QoQa: Breaking Boundaries and Scaling an Online Community

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CASE STUDY. This case is intended to enable students to use a six-pillar community-building framework in their analysis of QoQa, an online shopping website.


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QoQa: Breaking Boundaries and Scaling an Online Community: Abstract

Pascal Meyer, one of Switzerland’s most successful entrepreneurs, was known for his unconventional approach to business. In 2005, he founded QoQa, an online flash sale startup that initially offered one product per day of limited stock at the lowest price in Switzerland. By 2021, the company boasted a fast-growing community of more than 840,000 members.

Most of its members (80%) were in the French-speaking region of Switzerland, where the company originated, although it was home to just 23% of the country’s population. After closing its office in France following a failed expansion attempt, QoQa turned its attention to the Swiss-German market, but major cultural differences made it difficult to adapt the concept that had worked so well in the Swiss-French region to that part of the country. Meyer’s main concern was achieving this goal without losing QoQa’s strong identity.

Teaching objectives

  • Recognize business outcomes resulting from community programs.
  • Identify and propose solutions to cultural barriers created by the expansion of a community-based business.
  • Distinguish community-based businesses from traditional ones.
  • Identify community-building pillars and their goals.
  • Understand what motivates members to participate in communities.

Additional information

Teachers’ notes are available for university teachers only. Please contact the HEC Montréal Case Centre.

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