Today, Monegasques Pierre Billon and Sébastien Lambla have launched DouxVillage Monaco, an e-commerce platform for local stores in the Principality that offers same-day delivery or in-store pickup.
“Apart from a very dynamic luxury retail sector, local brick and mortar stores are competing against big shopping centers in the Nice area and lower prices across the Italian border,” says Billon, 38, a corporate finance and business strategy expert.
“In 2018, the retail sector in Monaco represented €1.5 billion. Excluding cars and some luxury items, this represents €650 million of goods potentially also sold on DouxVillage,” he reveals.
Until 2019 Billon was Customer Experience Director at Monaco Telecom, but he started his career at the dawn of 4G technologies with Clearwire/Sprint in Europe and became an independent consultant in Germany for nearly eight years.
He cofounded DouxVillage Monaco with high school friend Sébastien Lambla. The two Monegasque entrepreneurs had moved back to the Principality three years ago and during lockdown in March, they realized that local businesses would need more than short-term relief through a boost in online sales during the Covid-19 crisis.
“Omnichannel selling benefits large stores and marketplaces but smaller players don’t have the tools, knowledge or time to get started online,” says Lambla, a senior software architect, who specialized in agile project management and software development and spent 15 years in London working in Big Data (McKinsey, WhenFresh), banking (Morgan Stanley, Credit Suisse, JP Morgan) and delivery startups (Just-Eat).
“For the retail professional, DouxVillage is more than just another online platform to sell products—it is a fully integrated service including payment, local delivery logistics and customer support without any initial investment,” explains 39-year-old Lambla.
“For the end consumer, it is an online platform providing an exceptional customer experience no matter which local store they buy from, including the choice of many products types that they love on large marketplaces, and their order is delivered in Monaco the same day for only €5.