Collectique in Antwerp brings online and physical clothing shops together. When a physical store partners with Collectique, an online shopper can try on their purchase in the physical shop and receive style advice as well.
Collectique was founded in 2019 by Claire Tobback (Vlerick Masters in General Management, 2015). She explains how the solution works: “When a webshop customer ticks the Collectique shipping option, the clothes they have ordered are made ready for them in the participating physical store. The customer can then come in to try the clothes on, receive style advice, and consider matching clothing or accessories that enhance their online purchase. Customers can collect, and also easily return, their orders via the physical shop.”
For every 10 online shoppers, 2 to 5 want to be able to return or exchange their purchases. Moreover, ‘the last-mile delivery’ has a large impact on online shops: missed home deliveries account for 8% of centre city traffic. To limit the impact of the deliveries and returns, Collectique strives to optimize the grouping of packages from and to a webshop.
Collectique focuses on the larger fashion webshops that don’t always have very much visibility in physical stores and are dependent on the general ‘click & collect’ options offered by the logistics companies. Thanks to Collectique, the webshops can quickly and easily enter into click & collect partnerships with physical retail stores, and thus gain more control over the customer experience and the logistics process.
“I’m thankful to Vlerick Business School for helping me discover my passion for entrepreneurship and for encouraging me to dream big,” Claire Tobback says. “Launching this new retail concept is a challenging ride, but it’s very rewarding to see how stores and webshops can create a win-win and reap the benefits of this new click & collect partnership model. Especially during Corona times, brands selling online are looking into ways to push traffic towards their wholesale partner stores – and Collectique allows them to do just that.”
For the time being, Claire Tobback is not looking for external support or venture capital rounds. To start her company, she received seed money funding from Vlerick’s Student Entrepreneurship Fund. The fund provides students and alumni entrepreneurs with crucial assets in their venturing process.
Sigrid Sengers, Vlerick’s Head of Advancement: “Entrepreneurship is engrained in Vlerick’s DNA. That’s why we launched the Student Entrepreneurship Fund. With the generous support of the Founding Friends – we raised €750,000 from 11 donors – we can give new entrepreneurs a financial boost. In our two first rounds, we granted €127,000 to 7 ventures, all of which embody the Vlerick spirit. The jury clearly felt Claire’s drive and ambition to build this innovative concept further. She combines more value for online retail with sustainability. It’s inspiring to see how this ambitious e-commerce concept is going to make a difference.”
Collectique is off to a great start. Today, there are some 60 Collectique points in Flanders and Brussels. Those are physical stores that are also open to receiving online shoppers, which can be a source of new customers. Several larger retail chains have also already shown interest in a collaboration with Collectique.