“Clearly we’re going towards a hybrid working model: after several months at home we need a place to gather one or some days a week”
One of the great news that we received in Talent Garden Madrid last September was that PrestaShop Spain, the leading company for online stores, was joining our community with a great desire to organize events, to foster connections between our members and, of course, revolutionize eCommerce platforms giving a big push to this vertical within the community.
We had the chance to interview Jorge González Marcos, Country Manager of PrestaShop Spain. We were interested in how the company works, how their business model has adapted to this atypical year and what are their greatest challenges from now on.
Prestashop moved from being a french start-up to being a scale-up in just a decade. What’s their secret to succeed? To offer marketers the chance to build and develop their online business thanks to high-performance technical solutions. Nowadays, more than 300k online stores from all around the world use PrestaShop software.
PrestaShop, based on an open-source model, offers any user, in any country in the world. The possibility to open and run a successful online store.
What is PrestaShop?
PrestaShop is an open software that allows to set up an online store or organise one that already exists.
Who is it for?
Our clients are companies that already have an eCommerce or someone that is about to open an online store and has an average billing size.
How has the coronavirus crisis affected your platform?
We’ve logically grown. A lot of companies have had to move from off to on. On one side, those who didn’t have an online store had to open one. On the other side, those who already had an online store looked for new functionalities.
Precisely during the confinement, Prestashop launched an interesting initiative.
Right at the beginning of the confinement, we launched ‘Re-Start From Home’, an initiative with the aim of helping the stores that had to close, to encourage them to have an online alternative to their business, towards the eCommerce world. We started it with a group on Facebook and several training pills together with webinars to add value to the project. It has been one of our main initiatives, but we’ve also applied discounts to some modules and stores.
Was this initiative well received?
We’ve had very positive feedback. About 2,000 online stores had benefited from this, about 5,000 had accessed the training pills and the webinars reached 10,000 views.
In the middle of this crisis, when being digital is practically something mandatory, some stores refuse to go online. What can be the reason?
Big corporations are all online, except for Primark and Lefties (Inditex low-cost store, that finally offers online shopping). There are less and fewer companies that are still just offline. There are just some small stores missing, but little by little they’re going for it. This confinement has meant a huge increase in the online market and there are a lot of launching plans for the end of 2020 and the beginning of 2021. In one or two years time maybe we will talk about 90% of stores being online.
Is the rise that eCommerce has experienced an upward trend? Is it going to be maintained?
In the last 5-6 months, there has been a faster and stronger digitalization than in the last years. We’re living a very important year and this will be consolidated by 2021. The online buyers have increased by 8%, so the online stores will need to be aligned with that growth.
What news will PrestaShop present in the coming months?
The 9th of October will take place a very important event in our calendar, which is “PrestaShop day”. We’re now targeting companies with bigger billing, so at the end of the year, we’ll launch new solutions adapted to these bigger companies.
Let’s talk about the hybrid working model. Large companies already do without their traditional offices and look for a shared model where they can exchange knowledge and network with other companies from different sectors… Is this the case with PrestaShop?
Right now in PrestaShop, there’s a double system. On the one hand, there are the stakeholder’s offices in Paris and on the other hand there’s what we are doing locally: Spain, Italy… We’re clearly going towards a hybrid model. During the confinement, we have been 100% at home, but we believe that we need a hybrid model, to have a place where one or several days a week we can gather as a team. I don’t see myself working 5 days a week working from a workspace or from home, but keeping a system where we work together a couple of days a week I think is very important.
What advantages do you see in this hybrid working model?
For companies like ours, there’s a need for growth, events, community… we need to stay in touch. In an online market, there’s still a lot of offline. Therefore, this ‘startup alike’ side, and being able to work closely with other similar companies is a huge benefit. We’re growing and we need the teams to keep that connexion that ‘onsite working’ provides.
We greatly promote events: doing this at a place where there already are other companies really helps us. At Talent Garden we’ve found a perfect match: not only we have a workspace where we can work together, but also there’s a very important thing that supports business development, community, engagement…
What does a workspace need to meet the expectations for this model that companies are looking for, that has been accelerated due to the circumstances?
For us, the location is very important, the services offered, security and safety, opening hours… There’s also a very important fact which is community and events, that Talent Garden meets perfectly because it’s part of its essence.
Do you want to meet more members of our Spanish community? Don’t miss the interview to Esther Molina, CEO of Wildcom and Growth by Comms & Content Director at Product Hackers.