"bilou has a brand-new online shop!" – this news spread through social media in December 2018. Finally, bilou fans have the opportunity to purchase almost all products offered by brand, even exclusive items that haven't been availalbe in stores for quite some time. To the delight of customers and fans, the online shop is packed with recurring special promotions, exclusive online products, add-ons, and other surprises. These are always communicated via the website www.bilou.de/en and the various country-specific mybilou Instagram accounts.
bilou is a young team that develops unique fragrances with a lot of love for detail. The brand is a collaboration between Bianca "Bibi", Germany's most popular female "YouTuber and Twitterstar 2016", and Philosophy Brands GmbH, as the exclusive marketing and sales agency. nuwena GmbH, founded in February 2015 and based in Heidelberg, manufactures all bilou products.
- bilou is a brand for body care products developed and created in collaboration between the marketing and sales agency Philosophy Brands and the influencers Bibi and Julian.
- The unique products are “Made in Germany” with “love & passion” and are 100% vegan.
- Cosmetics & body care
- B2C with planned expansion to B2B
- Retail sale of products in German-speaking countries and the UK
- Multilingual; in the UK shop window only, no sales functionality
First online shop for the young brand
Marketing exclusively online but selling offline in the relevant channels: that was the original business model when launching the bilou brand. Products randing from shower foam and lip oil to cream foam and body spray were therefore previously only available in drugstores and their online presence. After numerous product launches, time came for the brand to focus on its own online shop in order to offer their growing fanbase the full range of products. With Shopware, the trendy brand has now successfully launched its first online brand shop.
“We decided to go with Shopware because it offered a lot of technical options for us: the responsive design, payment methods and the API, which we can use for our fulfilment service provider. In addition, we found an experienced agency with Kellerkinder, which ensured the smooth implementation and design of the new online shop,” explains Jennifer Alles of Philosophy Brands.
International offline and online sales
The body care products are sold internationally at various drugstores. Throughout Germany, the bilou products can be found at dm, Rossmann, Müller or Budni. In Austria and Switzerland, they are sold at BIPA and Manor as well as Müller, in Italy also at dm, and in the UK at Superdrug.
In addition to retail, the roughly 60 products from seven different categories can now also be purchased in the new bilou online shop.
Unique products place particular demands on the shop software
bilou stands for unique products and unusual design, which is why the product detail page was completely redesigned to meet the expectations of the young generation: large product images, standout and distinctive colours for each product and special badges, such as “100% vegan” or “PETA”, were just some of the requirements that Philosophy Brands made on the frontend and, thanks to the sophisticated basis of Shopware, could be implemented in just a few weeks.
The homepage as well as some of the Shopping Worlds were completely recreated and implemented with parallax effects and unique elements in different languages. One aspect was of utmost importance: loading time. In collaboration with Kellerkinder and the hosting provider maxcluster, they developed a cluster setup with CDN connection which could handle the predicted – and achieved – traffic to the shop.
In order to offer the young target group a special treat, bilou decided to put free items in the shopping cart - to start with an exclusive bilou shopping bag, which is highly coveted by all fans. Kellerkinder developed the corresponding feature, which automatically integrates a freebie into the shopping cart.
Instagram integration for #mybilou and social media marketing
mybilou is one of the largest, most successful brand accounts in Germany and has a reach of around 1.6 million Instagram followers. The brand owes a great deal of its success to social media, having built up a large fan base there within a very short time.
It was therefore clear that an Instagram integration was an absolute must for the new online shop. Customers can select the hashtag #mybilou in the category tree of the shop, leading them directly to the bilou shop Instagram account. Here, followers can find appealing product images presenting the product line.
Successful implementation with Shopware partner Kellerkinder
Kellerkinder joined up with DIA die.interaktiven and made a pitch that overshadowed those by several other agencies. According to Jennifer Alles, this was no coincidence: “Collaboration with all parties involved was cooperative and virtually without friction. Our Shopware Partner Kellerkinder knows the shop system inside out and could give us relevant advice”.
At first, the “Kellerkinder and DIA” joint pitch gave Philosophy Brands some concern about bringing two agencies on board: Kellerkinder for the backend and DIA for the frontend. “But then we quickly realised that both agencies were a well-oiled team. Communication with Shopware itself was also very pleasant and really fast,” concluded Alles.
Philosophy Brands GmbH opted for Shopware with the goal in mind of also integrating a B2B shop and other subshops. According to Jennifer Alles, these expectations were met by Shopware, despite challenges faced in terms of design flexibility, for example.