PrestaShop Day 2015 unites ecommerce community

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Time flies.

Just eight summers ago, the open-source online retail community had a new addition when startup PrestaShop was launched in Paris.

Eight years can feel like an eternity in the context of startups. Although startups sometimes shut down within a few years or get bought and become part of larger companies, PrestaShop is still standing on its own two and even expanded to Miami in 2011.

Now it is preparing for its huge annual event next week, Prestashop Day in Paris on June 11, which features some of the same stellar speakers who stepped on the Lengow Ecommerce Day (#LengowDay) stage this week in Paris and other prestigious events like HUB Institute’s Future of Retail HUB Day.

In regards to the latter, Pinterest France Country Manager Stéphanie Tramicheck will share more insight during a PrestaShop Day panel after advising ecommerce merchants on how to use Pinterest (see some of her advice in this Lengow Blog article: bit.ly/RetailHUB). Other standout speakers include retail expert Catherine Barba.

As you can see in the photo in the tweet below and on the PrestaShop Day website (prestashopday.com), the event (which can be tracked on Twitter with the hashtag #PrestaShopDay) is described as an “exceptional event that brings together visionary leaders in e-commerce, web and open source.”

Thanks to the perspectives of internet industry veterans and startup experts—PrestaShop Director of Product Management Sebastien Levaillant, PrestaShop Lead Product Designer Julie Chabin and Lengow Marketing & Partnership Director Frédéric Clément—this article provides a closer look at what PrestaShop and PrestaShop Day are all about.

Clément launched the Lengow Hub at Lengow Day 2014 to showcase PrestaShop and many other leaders in online retail to help e-merchants find products, platforms and services that help them improve their business. He said featuring PrestaShop was a decision based on what it has done and what it is poised to accomplish.

“Having Prestashop featured on the Lengow Hub is a no-brainer because of their market-share in Europe. And our team of experts (Xavérie Durandet and Mathieu Sabourin) showed merchants how to use PrestaShop with Lengow this week during a Lengow Day workshop because we wanted not only our audience of French merchants but also our international guests from China, Canada, USA, Russia and Germany to find out why PrestaShop is a long-time leader in the Paris ecommerce community,” said Clément.

“Prestashop has been a very strong player in its field as an open-source ecommerce platform, particularly in Europe. We’re now very excited to see them move into the SAAS world with PrestaShop Cloud.”

Global Growth

The aforementioned open-source nature of Prestashop has been a cause for many good things happening for the startup, according to Levaillant, who stays active in the Paris startup community thanks in part to frequently co-organizing Product Tank Paris events featuring innovative startups like Lengow Day and PrestaShop Day speaker Algolia (also a partner of PrestaShop: see bit.ly/Prestagolia).

“A major driver in PrestaShop’s growth comes from the open source community. There are now over 800,000 members in 190+ countries,” according to Levaillant.

But that’s not the only impressive statistic.

“And at the moment there are 230,000 active shops using PrestaShop.”

 

With so many global users of the platform, PrestaShop has made localization one of its priorities. PrestaShop Day will feature a livestream of all keynote presentations with live English and Spanish translations for all French-language talks during the event (on YouTube and at prestashopday.com/en/live-streaming). PrestaShop’s back office was built with international ecommerce in its DNA.

“The PrestaShop software is available in 65 languages, just as the default website theme is. Users who want to localize further can create their pages in their desired language(s) because for now, only the main sections of the front office are translated,” said Levaillant about the options for localization (a topic analyzed on the Lengow Blog).

“We are very grateful for our open-source community’s active involvement: thanks to their many translations, PrestaShop is available in 65 languages. Our Content manager is very fortunate to have so many contributions that make PrestaShop accessible in more countries.”

Versatile solution

When someone is taking a look at PrestaShop from the outside looking in for the first time, they may wonder what kind of ecommerce merchants use it to sell products. Levaillant explained that it is meant for a versatile audience: from the largest of international retailers to people who are launching their first ecommerce site.

“The online store of Parrot (a Paris-based leader in the Internet of Things sector, which was recently explored with expert analysis on the Lengow Blog) runs on PrestaShop; it is a success just like their retail stores,” said Levaillant.

“However, someone who is new to ecommerce can also use PrestaShop: they can get started for free and they can now host for free thanks to the cloud version of PrestaShop where OVH hosts their site.”

PrestaShop Day attendees can learn more when OVH Founder Octave Klaba is on stage to speak alongside PrestaShop Co-Founder Bruno Lévêque during the event’s “WeCommerce is better e-commerce” opening keynote.

“At the end of the day, the cost is almost zero euros. Later on, merchants can buy optional modules to scale up their activities,” added Levaillant.

Underlining UX

“In January we launched the cloud edition of PrestaShop; 80,000 stores have been launched since then. We launched the beta version at Salon Ecommerce Paris 2014. Since then we’ve been working on improving it every day,” said Levaillant.

The cloud version of PrestaShop is a fully hosted version of PrestaShop’s ecommerce platform that helps people to get started so that they can start selling online in minutes.

“We want people to get inspired to chase their ecommerce dreams. Their online shop can eventually become a thriving business. Several speakers at PrestaShop Day are going to share their personal success stories as ecommerce entrepreneurs.”

Going forward, the user experience (UX) aspect of PrestaShop will be in good hands, as one of the best UX designers in the Paris startup community recently joined the team: Julie Chabin.

By adding someone with a background like Chabin’s to the team, PrestaShop has shown its commitment to staying true to its startup roots despite its growth, recently exemplified when it moved into a 12,000 feet office in the heart of Paris.

Chabin, who played a big role in the UX of leading Paris startups during their earliest stages (such as Dailymotion; her HTML5 Demo page was highlighted at SXSW as one of the most creative websites), explained that her team appreciates the feedback of PrestaShop’s global users and is dedicated to its mission.

“PrestaShop has been recruiting awesome people to join its product team and we’re lucky to have a large community of contributors happy to test new designs and features. To me, PrestaShop has lots of potential; the design team will focus on creating a new experience accessible to everyone,” said Chabin.
“It’ll take time, but we’re dedicated and motivated. This is the first time that I’m working with such a passionate community of users and it’s a pleasure to work everyday to make the best product possible for them.”

Elias Jabbe