Founded ten years ago as an extension of the physical store, Bricofer di Magrini Srl located in Aprilia (Latina), the Best Safety e-commerce site proposes a wide range of apparel, footwear, and other PPE (ear protectors, eyewear, helmets, masks, etc.) to the safety industry. Today, it is active also in Europe with a solid reputation: the owner, Romolo Magrini, was among the first in the sector in Italy to decide to open up to this commercial channel. We asked him to describe how the website was developed:
“After our first years of attempts, we pinpointed our formula and the site took off: our commercial strategy was focused on the product categories of workwear and professional shoes, with the latter segment still representing 50% of the site’s turnover today. Over the years, we extended the offering to other sector segments, like gloves, which we plan to develop even further in the future. We immediately met up with great feedback from the market, with a constant double-digit growth of around +30-40% annually. During the year of the pandemic, we recorded a bona fide boom, growing by 80%: protective masks, in particular, were the best performer. Just consider in one single week we sold what we normally sell in one year! Today, the online channel is basically surpassing the revenue generated by brick&mortar, while also setting off other trends: it is driving the promotion of the physical store, for example”.
What is the commercial strategy of Best Safety today?
“Compared to other competitors on the market, who tend to extend their offering to include non-safety related products, we want to be recognised as specialists in the sector – it’s no coincidence they call us Best Safety! Our site offers not only a range of high-quality products, but also offers the same level of professional assistance that our customers could expect to find in the store, through the ZAP service with dedicated personnel who reply immediately to queries. We sell to both individuals and companies (just like the physical store does), and we make special offers in accordance with the number of items purchased”.
How do you manage the safety footwear range of products?
“Among the brands representing 40% of our selection (the remaining 40% is clothing, with 20% in equipment), can be found leading sector players like Cofra, Upower, Lever, Exena, Diadora, and even national realities like Industrial Starter in Vicenza and Blue Tech apparel. Lever has its production plants located in southern Italy and is the only one to propose 100% Made in Salerno shoes. In other words, we have what the market is offering, and we do our best to highlight Italian production, since we consider it to be an added value. I make it a point to try out first-hand all the lines that we propose before selling them: I can say for example that Lever is an exceptional product because it combines craft workmanship with the quality of the product at interesting prices. It’s too bad we don’t have the same media power of Upower for example…”
What features are most in-demand by consumers in footwear?
“In addition to safety and performance, the look has become an increasingly important feature requested by our customers. Online, in fact, the look is the first thing that’s noticed, even if it’s to the detriment of comfort, which customers, cannot verify unless they are familiar with the brand. The price is another important factor: nevertheless, when compared to some sector players who are willing to undercut one another on prices by lowering the quality of the offering, I instead believe that these products must be valued. Sustainability is important and many products have emphasised this theme by presenting sustainable products, like Cofra, which six months ago launched a footwear line made from recycled materials following patented processes, with PET uppers and soles made from old tires. They are also much more high performance than other products: materials in fact do not end up in landfills and they offer improved features in the sole, while extending the lifetime of the product by 5-6 years. The market however has not really understood this aspect: it remains to be seen if consumers will be more aware in the future”.
It’s increasingly important to engage the customer and offer new experiences: what will you do on your website in this regard?
“We decided to enrich it with video contents, presenting the case history of our website, the tricks of the engineer trade, the products by presenting the brands across different categories and special lines, but also brand comparisons. Obviously, all this while providing a link to the products for sale, because after all, our main goal is to sell.
Ultimately, we are willing to put ourselves on the line because we believe it is the only way to create trust with consumers and gain their loyalty”.