20 MINUTES WITH Marie Even, deputy general manager of the Cdiscount e-commerce site, talks about preparing for Black Friday, and reviews the group's initiatives in this regard. regarding the packaging and transport of the products
Marie Even, Deputy CEO of Cdiscount. — Ugo Amez
- Every last Friday of the month, 20 Minutes gives the floor to a chef (fe) d company on a topical subject in its meeting “20 Minutes with…”
- Marie Even is deputy general manager of the e-commerce site Cdiscount.
- On the occasion of Black Friday this Friday, Marie Even talks about the preparation for this meeting, and talks about the innovations implemented within the group to reduce the carbon impact of logistics.
Created in 1998 Bordeaux, the Cdiscount e-commerce site, almost entirely owned by the Casino group today, has a turnover of some four billion euros. The headquarters of the company are still based in to Bordeaux, where are concentrated around 1,300 employees, while around a thousand logisticians are spread over the group’s four warehouses in France, which represents a storage area of 500,000 m². Logistics staff that doubles from October, to prepare for events such as Black Friday, then the Christmas holidays. 20 Minutes interviewed the deputy general manager of Cdiscount, Marie Even.
How do you prepare for an event like Black Friday?
It’s an appointment that marks the beginning of Christmas shopping. We usually have 20 million monthly visitors to our site, we expect between 8 and 10 million for Black Friday alone, even though it’s becoming Black Week for most online shopping sites. We have seen very dynamic traffic since last Friday. We have almost 200 people who work constantly to get the best product every day, at the best price, and Black Friday is an event that we prepare months in advance, almost from the start. goal of the year, to be able to present the best possible offers.
How is this organized in your warehouses?
In terms of surface, we have more than enough to store the products. On the other hand, we are doubling the size of our workforce for the end of the year. They arrive in successive waves from the end of September, beginning of October. Our warehouse in Cestas near Bordeaux, for example, has gone from 600 to 600. 1,400 logistics operators.
In your warehouses, what solutions do you implement to consume less and waste less, especially in packaging?
We have hired initiatives to reduce the carbon impact of logistics already eight years ago. We have acted on transport, packaging, without forgetting the working conditions of our trades. For example, we have massively invested in six washing machines. 3D packaging, which scans the three dimensions of the product to allow the cardboard to marry it as closely as possible. Some 85% of our products are thus packaged in an optimized manner, which saves 30% of boxes. By also optimizing the loading of our trucks, which are completely full, we are reducing the number of trucks on the road by 30% at the same time. It’s colossal. Another example, we are working with the start-up Hipli and its package that can be reused a hundred times. The customer can thus return the packaging of his product, after having folded it up. and placed in mailbox. So even if they are plastic sleeves, it is still more virtuous than a single carton. We are also taking steps to remove the packaging of products that do not present any particular risk. We ask our customers in advance, who agree to 98% that their product is not packaged. We work to; expand the list of eligible products.
There is also the question of last mile delivery, how to reduce its impact?
There are indeed issues of noise pollution and air pollution. We have made the choice in the big cities to develop electric fleets. We are experimenting at Lyon for large-volume deliveries, such as machines; wash, on cargo bikes, with a start-up called Fends la bise. For our same day delivery offer, which concerns small products for customers living in large cities, we use the TGV: the parcels are installed under the bar car, they take the train and are picked up at their arrival in an electric van to be delivered to the customer. I often hear that express delivery is more polluting, this is not necessarily true, it depends on how we deliver. At Cdiscount, the fastest delivery is the least emissive. We have also been the first to develop such a large network of collection points, for both small and large products, everywhere in France, which limits travel. Recently, we even opened 200 pick-up points on farms in rural areas, in partnership with another start-up, Agrikolis. We have one on the island of Ré, others in the mountains.
What about drone delivery, which you want to experience?< /p>
With all the delivery offers that exist for customers, frankly this is not a priority; today.
Some tech companies are currently going through a crisis, after the Covid-19 which had seen their activity decline. soar. How is it going on your side?
The Covid has been a moment of strong mobilization for us, because all the stores were closed, and there was only e-commerce left for non-food products. We never stopped to deliver, which has allowed us to attract new customers. So, effectively the level of activity post-Covid has come down through a catch-up effect, but we have not lost these new customers. And above all, the Covid has accelerated; the use of digital.
Conversely, several sectors are experiencing difficulties ;s to recruit, is this your case?
No, because we keep our capacity. of attraction, whether for logisticians or engineers, even if the market is indeed tense. But we are constantly evolving: we have done ten years of classic e-commerce, then in 2011 we made the choice to open the marketplace, which allows us to have the widest possible offer with 14,000 sellers, who offer a total of 80 million products on our site. At the same time, we went from 80 computer engineers to nearly 700 today. We have gone from being a very commercial company in its DNA, to a company that is above all technological, without having lost our retailer culture. This history, and the massive investments that we have made, mean that we offer an extraordinary playground for the tech professions. On the other hand, competition is stronger, because all companies are undergoing their digital transformation, so the challenge is to remain attractive.