Soi Paris
Each Soi Paris piece of clothing hides long hours of work, in order to develop the perfect sewing pattern: sleek fit, easy-to-wear cuts, designed to suit a wide type of body shapes and ages.
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Klaviyo is the best in class email marketing solution for eCommerce. It's powerful because it connects to your store, and you can create awesome customer segments based on past purchasing behaviors, customer preferences, and even future predictions of spending.
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Under The Hood: Aurélie from Soi Paris

Tactical interview with Aurélie Boutboul, founder of Soi Paris; home for unique & colorful prints

Hi Aurélie! When did you launch Soi Paris? And what's the growth been like from day 1 to today?

I launched Soi Paris with my sister, 7 years ago (in 2016). 

We’re a joyful and engaged women's wear fashion brand specialized in prints that we design in-house. We love colors and we believe clothes have the power to bring joy and confidence to women.

All of our fabrics & designs are unique and we produce all our clothes sustainably.  There's a lot of storytelling around each piece and we like to say we create stories-to-wear.

The growth has been quite intense for us. The first 3 years, we did everything by ourselves (my sister designs and I’m in charge of commercial strategy).

Then from 2019 to 2022, we doubled every year. We went from 5 people to 23 people.

Do you have a retail presence? 

Yes. Our first Soi Paris store was opened in 2018 in Le Marais in Paris. Our biggest challenge when launching was acquisition - and retail foot traffic helped us with that. And we opened 2 more since then. 

Today, we see the importance of omnichannel, as customers want to try in-store a piece they have seen online. Or vice versa. It’s totally interconnected.

What would you attribute most of your big spurts in growth to? 

For starters, we have a great product that’s differentiated from other brands in the market. We design all our prints only on natural fabrics with a responsible making. 

We often poll our customers asking them which brand they find us most comparable to - and 40% of replies come back as “no one”.  And that’s a good thing for us, we want to be unique. 

And then moving from Prestashop to Shopify was a huge move for us. It gave us a lot more autonomy and a key success factor in our digital acquisition funnels. 

What’s 1 thing you’ve done really well on your site and that really drove up conversions? 

Having great quality pictures. Over the years, it’s gotten easier for us to create quality pictures. We first executed them ourselves and now work with professional photographers and it makes a huge difference.

I’ll give you an example: We sell an identical dark blue dress and a light blue dress. The dark blue dress was a hit, and our light blue one was a dud. We didn’t know why it wasn’t selling - but to test, we took our picture with the model wearing the dark blue dress, and replaced her dress (via Photoshop) with the light blue one, and instantly it became a hit. 

So pictures REALLY matter. 

Let’s chat about digital acquisition, what’s working? 

Regarding paid media, we mainly run Facebook, Instagram, and Pinterest ads. I ran all the campaigns myself for 1-2 years and then outsourced it. My main piece of advice on FB / IG is to test. Creative and audience variations really have massive differences. 

And on Pinterest - you can get excellent results too, so don’t overlook that channel. It works particularly well because we sell bridal collections which work nicely with wedding boards. 

On the CRM side of things: What’s working? 

We’re creating hyper personalized flows and it’s paying real dividends. We now drive around 30% of revenue via email which is wild. 

Notably, we have an important 5 email-long Welcome Series and a strong post-purchase series too. 
On our campaigns, we send 2 emails per week to our clients, and only 1 every 2-3 weeks for our less engaged fans (haven’t purchased or haven’t engaged in a while). We don't want to lose them, but we want them to be aware of the big launches.

Is there one really surprising win on the email marketing front? 

Our post-purchase series is quite surprising. We’re segmenting emails based on the material of the customers’ purchase. If they’ve purchased a silk dress, we send emails which show how to care for the silk (for example). 
Those emails were mostly intended for educational purposes, but have ended up generating significant revenue. 

You have 100k followers on Instagram. How important is that to your business? Any learnings? 

To give you a sense of the impact: When we ask people, how have you heard about the brand? The vast majority tells us “through Instagram”. So clearly it's a super powerful tool. 

One activity we see success with is sending weekly recaps of activity at Soi Paris on Sundays. We share the backstage of what has happened at the office showing everyone working on the team. We publish these via stories and gain 4x the reach we usually get from normal stories with our beautiful pictures. 

So adding a humanistic, personal touch of the brand and of the founders has really helped us. 

Soi Paris Instagram

Any learnings on logistics? 

When we saw our big growth in 2019/2020 we still didn't have a 3PL. We fulfilled everything in-house and nothing was automated. 

So when we started to have a boost in growth, it was a nightmare to send all the packages out. There were lots of mistakes made and clients were really unhappy. 

So we decided to pair up with the team at Acolyt in Burgundy. That’s been transformative. They solve all these problems for us + they allow us to do customizations like adding sprays of our perfume into every package. It’s been a real gamechanger. 

That was the first learning. And the next one was switching to Shopify and leveraging that as a POS in our retail stores. That’s allowed to keep all our inventory numbers in sync. 

What’s your tech stack? 

Shopify for ecommerce. Klaviyo for CRM. Gorgias on Customer Support and Judge Me for the reviews. And we also use a new tool called “Ubu”. 

Ubu is like a CRM, but on social media. The same way we run CRM campaigns via email, we can do that on Instagram now. The content we ship out here is either focused on launches or promotions, but it can also be a fun way to create brand engagement (For instance we sometimes do little quizzes to tell you which print would suit you more). 

What would you attribute your success to? 

I'd say our team. We have a team with great energy that’s always motivated to try new things. That alongside my sister’s creativity and good execution where I lead have helped us tremendously. 

Thanks Aurélie!