E-commerce: Poor data regulation could benefit increasingly closed ecosystems

Co-founded in 2018 by Timothée Dumain, Mathias Griffe and William Meunier, Bigblue presents itself as an e-commerce alternative that can compete with industrial giants such as Amazon or Zalando. Timothée and Mathias have agreed to tell us more about their project and their vision of European sovereignty in the logistics sector.

Timothée Dumain, Mathias Griffe and William Meunier, co-founders of Bigblue.

alliance. What conviction led you to invest in the e-commerce market with Bigblue?

big blue. When we met in 2018, we all wanted to revolutionize logistics in e-commerce, to provide solutions that allow all merchants to scale, without friction.

The e-commerce market in France and in Europe remains quite dilapidated – if we exclude Amazon or Zalando, for example. We already wanted to make logistics easier for smaller brands. Often these medium-sized companies manage their warehouses with unsuitable software. We offer them a solution that allows them to scale better.

You have just completed a subsidy round of 15 million euros… What will the funds be used for?

We are already planning to hire 100 people in the next ten months. And there will be two main projects, on the one hand on improving our products and on the other on our consolidation in France and abroad.

The challenge is to help brands sell more thanks to their customer experience and their delivery service. As for our international expansion, we just rolled out in Spain and the UK should follow from June.

You guarantee access to a European logistics network, with your own carriers and warehouses… What sets it apart in the market?

We have entered into several direct partnerships with European players. In terms of storage, we choose warehouses for their size, quality and performance. We then collect all possible data points to optimize logistics and propose the best carrier.

Our delivery network in Europe depends on about fifteen carriers such as DHL, La Poste, Colis Privé, Chronopost, etc., as well as several networks of local Swoopin players (eco-responsible delivery).

It is quite fast to integrate Bigblue, even for the smallest carriers who prefer short circuits. For an extra euro, a customer can opt for low-carbon transport.

There are several downsides to choosing Amazon, whether it’s the pricing policy or the restriction on sales outside of their platform. But it could also just be the fact that you are imposing the use of Amazon boxes, Amazon emails, etc.

For our part, our platform encourages interoperability – thanks in particular to Shopify – and the shopping experience is essentially focused on the image and story of the brand.

What is your view on sovereignty?

The debate on European sovereignty in the e-commerce sector is rather biased as carriers are for the most part very localised. Bigblue allows brands to sell their shares in Europe while remaining competitive with extraterritorial players such as Amazon or Shein.

We use the Canadian Shopify platform and Google Cloud hosting services. Since the e-commerce industry is highly competitive, we decided to choose the best in the market to ensure our competitiveness. But logistics only adapt to territorial specificities and it is thanks to the local that we can impose ourselves and limit the CO2 impact of deliveries.

We are also initiated by the Digital Native Club, an ecosystem of French e-commerce brands and other partners to mutually benefit from network effects. We are convinced that Digital Native Vertical Brands (DNVB) like us, which grew out of the rise of social networks, were the first to understand the new needs of consumers and digital communities in general.

What do you think of Europe’s current position in regulating European markets?

This positioning is necessary, but there is also a poor understanding of the issues associated with the visibility of our brands. For example, Facebook today allows many companies to make themselves known.

We do not have our own European or French social networks and poor regulation of the use of personal data can lead to increasingly closed ecosystems.

We want brands to regain control of their conversion rate while avoiding overspending on ads. In recent years, the cost of social media advertising has skyrocketed and we have implemented the Fast Tags program, which offers our customers a daily delivery, as well as a 20% higher conversion rate of their website at 40%.

There has to be a balance so brands can sell themselves. Today you no longer need a warehouse or technological resources, you just need the internet to change your business model. And locally, we will be looking for merchants directly from their homes – especially those who have suffered from the crisis – to give them the opportunity to quickly start e-commerce.

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