, Yoan Le Berrigaud and Frank Zayan, who started this project in 2005. The Parisian capital was the setting for their first steps, but less than ten years later they would have a presence in some twenty European countries, with different platforms adapted to the language and geographical needs of the consumer (sarenza.it, sarenza.eu, etc.).

This ecommerce, born for footwear lovers, took off thanks to a collection of 6 million euros, and is currently managed by two of its most important shareholders, Treppoz and Hélène Boulet-Supau.

Much of Sarenza’s success is due to the breadth of its product catalogue, with some 600 brands, more than 39,000 models for men, women and children and a varied selection of styles and types of footwear, where there is for all tastes: boots, heels, moccasins or slippers, for running fans, elegance or simply comfort in their movements.

Unlike other footwear giants, Sarenza’s target audience stands out for being young, millennial and partially of the Z Generation, although this does not mean that customers over 40 are not susceptible to buying their products. This target would explain why more than 50% of Sarenza’s sales are made through mobile phones, which in turn helps to understand why it has 643 thousand followers on Facebook and more than 104 thousand on Instagram.

Since 2016 Sarenza exceeds 200 million euros in its annual turnover, and the prospects for this ecommerce could not be better: to reach 500 million euros in 2020, no less.

WHAT IS SARENZA’S DESIGN AND USABILITY LIKE?

Sarenza’s web structure has some conventionalisms, but in general it seeks to surprise by its variety more than by its quantity. In its main page we will not find long listings of products, but a succession of banners, signs and CTAs with links to specific sections, in order to distribute the link juice in an effective way through its web.

The loading speed is a point to improve, despite meeting expectations: 1.49 seconds of loading according to Pingdom and 1.9 seconds according to PageSpeed Insights Google, comparatively higher than 1.08 seconds Zalando or 1.07 seconds Shoes.com. And it is that in this so competitive sector, every tenth of second counts.

The responsive version is another costal flour, with an optimization of resources quite debatable and low adaptability of images and banners. On the other hand, Sarenza has a mobile application available for iPhone and Android users, which in addition to offering novelties and exclusive discounts, speeds up the purchase process, with simple navigation and lightning checkouts. Sarenza also wants you to enjoy “the shoes you want, where you want”, as its slogan says.

SARENZA, 39 THOUSAND PRODUCTS FOR SHOEMAKERS LARGE AND SMALL

Part of the competitiveness of the best ecommerces lies in their product catalog, where quality and price are not always the most sought after qualities, to be taken for granted in the best brands. In this sense, Sarenza has the flower and cream of Lacoste, Desigual, Skechers, Converse, Nike, Geox, Adidas Originals, Michael Kors, Timberland, Levi’s and other popular manufacturers, as well as five exclusive brands of the platform.

In the consumer footwear section, Sarenza has a selection of boots, bowls, espadrilles, dancers, flip-flops, sandals, clogs and sneakers adapted to the needs of this public. Male users also have sports shoes, moccasins and shoes with laces, velcro and Oxford style, among others. For both, the Boutique section is perfect for finding models for special occasions: parties, mouths, ‘eco’ or large sizes.

But the youngest also have a dedicated section, with models for boys, girls and babies (from a few months to 2 years) and specific brands: Kangaroos, Asso, Chicco, Babybotte, DC Shoes or Hello Kitty, among many others. On the other hand, it has a section of handbags for men, women and children, with shoulder bags, sports bags, crossed or large bags, as well as business-type briefcases, for computer equipment or for travelling.

When browsing its stock, Sarenza provides added value, which are its filters by size, colour, style, materials and season. These parameters speed up the product search considerably, being a very necessary resource in a catalogue that exceeds 39 thousand pairs.

The product sheets, on the other hand, offer abundant audiovisual content, with detailed information on the brand and model in question. However, there is a lack of more reviews related to the model chosen, which are conspicuous by their absence in most of the stock and yet can be easily found in Zalando and other competitors.

Sarenza analysis of an online store that is running E-Commerce
Sarenza analysis of an online store that is running E-Commerce

In addition to the possibility of paying cash on delivery, by credit card, by bank transfer or through PayPal, Sarenza allows you to create product alerts (for when they offer discounts and occasional promotions) or add them to the user’s wishlist, a classic of electronic commerce.

HOW IS THE SHIPPING SERVICE AND DELIVERY TIMES SARENZA?

The immediacy of delivery has become one of the most sought-after attributes on e-commerce platforms, and it is therefore not surprising that Sarenza offers free shipping (on purchases over 29.99 euros) in 48 hours through Nacex. On the other hand, the most demanding consumers can order the shipment 24 hours via DHL, naturally from Monday to Friday.

However, Sarenza has some rough edges to polish in its delivery, as is customary in many e-commerce operators. According to your ratings at Trusted Shops, the delivery service has a lot to improve: “Today I still haven’t received my order, which apparently has been lost and although I call daily, I haven’t received a solution,” says one user; “You must greatly improve the delivery service. (The shipment) 48h is not true,” explains another.

Other criticisms, however, reveal serious logistical errors: “My rating is negative because I asked for a size 38 and they brought me a size 39,” says one consumer. However, of the 1,058 customer reviews included in the aforementioned Trusted Shops, the majority highlight the quality of the shipping service, with a rating of 4.47 out of 5.

WHAT IS SARENZA’S CUSTOMER SERVICE AND SUPPORT LIKE?

As far as customer service is concerned, Sarenza also comfortably meets expectations, even if the efficiency of the service is far from perfect. For any questions or doubts related to your orders, Sarenza makes available to the customer the number 910 956 700 and a web form that is available from 9h to 13h and 14h to 17h, always Monday to Friday. Also, this ecommerce has a section of FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions), with a detailed explanation of how to complete an order, shipment of products, refund or return.

And when it comes to returns in Sarenza, your customers have up to 100 days to do it for free! If the deadline is correct and the products are new and undamaged, customers can request their return free of charge, which is one of the great strengths of this French operator.

Once again, Trusted Shops’ reviews show that Sarenza needs to improve its customer service: “a lot of delay in receiving the product and no information about it. I had to write an email and seeing that for several days they did not respond”, “I got a wrong number, and did not give me an option to change the number that I had really bought, they said they had run out” or “customer service is terrible, […] All are good words but you spend all day calling to solve it”, among other opinions that overshadow the image of the brand.

HOW IS THE SAFETY AND PROTECTION OF THE USER IN SARENZA?

In addition to the SSL certificate (Secure Socket Layer) data encryption, Sarenza has the seal of Online Trust, a certificate that guarantees the proper protection of personal data of its customers, as well as proper use in advertising activities. This platform also has the Trusted Shops seal of quality, dedicated to the audit of online stores and indicates that it meets the standards set by the European Union in e-commerce.

When it comes to making payments, Sarenza is right to offer its customers an alternative ePayment method to PayPal, Adyen, which has the PCI-DSS certificate and guarantees the security of monetary transactions.

HOW IS MARTECH USED IN SARENZA?

It is also interesting to know some of the technology and marketing strategy hidden under Sarenza’s skin. This is a custom platform, so its web architecture does not depend on WordPress, Magento and other popular CMS.

Also, its hosting provider is CSC (Corporation Service Company), while the analysis of visitor metrics and interactions with its products is carried out by Google Analytics, New Relic and Facebook Insights.

Sarenza makes use of JavaScripts (jQuery and Slick JS), and among its marketing strategies we recognize the segmented ads of Criteo, the affiliate system of Awin (Zanox), Google Remarketing or advertising on social networks of Facebook Ads, among others.

As for content marketing, although the footer of its FAQs section shows a warning and link to ‘Entre Tacones’ (blog.sarenza.es), this blog is not operational, and is likely to be one of the future initiatives of this ecommerce.

The most remarkable thing about Sarenza in this sense are its newsletters, where they put into practice an interesting segmentation of their audience: by genre and by brand predilection, which is more than enough to make an effective mailing to their subscribers, who are also offered 20 euros discount on their first purchase.

CONCLUSION ON SARENZA

What we love about Sarenza is:

The amplitude of its catalogue, with 39 thousand models of more than 300 brands and an endless number of styles, which will make lovers of the world of footwear fall in love.

The security they offer to their consumers, with Online Trust and Trusted Shops stamps, SSL certificate and a specific payment method to guarantee security in transactions, Adyen.

Its mobile application is a great success, not only to adapt like a glove to the target of Sarenza, but for the quality and exclusivity of its contents and an impeccable design.

The segmentation through newsletter and its alert system shows a great interest in meeting the needs of its consumers, in contrast to those subscription systems that rarely add value.

What we dislike about Sarenza is:

Delivery must be perfected, because DHL and especially Nacex overshadow a logistical task that, on the other hand, must improve and avoid errors in the shipment of sizes. However, the percentage of orders shipped late is minimal.

The products should contain a greater number of valuations, as they have a significant influence on the purchase decision, not being strange the ‘flight’ of buyers to Zalando and other ecommerce with this attribute.