The pitch / Inventor of the job board in France, Sébastien spent 6 years developing sites with osCommerce. He adopted PrestaShop at version 0.9.7, and the agency grew from 5 to 40 people.
Now / CEO of Antadis
Antadis and PrestaShop: they grew together
- The match. When PrestaShop and Magento started up, practically at the same time, we compared the two solutions: the American one’s architecture struck us as disproportionate to our needs, whereas the French one seemed more flexible, and to be developing much faster. We developed our first site with version 0.7.
- 3 key reasons. With PrestaShop you can satisfy 3 recurring demands, which are common to all clients: price, timescale and functionality. The price and timescale are made possible by a high-quality open-source architecture. Functionality is a selling point which attracts and reassures the customer but in actual fact we redevelop 100% of the modules we use.
- Antadis had been in existence for 6 years and had a workforce of 5 people when we started to design and industrialize our PrestaShop methodology, which enabled us to grow by structuring ourselves around the solution. Within 10 years, our workforce has increased almost tenfold: we’ve recruited UX designers, developers, integrators, and marketers — making 40 of us today! Each of us is a PrestaShop specialist within our own area of expertise, which enables us to work very fast and provide an excellent standard of service.
I feel immensely grateful to PrestaShop for having enabled us to become what we are.
Converting a mass-market product to Formula 1
- Premium positioning. Our methodology and the decision to systematically redevelop 100% of the modules used (we optimize the code according to the client’s requirements and delete the rest) swiftly positioned us within a premium market. PrestaShop gave us a high-quality mass-market product with the capacity to meet a thousand different requirements. Our specialty is transforming it into something of Formula 1 standard. That’s why we work on projects worth over €100,000, with extremely demanding clients, which bring in as much as 100 million in revenue (Private Sport Shop, Brico Privé, Pier Import, La Compagnie du Lit, to name but a few).
- Infinite development. One of our most successful designs, which we are very proud of, is the site of Dammann Frères, for which we completely overhauled the way the purchasing funnel is organized (loose, canister or teabag). This undertaking required an enormous amount of front- and back-office development to get the new design up and running. The private sales website Brico Privé is also very interesting. It’s not at all like a PrestaShop template. Lastly, we’ve developed a 3D configurator for the children’s clothing site Cocolico (accessible only to B2B customers) which has very robust ERP connectors.
- A free solution versus a robust one? We got ourselves certified because e-retailers include PrestaShop in their benchmark measures as a matter of course. This keeps us in the loop concerning certain interesting invitations to tender. But the majority of projects aren’t aligned with our premium positioning, because the fact PrestaShop is free leads people to believe that it’s a low-end solution. The migration to Symfony is a good thing in that respect, because it gives PrestaShop a more upmarket and robust image, which is much closer to reality.
The future of e-commerce, and what I wish for PrestaShop
- Big versus small. In the years ahead it will be more and more difficult for small e-retailers to stand out from the big players, who’ll offer everything: prices, photos, content, guarantees and practically unbeatable delivery prices and timescales.
- Winning over the big players. It will be crucial for PrestaShop, while remaining affordable to everyone, to demonstrate how well adapted its solution is to big companies which generate significant revenues online. So my wish is that PrestaShop will continue to manage its marketplace well, stay focused on its core business (being a hub), connect with even more specialist solutions, increase the standardization of CRM, DMP, ERP, PIM, etc., and verticalize in order to address retail, B2 and marketplaces. The platform is made for that!
- Recognition and thanks. At Antadis, we owe a huge amount to PrestaShop, which has been the cornerstone of our development. And I still feel indebted to it, which is why I intend to get involved in helping it grow. That’s also what being part of the PrestaShop community is about: wanting to give back what you’ve received...