“I really love seeing how chaotic and challenging TikTok can be and how rewarding it can be. You can start up a six figure business within a couple of months, literally out of your bedroom, and it’s amazing to see. It’s really interesting to see the next phase of businesses that are starting through online communities.”
– Samuel Darcy, Managing Director of Serge DeNimes.
For this episode of the Lightning 50: E-Commerce Growth Hacking podcast, we interviewed Samuel Darcy, Managing Director of Serge DeNimes. Serge DeNimes is a London-based men’s jewelry and apparel brand founded by Made in Chelsea’s Oliver Proudlock. Launched in 2011 with a range of creative, street-focused apparel, the brand saw a gap in the menswear market for affordable, high fashion jewelry lines and now serves a growing worldwide customer base.
Serge DeNimes champions its design-led, glossy branding for presenting its everyday jewelry and accessories in a covetable light that holds customer interest, and makes use of online community building and social platforms for marketing.
Here are some of the highlights from the transcript…
- “We were doing everything manually and had nearly a thousand SKUs – so we’d have this very manual process of trying to manage the right amount of stock. We found we could never keep one SKU, or every SKU that we offered on the website, in stock for that 60 day period. So we’d have these little blackout moments and wonder, was that revenue lost? Whilst the market was still growing, we were launching 30 piece collections and trying to guess months in advance what we think would sell – and that’s not too different to many fashion brands but was very difficult in an emerging market.”
- “I really love seeing how chaotic and challenging TikTok can be and how rewarding it can be. You can start up a six figure business within a couple of months, literally out of your bedroom, and it’s amazing to see. It’s really interesting to see the next phase of businesses that are starting through online communities.”
- “Now that we’re expanding internationally we’re back to the original problem, but in multiple territories, of understanding what success looks like and how we scale in the right way – and that’s where good software and having a certain tech stack really helps us. It means understanding inventory analysis and having dedicated merchandisers in the team; because if you do have upwards of 1000 SKUs in multiple countries and you order too much, that forces you to mark down. The reason why it’s really important for Serge as a brand is that we only really go into markdown once a year, and we never want to be a markdown driven business.”
Sam’s Top Growth Hacking Tips:
- “The biggest thing that you can do as a brand that’s starting out or scaling, is use first party data. With the increase of competitors and the economic landscape, Meta and Google are not getting cheaper – and other platforms are great for a bit, but when they grow they get expensive as well. Owning first party data – so opt-in emails and SMS – helps people to help you. Owning emails and mobile numbers for SMS campaigns help you communicate to the customer in a more informal manner and you pay a flat fee to communicate to them. That’s massive and stops you from overspending when you’re trying to acquire attention.”
- Serge DeNimes launched in 2011 to fulfil a gap in the market for men’s design-led jewelry and fashion items, selling online as well as in well-known UK department stores such as Selfridges.
- Having achieved excellent growth in the UK (20% in 2022, projected to grow 60% in 2023) Serge DeNimes is expanding its reach into international markets with the use of clever marketing and best-in-class technology.
- The brand uses glossy, high fashion marketing campaigns to promote its affordable product lines and stand out among competitors.
- Serge DeNimes harnesses social media platforms such as TikTok, Facebook, Instagram, Reddit and Pinterest to build online communities that generate exposure for the brand.
- Shopify, Klaviyo and Inventory Planner make up the brand’s smartly curated tech stack. New technology is budgeted for so the company can grow in line with the evolving e-commerce industry.
- Sam’s top tips for sustaining e-commerce growth:
- Own first-party customer data (email, SMS) so you can connect directly with your audience at a lower cost than Google/Meta acquisition.
Want to hear more of what Sam had to say? Catch up with the full episode, and subscribe to upcoming ones, here.