French Digital Gift Card Reseller Q&A: With Olivier Guedj, Founder of Ma Carte Cadeau, by Marie Trivino

By Marie Trivino

Olivier Guedj founded Ma Carte Cadeau end of 2012. I remember meeting him while I was an intern working for Blackhawk in Paris. Olivier had the ambition to create a reselling platform for all gift card content in France. He started hand picking, activating and sending the gift cards to the customers by himself. Through the years he became a key factor in the expansion of the market. In 2016, Ma Carte Cadeau was acquired by Ifeelgoods, specialist in digital gift card distribution. Thanks to this acquisition they build up a strong proposition addressing both B2C and B2B sectors.

Today they have developed a B2C and B2B offer that addresses all type of behaviour (self-use and gifting), and programs (employee incentive, insurance). Ma Carte Cadeau offers the largest assortment of mono-branded gift cards and sells several million gift cards every year. They achieved very large partnerships in France and are looking at international opportunities.
We can say that Olivier achieved his ambition, and that Ma Carte Cadeau is one of the top contributors to the success of the market.

How did the Gift Card market evolve in 2020?

The market has been growing this year, with digital gift cards taking a strong share of the business. Our brand clients and B2B partners are satisfied with the sales results, and we are trying to adapt the offering to accommodate new customer behaviours.
Obviously, our activity reduced in March and April but since then we have compensated sales. We are getting ready for a strong Christmas, with big programs emerging in B2C (eg. Ali Express) and B2B (eg. Everywish Carrefour).

What are the top brands in your offering?

We can identify the top four categories; they represent a very large share of our sales. Moreover, they are heavily requested by our B2B partners.
1. Electronics: Fnac, Darty
2. Grocers: Carrefour and Leclerc are foremost because of their full digital offering
3. Furniture: Ikea, Conforama, Castorama
4. Fashion: Zalando, Asos, Galeries Lafayette
5. Health and beauty: Marionnaud, Sephora, Yves Rocher

What are the challenges in the market?

2020 has been a noticeably big year for digital products, and with our “digital-only” offer, our proposition was ready to support the market change.

On the content side, we identify that there is progress to be made regarding program digitalisation, as well as API integration. In the market we estimate only around 20 brands are currently offering 360 digital offering with API integration. There is a great room for progression in that sphere, and we are excited to support brand to embrace the change.

What are the growth trends you identified for next 5 years?

Ma Carte Cadeau sells all its products online, and the highest performing ones are the products with full digital solutions and a multichannel approach.
Growth has been driven by a broad offer, with new launches (Leclerc, H&M, La Grande Recre) as well as new partnerships for B2C and B2B offering. They will be sales levers for 2021.
Moreover, we identify a growth opportunity in new product category like digital entertainment and gaming. They take the biggest share into physical distribution, so we believe in the opportunity to integrate them in our offers for B2B program especially.

We have developed two strategic axes. One for brands: becoming brand ambassadors and carrying their values in the market. And for the distributors, our objective is to provide the largest offering.

Moreover, we try to have a very proactive approach towards the category: engaging with new brands, offering business opportunities to the ones less aware of our industry.
Today our split between B2B and B2C is 75/25. Our wish is to support the market expansion where we see opportunity; for example, in B2C, marketing programs for incentive, and a compensation programs.