In the 18th arrondissement of Paris stands the Marché Saint-Pierre. Famous for its rich history in French textiles, this is where important decisions are made for the next year in fashion, upholstery, bedding, and more. It’s where locals, tourists, and traveling professionals alike go to see the latest trends as well as the classics in style. You can catch a glimpse of a famed designer walking the streets while you mingle with hobbyists looking for the perfect new pattern.
Since 1990, it is also where you can find Tissus Lionel, a company founded by Houri Lionel specializing in wholesale and semi-wholesale textiles. With four magasins – French for shops – in the St. Pierre market alone, Tissus Lionel is a steadfast presence in Parisian textiles.
In 2017, Tissus Lionel sought to expand their presence in the textile industry by taking their retail capabilities online. Now, their success is evident with partners like Disneyland Paris, Lido de Paris, and the prestigious Opéra National de Paris.
Not far from the historic St. Vincent de Paul cathedral and mere kilometers from the Arc de Triomphe, you’ll find another one of their physical locations – their first store, specializing in hobbyist textiles for art and entertainment.
Selling to Paris and beyond: Growing with ecommerce
Tissus Lionel relied on their impeccable word-of-mouth reputation and in-person sales for more than 20 years. In 2012, they created a simple HTML-based site. By 2016, patrons could review an online catalog and call in orders over the phone.
Their goal was to become the leader in quality textiles online at an unbeatable price. In 2017, they worked with an agency to create a full-scale ecommerce solution, and launched with over 900 fabrics.
Not long after, they partnered with notable developer Julien Gerardin to build something that would keep pace with the ever-advancing ecommerce world and scale with Tissus Lionel’s growth and future vision.
The result was TissusLionel.com, a fully responsive ecommerce site capable of meeting the needs of both individual and professional buyers.
On this site and in their stores, you’ll find wholesale fabrics – from cotton and jersey to felt, leather, waterproof options, and more – spanning a wide range of budgets and interests.
All told, Tissus Lionel now lists more than 4,500 SKUs on their site.
Choosing an ecommerce platform
Tissus Lionel put much time and consideration into choosing the perfect ecommerce platform. The team evaluated a number of content management systems (CMSs) before making a decision.
With a world-renowned reputation, the platform needed to support their current business and provide room to scale. With thousands of SKUs, the site needed to be built on a solid foundation that would provide the groundwork for their developer.
Tissus Lionel ultimately chose WooCommerce for its flexibility, strong CMS, and the security and support provided by the WordPress community. The ability to integrate the logistics of their existing ecommerce structure was also an important factor in their decision. WooCommerce extensions saved the team time in both development and in managing and expanding store offerings in the future.
With extensions a key draw to WooCommerce, Tissus Lionel uses several on their website. For payments, they use Viva Wallet – a popular payment platform for European merchants – and PayPal.
They also use Cubyn for logistics management, though a special API integration is required.
A common payment complication for European-based stores is the variety of currencies used and the regulations and paperwork involved with converting these to a single native currency. This can result in cash flow headaches and hours of added paperwork for management.
Viva Wallet solves these issues, which is why stores find it so helpful.
Tissus Lionel found out about Viva Wallet through the recommendation of a neighboring merchant – a good sign about the quality and usefulness of the platform. Tissus Lionel now cites it as one of their most valuable tools.
Beyond the personal recommendation, Tissus Lionel chose to work with Viva Wallet because of the wide variety of payment methods and the ability to link online payments with their physical locations.
At their retail stores, they appreciate the modern payment terminals. On their site, Tissus Lionel is thrilled that they can take payments directly on the order page.
“The Viva Wallet implementation was ultra-fast,” says Tissus Lionel Web Ecommerce Project Manager, Gerardin Julien. “Our conversion rate increased by over 2% and our conversion funnel was reduced by one step.”
Tissus Lionel says they haven’t experienced a single issue in the time since they’ve started using Viva Wallet. Julien also noted that “the setup process is one of the easiest we’ve experienced compared to various payment methods like Stripe, PayBox, and PayPal.”
A site they’re proud of
Tissus Lionel’s standards for excellence are pivotal to their ongoing success. The website is no different. In an announcement post on their site, they walk customers through the advancements they’re most proud of.
This includes one-click registration through visitors’ existing Facebook and Google profiles, enhanced security measures, order tracking and wishlist features, the ability to request samples, free local delivery, and more.
Tools like Viva Wallet make financial management easier for staff while providing seamless options for customers. The result is operational efficiency and a higher conversion rate.
A trip to Paris may not be in your immediate future, but with the Tissus Lionel ecommerce site – built with WooCommerce and WordPress – you can tap into one of the most famous textile companies in the world from the comfort of your home.
See their site in action at TissusLionel.com.