Céline BOUDIÈRE, Marketing & Digital Director of Meetic Europe, and Karen VERNET, Printemps Chief Merchandising Officer

What are the main current trends in digitalisation in your sector?

Céline Boudière: There is still a tension between digital and human, with the question we ask ourselves every day at Meetic: how can we put the human element back at the heart of online dating? Gone are the days of profiles without photos. At Meetic, reality and authenticity are at the heart of what we offer. Our latest innovations are designed to bring out the personalities and uniqueness of our singles: audio, video and live features, for example, allow you to meet them in a different way.

And for a long time now we’ve been organising evenings and workshops for real-life singles all over France.

Our latest partnership with Printemps is a great illustration of these real, authentic encounters in special places: “Crush Cake” workshops to personalise, a “Love Box” to make your declaration, a ” Love Filter” cocktail to share – these are experiences that break the ice!

Karen Vernet: The main current trends are linked to the convergence between the shop and the digital world, where omnichannel is taking various forms, geo-location of spaces in shops is becoming commonplace and QR codes are ubiquitous, creating a powerful link between the digital world and physical points of sale. Another major convergence is taking place between the human and the digital.
Among the many initiatives put in place by Printemps, I can mention two examples:

  • The system enabling customers to view all the personal shoppers so that they can contact the one they feel is best suited to them. This makes it easier to establish a permanent link between the customer and his or her personal shopper via digital technology.
  • Live shoppings make it possible to “humanise” the sale of our products.

What is your vision for the future of your sector?

Karen Vernet: A very positive vision, because department stores have survived every crisis over the last 160 years thanks to their resilience. The dream they create among all types of public remains intact. And now, thanks to digital, the experience is truly new and multiplied.

Céline Boudière: It’s a sector that’s constantly evolving, and that’s what’s so great about it! Dating is evolving in step with changes in society and we are constantly adapting to the new needs of singles. Today, even more than ever, singles need to find people who are a real match for them; beyond the physical criteria, what counts is lifestyle, values, what you share together…

These days, we’re seeing the emergence of increasingly specialised dating apps for single parents and the over-50s, and we’re contributing to this with our Even and Disons Demain services. Given that, on average, singles use 3 apps at the same time, I’m convinced that the future of dating lies in this complementary approach.

Meetic and Printemps are JFD partners. What does this commitment mean to you?

Céline Boudière: We are delighted by this partnership with JFD, which is part of an approach that reveals and promotes women who innovate and become entrepreneurs to change the world. It’s a commitment that highlights the values we share: innovating, daring, adapting, shaking things up. We wanted to pool our know-how and experience and put them at the service of women with high-impact digital projects.

Karen Vernet: A strong commitment to fundamental values. For over 10 years, Delphine Remy-Boutang and her team have been developing a series of concrete initiatives that are making a difference in the world. Valuing women (young and old) for their creativity, relevance and entrepreneurial spirit is a mission that we are keen to follow. JFD also has an international outlook, which we greatly appreciate. These values and actions are in line with the spirit of Printemps, “talent finder”.

What’s the current picture on gender equality at Meetic and Printemps?

Karen Vernet: At Printemps, women are highly valued, as they make up a very large proportion of our workforce, in the vast majority of functions. This is also reflected in the balance of our two buildings overlooking Boulevard Haussmann: one is more for women and the other more for men. Perfect equality!

Céline Boudière: At Meetic, we’re very proud of our gender equality index: 99/100! The equality and diversity of the profiles that make up our teams are a source of wealth, and are essential and inseparable. In fact, we have made a commitment in this direction by becoming a signatory of the Diversity Charter at the end of 2022.

Why does tech need women and why women should be more involved in tech?

Céline Boudière: Women are still under-represented in tech, at 30%, and barely 20% in technical occupations. And yet it’s a sector that’s constantly evolving, that recruits strongly, that pays well… with exciting career opportunities. Wouldn’t it be a shame not to position ourselves?
Just as it would be a shame for the fast-growing sector, with its war for talent, not to tap into the female talent pool.
But above all: tech is building tomorrow’s uses and interactions… the way we’re going to entertain, inform, meet or treat ourselves… I don’t think it’s desirable (or even conceivable!) to do this without the views of half of society. Technology needs women to design and develop products that are designed for everyone, and tailored to each individual.

Karen Vernet: Every profession needs diversity (gender, age, culture, etc.), and tech is no exception. Diversity is a source of wealth, and it has been proven that collective intelligence is multiplied when different ideas and angles are brought to bear.
It would be a form of sectarianism to reserve a profession exclusively for one gender. A profession practised only by women would also need to open up to diversity!
In addition, women need tech to keep up with the times, to further develop their creativity and initiative. To multiply their influence. And to encourage even more communication with their male colleagues.



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