The story of Marion Maakt
Who is Marion Maakt?
"I am Marion, 28 years old, an entrepreneur from Ghent with a passion for our planet and what it has to offer. My whole entrepreneurial story has actually grown organically around that passion. But that it would become what it is today, I had not planned at all. It started with making workshops for natural care products and now that story has exploded(laughs). Now it has become a whole platform around DIY natural skincare. In time, I also want to offer a finished cosmetics line, in addition to the existing DIY."
What was your challenge?
"Everything digital!(laughs). No, I had been working for two and a half years and personal branding on social media was working. But I knew there had to be a website. Only I could not do it technically. It was all in my head, but I had zero expertise in that area. So I couldn't make any progress.
And then I came to Dazzle because I wanted to acquire Smoet, a supplier of raw materials for natural cosmetics. I was making a financial plan and called Dazzle to ask how much it would cost to adapt the website. Luc suggested that we work together and that is how the puzzle fell into place. I could continue to focus on the content of Marion Maakt and confidently leave the website to Dazzle."
What have we done for you and what is in it for you?
"Dazzle built the website of Marion Maakt but the cooperation went far beyond the mere technical implementation. We thought a lot about functionalities together. It was nice to have a partner to spar with.
Thanks to the website and the web shop, sales are much higher. And thanks to the automation, I have a lot less administrative work. Before, I had to send an e-mail for every purchase, make an invoice, check the payments, upload everything into the accounting programme... Now, thanks to the web shop, all that happens automatically!
My questions were also answered very quickly and the SEO optimisation was a serious added value. I can now be found much more easily. It's great that I don't have to worry about that." Curious about the Marion Maakt webshop?
The challenge for Dazzle
"We were confident that it would work, but that it would work so fast was beyond anyone's expectations.
Tenfold increase in turnover
At the beginning of 2019, we put the Smoet! live but due to internal reasons the owners decided to put the books down after only one and a half years.
When we heard Marion a few weeks later about the take-over, an agreement was reached pretty quickly: Marion became the majority shareholder, Luc (Dazzle's managing partner) accepted a contribution for 30% of the shares. Both parties agreed to work at a very low rate the first year to maximise the chances of survival.
In early October 2020, the new website went live. Today, only 6 months later, sales have increased tenfold compared to the previous website! We have about a thousand active and satisfied customers and those numbers keep growing every day.
We were confident that it would work, but that it would go so fast was beyond anyone's expectations.
Reasons for this success story
The reason why we were very confident from the start had everything to do with Marion herself. Her engaging personality, her charisma and spontaneity, and certainly her sector knowledge made her the ideal person to become the face of the brand. The personal branding that she had already been working on was a valuable asset to work with.
On our side, we had the strategic insight and technical know-how to turn Marion's expertise into a well-run webshop. So we too - like Marion - attribute the success of this story to the respective complementary expertises, the mutual trust and the close cooperation between the two parties. Marion and Dazzle meet weekly, we keep tinkering with the website, report on e-mail and other campaigns, brainstorm about possible next actions, and so on.
Finally, we have focused on several pillars. There is an extensive range of products and recipes on the website. In addition, we seized the disadvantage of the restrictive measures of the coronapandemic to turn it into an advantage. Online training sessions were filmed and Marion wrote her (first) book. In the words of Churchill: never waste a good crisis.
Functionalities & integrations
- various customer profiles and prices
- Invoicing, backorders, waiting lists at stockout
- advanced coupon management
- extensive filter system
- abandoned cart emails
- custom user profile page
- Product bundles: selling different products in a package
- advanced review system
- affiliate system
- wish lists
- Tailor-made learning management system for the online workshops
- Advanced stock management / ERP
- Preference centre newsletters
- Permalink Manager Pro: extensive URL structures with depth
- Sendcloud: parcel delivery
- Mollie: online payments
- Sendinblue: marketing automation