INTRODUCING DECATHLON SECONDE VIE, AN ECO-FRIENDLY INTRAPRENEURSHIP PROJECT
On April 26th 2020, the Decathlon Seconde Vie (Second Life) project was born, driven by strong ecological convictions and the desire to provide an alternative to the consumption of new products. If you’ve never heard of second life, this new project might seem a little obscure to you. Halfway between new and second-hand products, the Second Life project gives a second chance to defective products (with functional or aesthetic issues), whether it is because of hectic transport, a production default, or damage caused in the warehouse. Formerly, these non-desired products were returned by our customers and weighed on our stocks as we lacked viable and sustainable solutions.
This is the reason why we decided to build this project, to reuse these products. We built a team technicians, thrilled to fix defective products to sell them no matter what, with a 20% discount.
The year 2020 therefore represented a full-scale test for the project, to answer a few key questions : are consumers showing an interest in this new proposition ? Are we managing to be profitable with this new business model ? And above all, by what means and with what tools can we launch Décathlon Seconde Vie ?
BUILDING AN AGILE AND INDEPENDANT ECOSYSTEM
Facing the impossibility of quickly reusing Decathlon.fr IT corp tools during our test phase, we had to be agile and autonomous. The technical challenge was to deploy, with minimum investments and in no time at all, an attractive e-commerce platform, connected to efficient stock, order and transport management systems.
Therefore we created our e-commerce website using a Saas CMS, Shopify, from which we were able to sell the hundreds of references of refurbished products we had, with a secure payment solution for our customers, Stripe. But a front-end website is worthless without a well-oiled organization that allows each stakeholder to receive the required information, at the right time. So we plugged our website secondevie.decathlon.fr to ShippingBo, a Saas tool dedicated to the order, stock and transport management (OMS — WMS — TMS).
Once a product is fixed, the team puts it directly in stock into ShippingBo, which automatically adds it to the Shopify store so our customers can access it and buy it.
When an order is placed, the picker receives the information on his ShippingBo space, with the address of the product to be picked, he automatically removes it from the tool the stock and can print, directly from the shipping label, addressed to the carrier. Once the order is ready, ShippingBo automatically notifies the carrier, so they can come and collect all the orders ready to be sent.
So we quickly, and with a business-wide investment in the test phase, created an autonomous and reliable IT environment via the interconnection of Saas tools. This has enabled us to save more than 2000 items over the year 2020 and to enable more than 1,500 customers to acquire, at a reduced price, sports equipment that has been refurbished and certified by the Decathlon teams.
A COLLECTIVE ADAPTATION TO A BRAND NEW ORGANIZATION
This logistical and IT organization relies above all on the support of the various teams involved, without which this intrapreneurial project could never have seen the light of day. We were fortunate to be able to count on the motivation of our warehouse teams, who immediately supported the project through the creation of a storage and repair space, the refurbishing of items, stock management and order preparation, with the constraint of having to adapt to new tools.
Same goes for all of our Décathlon partner stores, which receive click & collect orders and which have to electronically manage these flows. To support them, it has been important to train them to these new tools, to which they very quickly adapted. Thanks to all of the stakeholders, we have created a fluid and widely automated journey, from the arrival in the repair area, to the order retrieval.
Last but not least, we got help from many persons from the accounting, finance and legal teams to frame this project in a lasting and sustainable way.
TOWARDS A LONG LASTING BRAND NEW LIFE FOR OUR PRODUCTS
After a little bit less than a year, the Decathlon Seconde Vie project shows some very encouraging performances and can look forward with a lot of ambition.
Here are some of our achievements of 2020 :
- Customers : 1400
- Orders : 1600
- Online visits : +200k
- Partner stores : 20
- Full time employees : 8
2021 is already shaping up to be an eventful year, with several major projects underway that will allow the Decathlon Seconde Vie to grow even more. From January, our website will also be given a second life with a total redesign, to strengthen our connection with Decathlon, reassure our customers and facilitate the user experience. This overhaul will be the result of several months of work, following studies conducted among our users, a sprint design organized by our UI/UX teams and the development of new models in collaboration with our agency.
At the same time, we will open up the possibility for our partner stores to order Second Life products to sell in their shelves or in a dedicated corner. This collaboration aims to make these reconditioned products even more accessible, in an omnicanal way, by relying on a powerful network of stores.
These next steps are important milestones for us, rewarding work carried out throughout 2020, and energy invested in a sustainable project that is close to our hearts.
In just a few months, we managed to create a viable, profitable business, attractive to customers and a source of many jobs, using Saas tools that are easily configurable and deployable. Thanks to a strong spirit of intrapreneurship that animates the teams, a certain agility due to the autonomy of the project, Second Life has proven its appeal and sustainability; it can now envisage a sustainable future and a future integration into the entire Decathlon ecosystem.
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