The idea started with the observation that bathrooms are overflowing with products designed for one area of the body, for a specific skin type, or for a given situation. Bionoble, on the other hand, is about the optimization of natural concentrate to create multi-zone, multi-functional products to cover your entire daily routine. From A to Z... like the Amazon marketplace through which Noémie and Chris sell a majority of their oils, gels and Damask Rose Water.
Since its launch in 2019, the natural products brand has seen strong growth between the first and second fiscal year. Chris and Noémie (the co-founders) reached an initial turnover of €397k, and the second full year of activity (April 2020 - March 2021) represented a turnover of €2.6m. After the first recruitment in May 2021, they reach a turnover of €3.39m. There was a real boom with COVID. "People were at home and that was almost all they had to do: take time for themselves." So, Silvr helped them finance their inventory and thereby relieve pressure on their cash flow to continue covering Europe via the Amazon marketplace.
After consulting the website and emails mentioning Silvr as a financing alternative for e-tailers and digital players, Noémie talked about it with a friend of hers – Clément Facco (Strategic Partnership at Silvr) – during a meeting organized at the DNC (Digital Native Club) where Bionoble is a member and Silvr is a partner. This coincided perfectly with their pressing cash flow needs.
It's a "great boost for the inventory," which is their main problem. Indeed, based on their business model "we are forced to stock a lot of items, even though we are careful to keep the inventory lines to a minimum in order to keep them as cheap as possible." But at times like the one approaching, namely Q4, larger-than-usual inventories are needed.
When you're running on Amazon, your brand's ranking is paramount to stand out in searches. So with Silvr, Chris was able to ramp up the brand's Ads launch. Bionoble not only financed the brand's European inventory with Silvr's RBF, but also freed up cash flow to finance other costs like their Ads. Especially since, for Bionoble (like all other Amazon sellers), there is a dual challenge, as stock-outs are unthinkable given the negative repercussions on all the SEO efforts. "These SEO efforts take a long time to set up on Amazon, but losing your ranking on Amazon is pretty quick!" So, Noémie finishes commenting by saying that "stock-outs are out of the question".
"'Stock-outs are out of the question', with Silvr, it's convenient and fast to unlock financing, especially since it's important to be able to be reactive on inventory purchases while spread out expenses over time." – Noémie Pélékhine, co-founder of Bionoble
Another technicality on Amazon is the variations of successes according to location and the unpredictability of successes and booms. The problem is managing the inventory according to geographical zones or seasonal variations. For example, fenugreek works very well in France, less so elsewhere. Jojoba oil is gradually taking off in Germany. Overall, all their products are selling everywhere.
Discover a use case experience by Bionoble. Their fenugreek-based item reference once sold more than 200 units, which was out-of-the-ordinary compared to the usual sales. So Noémie and Chris tried to find out what could have justified such a boom in sales. An article about their item reference? An active campaign that strangely outperformed? It turns out it was a trend started by influencers on TikTok.
"What's great about Silvr is the speed with which financing is released. When you find yourself in situations like the fenugreek boom, it's important to be able to be reactive about purchasing inventory while spreading out your expenses over time." Needs change quickly, as do opportunities.
The Bionoble business was founded in March 2019 for a launch 5 months later. Noémie had her own PR events agency. Chris, on the other hand, was working in the supply chain sector in Paris. Then COVID came to awaken in them the desire to change and to start a business. As far as the distribution network is concerned, it is the Amazon marketplace that has become the focus of Chris's attention. Once the sales platform was found, it was necessary to define the sector-based vertical strategy. Chris conducts market research on keyword search volumes using tools like Helium 10. What came out of it was vegetable oils. It was also because Noémie knew these products not only as a consumer, but also through her agency experience during which she had dealt with a number of clients in the sector.
After concluding her assignments that ran for another 1-2 years after the creation of the project, Noémie was able to devote 100% of her time to the Bionoble project. As for Chris – now the "Amazon bully" of the pair of co-founders – he was learning about Amazon and its workings while still on the job, "in the morning on his phone, listening to podcasts".
They started on Amazon France with half a dozen products: castor oil, jojoba oil, argan oil, fenugreek oil and prickly pear seed oil. A year later, Aloe Vera gel and Rose water were added to the range. And finally the black cumin oil. As their name suggests, the vegetable oils and other products offered by Bionoble are natural, certified organic, vegan and guaranteed to be free of any controversial ingredients. Bionoble works with a laboratory in the south of Spain and with two French packers.
After Amazon France, it went to Spain and Italy, then to Germany and the UK (pre-Brexit: the procedures were simpler). Germany is now Bionoble's biggest market. As for the sales channels, even if their expertise is on Amazon – which predominates in their sales – and despite the fact that they "had to relearn everything", Noémie and Chris launched their own website (and shop window) a year later.
On the language side, Noémie and Chris designed their first packaging solutions in every language from the start precisely to facilitate the management of stocks throughout Europe. The same applies to the listing of their products on the marketplace to integrate them ideally with powerful keywords in order to optimize PPC(Pay-Per-Click: price per click on an Ads). They have a translator for each language. Thanks to these specialized campaigns in each of the target languages, Bionoble can guarantee a minimal view from their Amazon Vendor platform. The idea is to process "every Monday morning a given number of Purchase Orders (POs)". That's a wake-up call at 6 a.m. every Monday to respond to nearly 20 POs. The orders are sent from France to supply all the European partner warehouses. The technicality of being an Amazon Vendor in B2B is that you need to have a VAT number in each of these countries.
The team is composed of 4 full-time employees. One person who manages the administration, accounting and regulations, given that "we are Ecocert certified, so this requires special attention", one person on the supply chain and the 2 co-founders. The team is occasionally supplemented by freelancers. The first one has been working with them for more than two years for the creation and development of the graphic charter and the packaging solutions. Another freelancer manages the customer service. Since this year, they have also been joined by 4 work-study trainees. Everyone is telecommuting, so the way it works is new, but it allows us to remove any geographical barriers for recruitment.
You now know the story of the vegetable oils that have conquered Europe. Discover now their products and get 15% off with the SILVR promo code on your first order, with no minimum purchase, on all the products of the site! Or take advantage of it by going directly here.
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