Premium Beauty News – You launched What Matters a few months ago. How is the project doing now?
Charlotte Caton – We are very satisfied with what we have done so far. We launched our brand in September 2020 in D2C with about fifty references: skincare, hygiene, and home products. Hygiene products are packed in white bottles, while home care products are presented in brown bottles. The refills are made of flexible plastic to reduce our consumption. We have chosen a comprehensive offering to meet all families’ needs.
What Matters is a unique concept of refillable products packed in very smart bottles made of reinforced, secured glass. It is a patented technology developed by French glassmaker Verescence which guarantees the bottles’ integrity: they cannot break down into pieces, even if they fall on your bathroom tiles. We are pioneers in the use of this technology, and although, initially, we did not ask for significant volumes, Verescence followed us, so they could put forward and valorize their outstanding know-how.
We boast a broad range, but there are few products in each of them – most are gender-free. All products are fitted with pumps to adjust the dose with optimum accuracy. We provide dose recommendations, including the number of times users need to press on the pump: the idea is to consume less, but better. Our products have got good marks on Yuka. These sensorial, pleasant-to-use formulas are made in France and certified organic.
Premium Beauty News – What about sales?
Charlotte Caton – Our customers are really free, but we do help them as much as possible so they gain time: standard purchases, guided purchases, re-orders in a single click, or recurring orders. This flexible system without obligation makes it possible for them to order only what they need. We help our customers evaluate their needs according to their personal situation: in a relationship, family, house-sharing… They can place three or four orders before they subscribe.
Due to the crisis, people have spent a lot of time at home lately, and it boosted our business. We have already sold over 145,000 products (50% of bottles and 50% of refills). But above all, we have recorded a repurchase rate of 46%. We adopted a 100% digital model, which means customers cannot test our products before buying them, so it proves they like them.
In any case, online selling and social media provide direct, unlimited feedback. Our subscribers’ opinion is a precious source of information. Our most popular products are toothpaste and hand wash.
We believe we have helped our customers save three tonnes and a half of plastic since our brand was launched! All our packaging is recyclable, our cardboard’s height can be adjusted, and we manage our deliveries according to frequency rather than product, so our orders are not scattered. So, we deliver every month, or every two or three months, depending on the needs.
Now, what we need to do is broaden our distribution network. We will open up to retail starting from the end of the year in stores like Printemps. We have placed our third order: our suppliers will produce 450,000 more bottles for us. We are also considering opening our first points of sale for export as soon as 2022, in French-speaking countries at first, like Belgium and Switzerland, where we already have customers thanks to the web, and then in Spain and Germany.
Premium Beauty News – Have you planned other developments?
Charlotte Caton – We have developed a B2B range with 5-litre refills for hotels and B&Bs. Single-use plastic will soon be banned in hotels – there is a strong demand in this sector.
As for products, we are about to launch a two-in-one shampoo-shower gel for kids with a refillable metal foamer. We are also preparing a hair conditioner, a BB cream, and shaving foam. In the home category, we plan to launch a fabric softener.
As regards bestsellers, we are also working on powders that can be diluted, so we no longer need to transport water and can further reduce packaging. But we do not want to make any compromise over sensoriality.
However, we also try to fight against hypersegmentation. That is why we only offer two toothpaste models: one for adults, the other for kids.
Premium Beauty News – The segment that grows the fastest is sustainable cosmetics, but it is also the most glutted.
Charlotte Caton – We do not target activists; rather customers who want to change practices but do not really know where to start. But above all, we believe we should help people change using pleasure, not fear or constraints – supermarket customers who want something different. Our clientele is mainly composed of families with children: they need practical, concrete solutions. Our mission consists in helping them gain time by delivering them products when they need them – and never more! – and on which they can count with their eyes shut!
We stand out thanks to our balance between a premium design and an affordable price. People are seduced by our beautiful offering, they repurchase their products because they are good ones, and they are faithful to our brand because it helps be effortlessly ecoresponsible.