Prestashop, as many of you know, is an open source CMS specially designed for the creation and management of online stores. It is a platform aimed at small and large companies. Its appearance in 2007 did nothing but revolutionize the world of eCommerce. Eric Senechal (France, 1970) was recently appointed Managing Director of PrestaShop, for this reason and to learn about his challenges and objectives in this new position we have interviewed him.
You arrived at Prestashop three years ago, how do you remember that time, what attracted you to the project?
I have been involved in PrestaShop for more than 10 years with different roles. On the one hand as a partner from a Partner position, later as eCommerce using PrestaShop technology, with which my current position is the result of an evolution.
What has attracted me the most to the project is fundamentally that we are talking about the eCommerce sector, which is very attractive, with a very exciting project like PrestaShop and with the firm conviction that we can contribute to develop and improve our project for the future.
Since then, the sector has changed a lot: we have lived through a pandemic that has accelerated the adoption of online shopping habits and technology is evolving faster and faster. What changes would you highlight in the field of electronic commerce in this period?
A period of many changes, such as fundamentals, I would highlight the irruption at the level of BNPL payments, highly motivated by the loss of economic capacity of the consumer. The digitization of physical stores with technology, which confirms our mission and also the resilience of Prestashop stores. After the pandemic, the survival rate for stores with our technology is 82%.
You have just been appointed CEO of the company, how do you rate this appointment?
For the company, it is a step in the right direction, with a continuity in relation to the previous steering committee and, for my part, it represents being able to take advantage of my previous experience with PrestaShop, especially in the technical part.
The idea is to focus efforts on finding current and new business opportunities, such as the launch of PrestaShop Edition, its new offering for merchants who need a ready-to-use e-commerce solution that includes all essential services, hosting and support included; the strategic alliances signed with PayPal, Google and the launch of PrestaShop Essentials which are modules developed in collaboration with the main web and ecommerce players, each module addresses a key area: sales, payments, marketing and data analysis.
On the other hand, leading a team of 300 talents, and working closely with Mail Boxes Etc to unlock the full potential of group synergies and ensure a fully integrated and seamless customer experience to enable merchants to reach their significant sales potential. increase.
What will be your main challenges in this new stage?
In this new stage, the objective is to maintain growth while maintaining the company’s DNA, helping our online stores by developing relevant solutions and a stronger ecosystem.
In parallel, make the most of the opportunity with the MBE group that gives us a unique position both offline and online, allowing us to build both a digital and physical offer to help our potential clients.
At what point in its evolution is Prestashop? What are your future growth paths?
Continue with the strategy launched through PrestaShop Edition and Essentials for the success of our online stores, enhancing the opportunity of a delivery and logistics experience with the MBE group and especially being able to access a million customers as a group.
How are the sellers who use Prestashop to sell online, what are their main needs?
With the large number of stores we have (300,000) we cover all types of stores, B2B, B2C with a strong presence in all sectors.
The needs are very varied but I would like to highlight the scalability of the stores thanks to our open source solution.
Why do you think customers choose PrestaShop over other options?
There are many factors that weigh in that decision, the most important ones would be the ownership of the store, unlimited customization possibilities with the support of the more than 6000 available modules and templates and as mentioned above the scalability of the store.
How important is the Spanish market for your business? Is there a difference in the type of client, needs, etc. compared to other markets in which you are present?
The Spanish market is the second market by number of PrestaShop stores in which we have a strong presence with 50,000 stores and a 20% market share, it is a highly strategic market for PrestaShop.
In relation to the type of stores and their needs and apart from some particularities (for example, payment with Bizum) we did not find great differences in relation to our French or Italian stores, although we would like to highlight the dynamism of the Spanish market.
What advice would you give to a small business owner who has finally decided to create his own online store, where should he start, what are the main mistakes he should not make?
Starting an eCommerce business is a great challenge. Once the basics are covered, it is very important for the future to take into account all the part related to Social Shopping, including working on loyalty by generating brand ambassadors, making them evolve from good customers to ambassadors and, of course, the part related to the sales funnel and cybersecurity.
Let’s take a trip back in time, how do you imagine the technology to create online stores will have evolved in 2025?
Two main trends that will be of great importance in the future:
The power of data and Artificial Intelligence: brought to all stores, regardless of their size, so that they can compete against the big ones… Consumer experience, with a global Experience without distinctions between physical and online. If you could talk to him, what advice would you give the Eric of 2012?
Stay committed to what is important to you: the people and the project. Trust yourself: the future will confirm your conviction!
And what headline about Prestashop would you like to read in Marketing4eCommerce a year from now?
“PrestaShop has managed to establish itself as the solution of the global commerce platform”… posts to ask. 🙂
Also highlight that we offer a certain vision of electronic commerce that is illustrated in this image. As the world’s leading open source e-commerce platform, CMS has turned small fish into big fish, changing the e-commerce landscape.
What is the first social network you open in the day? The first network I check in the morning is Facebook. iOS or Android? iOS. App or website? Web. In which eCommerce and how long ago did you make your last online purchase? Today, essential oils on Bivea.fr. Last book read? Le Dictateur et le Hamac, a novel by Daniel Pennac and Measure What Matters: The Simple Idea that Drives 10x Growth, by John Doerr. Recommend us a fictional series: Lucifer and Sense8. What is your favorite thing to do that has nothing to do with the digital world? Play golf.
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