Located at the London Novotel West, ChannelX World will bring together marketplace, social and messaging retailing for the first time. Throughout the day you’ll meet a diverse range of businesses operating in different sectors and trading across an array of channels from marketplaces to social media and beyond.
Q&A with Stephanie Buret Cruiziat
Why did ManoMano introduce the ManoManoPro platform, and can you talk us through the platform’s journey so far?
In an ever-growing industry, trade professionals are becoming overloaded with new jobs and new projects, which can often prove to be stressful and time-consuming. We launched ManoManoPro to support the trade by building a ‘one-of-a-kind’ dedicated B2B service that aims to make their lives easier. The platform and app offer trade professionals a unique experience combining the power of the ManoMano marketplace with specially tailored products and services, revolutionising the purchase process.
We first launched the service in France in 2019, and it immediately proved popular with the trades, with 1 in 4 French construction workers currently signed up to the platform. We wanted to build out this success and support the trade industry across Europe, so we expanded ManoManoPro by launching the service in Spain and Italy in 2020, and this year we entered into the UK market.
ManoManoPro recently launched in the UK in April. How has the new platform performed in the UK market?
Research from Rated People’s ‘Home Improvement Trends Report’ suggested that nearly 2 in 3 UK tradespeople believed 2021 to be the busiest year they’ve ever had, whilst 86% of tradespeople said they expected to be very busy in 2022, so we thought it was a fantastic time to launch the service in the UK to help make working days simpler for tradespeople and give professionals back an hour of their day, every day.
Since launching in April, the platform has grown in popularity within the UK, with over 11,000 sign ups so far. The app has also performed well, and we have seen over 100,000 downloads so far, with an average rating of 4.5/5 across both the Apple and Google store. As the demand for trade continues to rise, we expect to see these figures continue to grow, as professionals search for simplified shopping experiences to help them save time at work.
The new platform is not only beneficial for tradespeople by offering a one-stop-shop platform for tools, materials, and invoicing, but it is also beneficial to sellers who are targeting a key demographic within the trade sector. ManoManoPro currently has over 1,000,000 products available from a variety of sellers within different industries and will continue to grow as the platform users increase.
Have you seen any interesting or stand-out trends within the UK trade sector?
So far some of our best performing product categories include tooling, which comes as no surprise as they are a key accessory for the majority of trade sectors, and gardening, which once again comes as no surprise as the platform has only been live during spring and summer seasons, and UK households have been preparing for the return of warm weather, which we certainly received!
However, one interesting trend we have noticed so far has been the demand for showers & shower accessories, which proved to be another top performing product category. This also aligns with the fact that plumbers have been the third most popular profession to sign up to the platform. During the pandemic, we saw a huge uptake in demand for interior renovation projects as people spent more time at home, and one of the most popular to arise from this was bathroom renovations. This has seemingly continued to prove popular in 2022.
The pandemic certainly saw growing interest in the need for DIY and renovation around the home and was one of the key reasons behind the busy schedule of trades in 2021. With ManoManoPro, these busy trade sectors are offered specifically tailored products and services, helping professionals find what they need to complete the renovation task in a timely and simple manner.
Which trades are using the platform most?
I may have already highlighted one trade in my previous answer, but the other top performing trades include carpenters and electricians, alongside trade ‘generalists’ who work across a variety of sectors.
However, whilst these are the top performing trades, we have certainly seen a wide range of tradespeople from all different sectors sign up over the past few months, such as maintenance workers and real estate, showcasing just how busy these professions currently are. These tradespeople also come from all over the UK. Although London is where the majority of sign-ups have come from, we have also seen a large quantity of professionals sign up from Birmingham, amongst other major UK cities.
How does ManoManoPro intend to grow as an online marketplace in an industry that is yet to fully embrace the digital sector?
We want ManoMano Pro to be seen as a service that helps the UK trade industry embrace the digital world.
We conducted research in April which found that the average tradesperson wastes around 4 hours each week travelling from place to place to pick up materials; waiting around for products to be delivered; and chasing up fixtures and fittings that arrive with missing parts. With ManoManoPro, tradespeople are able to have products delivered straight to their projects or renovation sites, which can be purchased at anytime, anywhere via our 24-hour online catalogue.
We also launched the ManoManoPro app at the same time as the platform, to help give tradespeople quick and direct access in their back pocket to all the ManoManoPro features and benefits, making it much easier to order and plan product pickups whilst on the job.
Whilst brick & mortar stores play an important role in the UK economy, the pandemic has seen a huge shift towards the ecommerce world, and more consumers are now mobile-first facing, and are searching for a simplified, one-stop shop which helps them save time. With ManoManoPro, this experience is offered to the trade, and we aim to accelerate and facilitate their digitalisation by bringing together all the functionalities of a brick & mortar store without the time expenditure – products in one place, personalised navigation according to the professional’s specialty, tracking of orders and invoices, and much more.
You are presenting at ChannelX World in October, what can retailers expect to learn about the platform and the ManoMano brand overall?
Since being founded in 2013 our goal has been to become the digital leader specialising in DIY, Home and Garden. We are now the largest home improvement and DIY marketplace in Europe that provides a real alternative to traditional bricks and mortar DIY stores and e-commerce generalists.
During our session we will be taking a deep dive into how we utilised a specific industry sector to grow our business and expand our cross-border platform across Europe, alongside our plans to continue this growth, with the recent launch of ManoManoPro being one of the prime examples.
What are you most looking forward to seeing at the ChannelX event?
People! After a challenging couple of years, it will be amazing to meet spokespeople for new marketplaces, retailers, brands, consumers, and colleagues in-person, and I will certainly enjoy not only meeting attendees for our session and sharing insight into ManoMano as a business, but also learning from fellow attendees on how we can best shape the future of marketplace retail.