Our client aim’n has truly seen great success and is constantly moving forward, gaining strength and inspiration from their loyal customers called the aim’n Tribe. This success just landed them an award at Habit Fashion Gala - Newcomer of the Year 2017 - which marks the impact they have on people and the sportswear industry at large.
We got a chance to speak to Robin Mostacero, CEO at aim’n, about goals, challenges, inspiration and the future, where the motto “aim high, dream big” sets the tone.
Was e-commerce an obvious choice when aim’n was established in 2013 and what was your vision for the brand?
Absolutely, e-commerce was the only thing we had intended to do from the beginning, besides selling via retailers, of course. But we don’t believe that physical stores will die out, but rather that they will be an awesome complement to e-commerce. The industry is changing rapidly and it’s important to keep up with new buyers’ high standards of delivery and customer service.
Our vision is to motivate and inspire women around the globe to move towards an active lifestyle by offering sportswear that you can’t find on the market. The vision was to invest in the international market from the get-go. To solely invest in the Swedish market was never an option; we live by our motto in everything we do, and that’s why we strove for the international market from day one.
How would you describe aim’n’s e-commerce journey from the beginning?
It’s actually been moving upwards the whole time. We’ve developed our e-commerce from just having a web shop that allowed purchases in Swedish SEK, to offering three sites in two languages and three currencies. We’re also about to add a fourth site with an additional language.
What were the biggest surprises along the way?
There were two positive surprises. The first was how fast we reached audiences through social media; we’ve had a very nice flow of visitors to the site since the start. The other was the wide variety of people shopping from all over the world. We come from this small place called Sweden with our inspiring sportswear and on the very first day, we received orders from at least 25 countries. Crazy!
What lessons and tips would you share with other e-tailers?
If you're a start-up: Think about what platform you're planning to start building, and begin on a smaller scale with a cheaper website to test your products to ensure that they're up to date and that customers will like what you're doing. Then you can spend your money on a nicer, more user-friendly and more expensive website; because you can spend a lot of money on your website. Make sure it can be built together with a current or future business and ERP system so that the flows become simple and scalable.
For established brands: Think big and build sturdy; you have to stand out with your website and your money needs to be invested well. Begin with the entire buying process and make it world-class. Then you can spend time on cool features. The flows along with conversion rate are everything for a site. After that, content, content and content!
What do you do to stand out online?
We provide extremely nice content, an easy-to-navigate website, and now we’re in the process of rebuilding the buying process so that it becomes a lot faster and easier for our customers. We will invest in some form of loyalty program as that is the basis of everything in our marketing. Our worldwide aim'n Tribe will receive a lot of attention. Social media is huge for you!
How do you make social media work for you, and do you see potential in new channels - if so, which ones and why?
Social media has been our single most important success factor as it’s an easy way to build a brand. We make sure to be very meticulous with our content and that everything looks good, without body editing and other retouches. We use filters, of course, but the bodies of our models remain genuine. aim'n should be an inclusive brand on all levels, so we strive to show different bodies as well as different origins. We work hard to be authentic, which we define as staying true to our message and acting upon it. There are far too many brands out there that portray themselves in a certain way, but upon a closer look, they’re not at all what they say they are.
The channel with the most potential was undoubtedly Instagram, but after Facebook's purchase, this is no longer a given due to the fact that you don’t reach out the same way as you did before. E-mail is a very good way to cut through the noise, so believe it or not, this is a very strong platform for us. How do you reach new customers versus keeping existing ones?
We work broadly and with both; we really want to reach out to new inspiring customers and we do it through a mix of influencers, ads and our own channels. But we always have to keep active with our existing customers (or our Tribe, as we call them). They are the most important for a brand like us, because they are our ambassadors and spread the word about our products.
You are working with a selection of retailers; how do you look at their work compared to your own store and ecommerce? How do the channels affect each other?
We see our retailers in the same way as our end customers - that's our vision. We treat them the same way, and provide them with exceptional service. We think our channels work well together. We are very selective with our retailers, so that we build the brand through them and that we don’t compete too much with each other. We will open our second Concept Store in Gothenburg in late February 2018. It will be an exciting test to open our own store in a shopping mall within the natural flow that exists there. Again, we believe in a mix between e-commerce and physical stores, so this is proof that we practice what we preach.
Where do you get your inspiration from?
Tekla Acs, designer and co-founder at aim’n, gets her inspiration from everything and anything, ranging from the small things in life, to nature and personal experiences. And of course, from seeing our aim’n Tribe growing with us, both on a personal level and as a group.
I get my primary inspiration from pure competitive instincts. I always want to be the best at what I do and what we do, so our goals are set high: to be Sweden's largest export company of sportswear.
How would you describe your collaboration with Vaimo?
The collaboration has been very good, but as we built our site on Magento 2, which was almost brand new when we launched our site, we've had some challenges. However, we are always building long-term so we really hope that this will pay off. Apart from that, Vaimo offers everything we may need in regard to our webshop. We believe that this cooperation will give us great extra power and potential to continue to be at the forefront of the areas we are focused on.
Which market/markets has the greatest potential?
The USA, China and Germany have the most potential for us.
How do you see your e-commerce evolving in the coming year and what challenges do you see ahead?
We will continue to invest in our own shop; we are now launching two brand-new checkouts for a faster purchase process and launching invoices through Klarna for the first time. We will start building an app to give our customers even better service in areas we think are important, ranging from training and diet, to inspiration and motivation. We will launch a shop in Germany as well as employing a German-speaking customer service agent to further target the German market.
If I say aim'n in 2025, what do you envision?
I see Sweden’s largest sportswear brand, with our own fashion collection and shoe line. Along with our retailers, we’ve launched aim'n in all parts of the world, and collectively have a turnover of more than 500 million SEK and a Tribe of more than 5 000 000 people.
Complete the sentence:
aim'n stands for… daring to carry out your dreams.
aim's average customer is… a woman who wants to create success with us.
My daily role demands… that I love challenges, I tend to everything from retailers, structure and financial matters, to painting moldings or updating the website.
My motto is… the most flexible wins! I'm 100% satisfied with a working day when… we develop, regardless of the area and size of development.
KPI’s (December 1-31, 2016 compared to December 1-31, 2017)
485% - Increase in revenue
300% - Increase in transactions
46% - Increase in average order value
283% - Increase in visitors on site