Rodolphe bonnasse, head of aristid, a french sme specialized in retail communication, shares us the future vision of his company.
After Food-Tech, Pro-Tech or even Fin-Tech, one more neologism is “Retail-Tech”. This concerns a sector that impacts, much more than all the others, our daily life, that of our supermarkets, our shopping carts, our daily commutes…
ARISTID is today at the heart of retail tech. It circulates in its “pipes” the data of more than 80% of the largest grocery retailers in France. In this hypercompetitive sector, this success was still unthinkable a few years ago. A pioneer, ARISTID has taken the turn of technology and transformed its activity, becoming a key player for major retailers.
WHAT ARE THE TECHNOLOGICAL DEVELOPMENTS HELPING LARGE RETAILERS?
Many technology companies have focused on studying the customer, their purchasing behavior, their needs, their future desires… This “customer data” has long been compared to an oil field that only required to be exploited. Analysts, predictors, artificial intelligence have worked to build hyper-realistic and relevant need scenarios. The customer could no longer escape them, the demand was identified. The nature of trade is that, whenever there is demand, there is always also: supply. The offers that retailers build day after day are infinitely more complex to structure, qualify and disseminate than one might think.
It is a question of collecting all the descriptions of the product, the right image, the right name, its legal and nutritional information, without forgetting its price remains fluctuating
This information was present in multiple places, but it needed an engine capable of aggregating it. It was also necessary to know how to present it to the consumer in the most market-friendly way possible. “When you flip through a catalog, you can see 500 to 600 offers in 2 minutes, hard to be more efficient!” highlights Mr. Bonnasse.
You actually have to know how to orchestrate the offer, punctuate it, organize it for a multitude of very different product sectors ranging from the fresh food department to DIY to textiles… which is quite an “Art”. The promise of “everything under one roof” crowds out the most simplistic database and software scenarios.
A STEP AHEAD TO BUILD BEAUTIFUL LAKES!?
ARISTID, with its 30 years of experience in the construction of advertising catalogs, was able to seize this opportunity before its competitors. It has transformed all the constituent elements of an offer into gigantic “data lakes”, which become the “war chests” for each retailer.
Thus, each of them can connect their data offer to their customer (CRM) data and build an infinity of advertising touch points corresponding to the multiple scenarios defined by data analysts and CRM champions!
Faced with the giants of advertising distribution and all the new instant media solutions, whose platforms are just waiting to be fed with this type of data, we can imagine the huge potential of such a strategic position in the Retail-Tech ecosystem.
TRANSITIONING YOUR COMPANY FROM CANDLE TO LIGHT BULB IS NOT SO SIMPLE!
To make the vision a success, many transformation phases were necessary. At ARISTID, the technological investment represented more than 25 million euros, a real gamble for this independent SME.
For many years all the profits have been re-injected into the tools and for the hiring of digital experts and developers. This is to co-construct with retailers the most relevant solution. For its 350 employees, recent years have been very eventful, great adaptability has been necessary to maintain a technological lead in a world of strong investment.
AN EVOLUTION UNDER THE EYE OF AN ICON OF RETAIL COMMERCE.
In 2021, “after 30 years under the name CA COMMUNICATION, then GROUPE CACOM, I wanted to confirm our transformation by changing the name of our company. After 2 years of Covid, we wanted growth, something international and something new,” assures Rodolphe Bonnasse, a CEO passionate about commerce and a fan of TV studio where he likes to defend the role of mass distribution.
Thus, the company was renamed “ARISTID”. The choice of this first name pays homage to Aristide Boucicaut, the French founder of modern commerce. He was the inventor of the catalog, mail order, sales, “La semaine du blanc” (the original Black Friday), and even fixed prices.
“At the time of the digital revolution, his visionary and daring spirit has something very current” emphasizes Rodolphe.