Emilie Benoit-Vernay (Shopify): “If the Internet is a city, Shopify wants to be its commerce infrastructure”

Shopify’s France country manager talks about the e-commerce trends for the start of the school year and the various news on the Saas solution for merchants.

JDN. How has Shopify’s business been doing in France since the start of the year?

Emilie Benoit-Vernay, country manager France of Shopify. © Shopify

Emilie Benoit-Vernay. Shopify France recorded a 61% increase in the creation of e-commerce sites between 2019 and 2020. We have carefully observed the sales period which is often an indicator of the state of health of commerce and we have observed an increase in orders placed among French e-merchants who use Shopify which is 55% between the day of June 30, 2021 and the average of the previous days. In addition to the digitization of physical shops already started last year, this year we note a significant search for agility in e-commerce on the side of major brands and traditional players. For example, Decathlon has launched a site for refurbished products, Decathlon second life, thanks to Shopify, while LVMH has led an intrapreneurial project which aims to resell luxury materials through its Nona Source platform.

What are the e-commerce trends for the start of the 2021 school year?

Social commerce remains, given the contribution of social networks in terms of visibility and shopping, the trend to follow. Moreover, the e-commerce boom has not slowed down. We can expect more anticipation on end-of-year e-commerce purchases. Purchases via QR codes are also very fashionable, as are purchases made by consumers in search of meaning. A trend made possible by the rise of brands with an ever more refined universe. On the augmented reality side, we can cite the presence of 3D to provoke purchases differently and provide a different online experience.

What are Shopify France’s digital projects for the rest of the year?

Our role is to maximize merchants’ business opportunities by allowing them to sell on a multitude of channels and by offering an ultra-customizable online store. This year, we reworked our product to allow our customers to drive advertising campaigns from Shopify on Tik Tok and on Pinterest. Tik Tok Shopping is now available in the US and UK, which is a big step forward as 54% of millennials discover brands through social media.

We have developed a new version of our online store architecture, Online store 2.0, with more features and ergonomics but also more customization and choice. These enhancements allow developers to improve the Shopify merchant experience. We have also reworked our checkout phase in order to be able to collect more transactions per minute, in order to support large load increases. This is important because if the Internet is a city, Shopify wants to be the infrastructure of commerce.

Shopify France joined the Digital Native Club in June. What do you expect from this new device?

We are closely following the Digital Native Group and what Vincent Redrado has managed to unite around digital brands in France. The Digital Native Club also turned to Snapchat and PayPlug, which are also Shopify partners. It was therefore consistent for us to join the Digital Native Club to make our resources and content accessible to the DNVBs. We want to support this fundamental trend through tutorial sessions and webinars. A lot of Digital Native Club brands are already using Shopify so we’re not looking for visibility. Our goal is to obtain feedback from these brands present on the French market, to understand what interests them and motivates them in order to create adequate content.

Digital brands are the ones that best match Shopify’s DNA because they launch very quickly by engaging their community and relying on social networks. It is difficult to know the share that digital brands represent in the typology of Shopify customers in France, but we work both with large brands that want to be part of the future of e-commerce and with brands to strong growth like 900.care, Merci Handy and many others…

Over the past 15 years, Emilie Benoit-Vernay has worked in the United States, Hong Kong and London. In 2018, she joined Shopify as country manager France to support the international expansion of the Canadian giant. Emilie Benoit-Vernay holds a master’s degree in management from SKEMA Business School and a double degree in law and English from the University of Paris X Nanterre.

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Emilie Benoit-Vernay (Shopify): “If the Internet is a city, Shopify wants to be its commerce infrastructure”


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