In the eyes of Guillaume Ziegler, who took over the e-commerce website Equi-Clic in 2016, joining Elodie Douville.
Guillaume, you were destined for e-commerce but not for horse riding. How did the two worlds meet?
It all started on the benches of my business school, EM Normandie, in Le Havre. As soon as I started my course, I wanted to create a company. I started by looking at the group purchase of laptops and then, after the brands refused to join our project, we said to ourselves, with a friend in osteopathy school, that we could probably apply the same methods to his sector of activity. This is how Girodmedical was born in 2005. The beginning was heroic :) I remember answering clients on my breaks between classes. A few years later, I sold the company that had taken off and looked for a new challenge. That's how I met a young entrepreneur, Elodie Douville, who had created an online saddlery.
This was the real start of Equi-Clic.
After two experiences in e-commerce, she needed reinforcements to make the site take off. At the time, we only made 15 orders per month and the packages were prepared in a rented box. Today, we manage 60,000 orders per year, a 3,000 m² warehouse in La Flèche (Sarthe) and 6 employees. The story is a good one. We offer 50,000 references on the site, ranging from simple racks to grassland shelters. This wide range makes Equi-Clic a rather unique supplier. We start with the customer's expressed needs. If we don't have it, we look for it and we find it!
How do customers behave and how have they changed in recent years?
First of all, he is a connoisseur, as horse riding is a world of enthusiasts. It is not a sport like any other. Hence the requirement that we have set ourselves to hire, above all, women riders for the customer service department, so that they are relevant in the exchanges. The customer's habits are also evolving at the same time as e-commerce standards. Waiting for a page to be displayed, not understanding the navigation at first glance, and having a delivery time of more than 48 hours are, for example, prohibitive. We therefore pay a lot of attention to service and customer experience. And as 75% of visitors order via their telephone, we have to be irreproachable in terms of mobile first. Especially since, with the impossibility of going outside, the practice was boosted during the lockdown.
What has been the most important project since you took over Equi-Clic?
I would say that it was the constitution of the team coming out of containment and the materialisation of the Sables-d'Olonne headquarters. That was for me the marker of the fact that we had decided to move up a gear. We have clearly changed dimension. And the other significant project is probably the one that awaits us. I have a project to internalise the logistics while creating a global complex that would bring together the e-commerce activity, a shop and a stable so that customers can test the equipment. This would bring us closer to the users. Finally, another future project is internationalisation. German and Dutch companies are taking market share from us, so there's no reason why we shouldn't do the same thing, but in their country!
What is your relationship with Ekkia?
Ekkia has been with us since we started in 2016. It is also our first supplier. It has many assets: product quality, range width, operational excellence... This company is amazing, an example to follow. Afterwards, if I can't find what I want in France, I turn to the international market. For farrier rasps, I have an American supplier and an Australian one for hipposandals, one of my best sellers.
What is your favourite human or relational quality and what do you dislike?
Above all, I like my interlocutors to have a positive spirit, to see the glass as half full rather than half empty. On the downside, I have trouble with a lack of courage. There's no point in hiding things, you have to admit your mistakes, everyone makes them.
Nothing is impossible. This is what I apply to my triathlon practice. After having done the half ironman in Les Sables-d'Olonne last year, I plan to do the full ironman in 2025: 3.8 km of swimming + 180 km of cycling + 42.195 km of running. The blockages are mostly mental.
Ekkia in a nutshell?