Wednesday, August 30, 2017

Q&A WITH PIERRE GIRAUD, CEO OF HI COMMERCE

Pierre Giraud, CEO of Hi Commerce

While revolutionizing the retail experience, technology has opened access to a broad range of choices, customization and endless opportunity for better deals. What's missing from the mix of man-made mechanics? For some, a pinch of personality is what gives etsy its charm and local vendors a leg up on commercial counterparts. In an age of digital devices, indie brands rely on reputation and social media to compete with confidence. Piloting an innovative shopping experience, Pierre Giraud launches Hi Commerce, an app-based retail matchmaking service that connects shoppers with a curated selection of local boutiques. Valuing community and "human interaction" in commerce, clients can interact with local shops directly on the app. Keep reading for my Q&A with Pierre as he talks about fostering a sustainable ecosystem and boutique empowerment...

www.hicommerce.co website

With the rise of eCommerce and the now five billion mobile subscribers in the world, it's inevitable that retail takes a turn towards technology. What was the inspiration behind Hi Commerce? How do you approach the retail shopping experience? How do YOU do your comparison shopping?

The First inspiration came while weighing, "What is the place and value of the 'human' in a growing digital world?"

I believe we should take the best of what digital and artificial intelligence (AI) has to offer and combine it with what humans excel at--traits like personal relationships, curation and empathy. The end goal is to provide customers with the best experience ever.

This is what Hi Commerce is about. "hi" stands for Human Interaction Commerce--it's a hybrid concept between digital and physical. This is not eCommerce; this is 'Hi Commerce'!

Profile view

Tastes change and style is distinctively subjective. Describe your personal style. What are your favorite brands/"go-to" grabs? What attracts you to a brand/label? Does your style and taste factor into what you've built via hi.commerce?

I am a man of many styles. Like most, I am a complex human being who cannot be confined to one box. I am sometimes the French dandy wearing tight suits and a scarf, but could easily be more hip hop with a black hoodie and my favorite Jordan Flight 45 sneakers. This powers the thinking behind Hi Commerce.

As for myself, it is difficult to choose favorites! There are 100+ stores on the app right now, and it's only the beginning. If I had to choose 3 of my favorites, they would be:
1.) Flying Solo
2.) Maison 10
3.) Atelier Mira
They have a great selection, the stores are amazing and more importantly, they are run by  amazing persons. 



Hi Commerce app interface

NYC is filled with one-of-a-kind boutiques alongside international commercial retailers. How do you go about curating a selection of featured stores? Do you have plans to "go global?" What feedback--if any--have users of your ap provided? What kinds of things have users asked you to source?

People love the app. It's totally different from what they have experienced before. We are not changing the way people shop; we are just getting closer to how they actually behave in shops.

The app is simple to use:
1.) Download the app
2.) Make an inquiry--whether you are in search of a painting for your living room or a gift for your best friend's birthday
3.) You can add pictures, budget and deadline
4.) And that's it! You just created a "chat" where relevant shops in NYC will talk to you and pitch their products. This is the easiest way to browse without trekking through the City. You can then click and pick up the product in store; soon you will be able to receive your choices within 2 hours

We are growing fast-- to give you a scoop, we were discussing a pilot witn the City of Paris --and they agreed! We expect to be in Paris before year end!


Maison 10 -- one of the featured local boutiques

Manufacturing as an industry has a terrible effect on the environment. Your company touts an awareness of the environment and an emphasis on "sustainable" brands--what does "sustainability" mean to you? Is ethical manufacturing a consideration in your network?

We do not focus solely on sustainable products--the local aspect has a very positive impact on itself. Local means more jobs and money spent and re-invested in the community. The local economy is one of the first areas to be extremely impacted by online competition and new habits. 

website view

Paris vs. NYC--what do you see as standouts of either?
I would rephrase Josephine Baker's french song, "J'ai deux amours NYC and Paris!"

Five Favorites:
1.) Surf at 6AM
2.) New York City right after sunset, when the lights turn on
3.) The Color "Blue"
4.) I love Pastas
5.) I love cooking; specifically cutting vegetables (it relaxes me)

2 words to describe yourself: Pragmatic Dreamer

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