Many European customers were requesting a localised payment system. Snag switched to Mollie, as the outstanding one-stop solution.
“Sustainability is a must. You can’t expect a pat on the back from customers for that.”
— Tom Martin — Chief Revenue Officer at Snag
Snag. Tights for every body
In 2015 Brie Read was one of the millions of people living in the UK who couldn’t buy a pair of tights that actually fitted properly. Brie began to investigate, there was absolutely no technical reason it couldn’t be done. The industry didn’t seem to be bothered, apart from a few very expensive niche brands. It took two years of research, groundwork and product development before Snag could be launched in 2018. Actually, finding a manufacturer who was even interested in making these “other” sizes, refining the product and getting it to a marketable state was a massive challenge.
A £2 million a month business
In the last twelve months Snag exploded. In just three years it has gone from two laptops and empathy to a £2 million a month business, with eighty-five full-time employees.
Tom Martin, the very down to earth Chief Revenue Officer at Snag, (or his preferred title: “Chief Chaos Monkey”) says, “We are a pure e-commerce, direct consumer business. We don’t sell through retail or marketplaces. We’re a clothes brand, it’s not about fast fashion. Clothing basics in a full range of sizes. Clothes for everyone, offering high quality and low prices.”
By choosing to go purely online and do all their business through the website, Snag can keep its prices down, while still offering great products. In the first year of trading Snag only focused on the UK, but of course their idea is a worldwide “issue”, therefore a worldwide market. The company started with the English-speaking audience in the US and Australia, with Germany being the first foreign language foray. “We’ve got a Dutch language website, a French language website, a Spanish language website… The EU as a whole now accounts for about a third of our total sales,” explains Tom.
Fairness, sustainability, affordability
Snag is not just a good business idea, there’s a philosophy behind it. Fairness, sustainability and affordability. The fairness is in the inclusiveness of the brand: the full range of sizes. Size is more than large and small, it’s also about tallness (Dutch and Scandinavian markets) and customers with disabilities, who find traditional stockings too restrictive. As Tom puts it, “We tried really, really hard to cater for everyone and to think about all the different sizing issues, to make it as inclusive as possible”.
Fairness is also about offering the best quality possible for a fair price. Most fashion brands work with profit margins of 70-80%, Snag’s margin is around 20%. “We keep our costs as low as possible, we pass on that benefit to the customers,” Tom says with conviction. He continues, “Some brands will charge you fifty quid for a pair of tights. We think that’s completely unfair. Our tights are around £7, or €8.”
As for sustainability, Tom explains, “There’s a number of small brands that see sustainability as a niche and an excuse to charge their customers a premium price. We don’t see sustainability as an additional reason to buy from us. We assume that our customers won’t buy, unless everything we’re doing is as sustainable as possible, throughout the whole range.”
Snag doesn’t use any plastic in its packaging, just paper and cardboard. Which is surprisingly rare in the clothing industry. Also, the factory in Italy, which produces their stockings is entirely solar powered, minimising the environmental impact of the electricity.
“Sustainability is a must”
Stockings are typically made from non-recyclable plastic. Untypically, Snag has found a specialist recycling company where all their stockings can be recycled into other forms of plastic, which can be reused to make parts of machinery for example. Also, with new products in the range, it’s always about finding entirely sustainable fabrics. Tom says (and we totally agree): “Sustainability is a must. You can’t expect a pat on the back from customers for that.”
Snag offers an online experience second to none, and they can prove it. It’s the highest rated fashion brand on Trustpilot, five stars, with over 50,000 reviews. “We try to cater for everyone, I think we get a lot of love for that. We try to make sure that our customer experience is as awesome as it can be,” says Tom.
Apart from Trustpilot and Mollie, Tom is also a very big fan of Shopify, “I cannot say nice enough things about Shopify. It works, it scales, I never have to think about it. When we started on Shopify, it literally took just two hours to build the website.”
“The power of local payment methods”
How did Snag find Mollie? Many European customers were requesting local payment methods and wanted to shop in their own language. “I looked around and Mollie stood out as being the one-stop shop for this. Every other option meant we had to do something different for Germany, something different for the Netherlands… Molly had this awesome range of integrations,” says Tom.
Localisation made a big difference to the business. When everything was in English, the conversion rate in Europe was about 4%, this went up to 8% when the sites were in the native languages. Increasing by a further 2% with the switch to Mollie and introduction of, for example, iDEAL, Sofort and Bancontact. Today, one in ten visitors buys something on the Snag website. As Tom says, “It’s taking away reasons for customers not to buy from you. You get to the checkout, if you can’t pay in the way you trust most…”
As a UK company trading with Europe, Brexit was a big issue. Snag didn’t wait for trade deals between Britain and the European Union, they set up a warehouse in the Netherlands, to ensure that any border delays or extra costs would not affect their customers. As Tom sees it, “We have the flexibility to benefit from the EU’s trade deal or the UK’s trade deal, whichever one is better, it’s just a life saver for us.”
Staying nimble, dodging risks
Snag is an agile company, it doesn’t set out one, three or five-year plans. Rather, having both the opportunities and the risks on the radar at all times. Monitoring and testing the possibilities. Tom puts it nicely, “It’s taking the opportunities when they arise and trying to dodge the risks.” The next opportunities Snag is looking at are India, Singapore and Hong Kong, but again, with a very realistic and pragmatic viewpoint from Tom: “If it goes well, we’ll ramp it up. If it doesn’t, it doesn’t.”
We have a feeling – it’s going to go well. Good luck, Snag – and thanks for choosing Mollie.