Paris Retail Week renews its partnership with the NRFrench Party which will be held on January 14th, 2018 at the General Consulate of France in New York and, by participating in this unique meeting, is pleased to to share with its public the 2018 trends in the sector.

In the following interview Valérie Daoud Henderson, managing director of Alcméon, one of the 12  French start-ups present in New York, talks about the company’s strategy and ambitions and gives us her expert insight on the differences between the French and American market.

1/ What makes your product/solution/service stand out from those already on the market?

“With Alcméon solution, retailers can optimise their social networks to create new, or leverage existing, customer contact points whether on-line or off-line.”

Alcméon is a cloud solution which enables large retailers to accelerate and improve the quality of their interactions and their customer service on social networks and instant messaging services. It seamlessly combines artificial intelligence and human intervention to optimise customer satisfaction and generate new sales leads on digital channels: on the one hand, more automation with our fully-integrated bot editors, and on the other, a smooth transfer to humans to resolve more complex problems with a high added value. The Alcméon solution, which we are continuously improving, is the only tool on the market to offer retailers a truly intuitive chatbot editor and a seamless handover to a human as a complement.

 2/ What are you expecting from your participation in the NRFrench Party?

Facebook, Twitter or Wechat have only recently begun equipping traditional retailers with tools powerful enough to allow them to take on the likes of Amazon. 2018 is set to be a turning point. After the link-up between social networks (public) and private messaging apps (Messenger, WhatsApp,etc.) and the arrival of chatbots and AI in the processing of customers’ requests, this year will witness three new major evolutions that complete the jigsaw puzzle: Messenger Customer Chat, payment on messaging apps and social QR code, all of which are a natural link between the e-commerce platforms, the stores, the products and the consumers’ smartphones.

As ever, Americans are a step ahead and the NRFrench Party is a unique opportunity to meet our customers and prospects looking for solutions to reconnect with consumers in a convivial setting. This also allows us to test our ideas with forward thinking retailers, think out of the box and grasp the fast moving pace of change on the other side of the Atlantic. 

3/ In terms of your activity, what are the main differences between the American and French markets? 

Americans are early adopters, they quickly seize on the new opportunities offered by Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, etc. US retailers are therefore at the forefront of the fight against Amazon and the pure players!

At Alcméon, we work directly with engineers from Facebook/Messenger and Twitter in order to offer our customers the very latest work tools. They are by no means behind the US market, but we have to keep up the pace!

According to David Marcus, head of Messenger, even with more than one billion users, they have no intention of slowing down, aiming to facilitate consumers’ lives based on the WeChat model and offer retailers an array of tools to help them understand their customers better, improve the on- and offline experience, and make them come back into the store!

In Europe, we are moving to a new model of internet content consumption and digital uses which is going to have a huge impact on retail in general: the conversational model.

As in the US, European retailers are going to have to start collecting and exploiting social IDs to be ready at any given time to start a conversation with their customers. It is much easier and faster than it seems and there is a lot to gain. Acting quickly is essential, here are three examples to add to your 2018 to-do list!

  • Install Messenger’s Customer Chat in order to offer immediate and automatic processing of customers’ requests on your e-commerce sites.
  • Add ‘start a conversation’ buttons in all sponsored posts managed by a chatbot.
  • Display QR codes (Twitter/Messenger) all over the stores to encourage customers to identify themselves and to reconcile on- and offline thanks to the messaging managed by a chatbot and then a sales assistant.

One last thing, see you at the NRFrench Party!

To attend the NRFrench Party register on the following link:

Save the date for the next Paris Retail Week show from 10 to 12 September 2018

For its 4th edition, the biggest European trade event will take its full scope and will gather in Pavilion 1 of Paris expo Porte de Versaillethe e-commerce sector, dedicated to solutions for e-retailers, ranging from digital marketing to logistics, and the Store / Equipmag sector, dedicated to physical commerce and distribution.

Pour sa quatrième édition le plus grand événement retail européen de la rentrée prendra toute son envergure et réunira dans le Pavillion 1 de la Porte de Versailles le secteur E-Commerce, dédié aux solutions e-commerce, du digital marketing à la logistique et du secteur Store / Equipmag, dédié au commerce physique et à la distribution.