Since 2010, Balibaris has been offering a classic, elegant, and timeless wardrobe in more than 60 stores  – in France and the UK. From the simplicity of its set-up to unified stock, Cegid Retail Live Store brings advantages for store associates as well as Balibaris’ clientele.

Omnichannel retailing: The necessity of a fast and agile solution to set up doesn’t read well at all.

Omnichannel retailing with Balibaris

Julien Schneider, CEO of Balibaris, took the helm of the company in January 2022 with two important challenges to solve:

  1. Find a way to always say YES to the client, regardless of stock availability in-store.
  2. Find an omnichannel solution that is easy for store associates to adopt and which allows them to have a direct, real-time view on their personal sales objectives and performance. For Julien Schneider the store associate’s  motivation is at the very centre of Balibaris’ retail strategy. If the tool is complicated and figures are not available, the solution will not be adopted.

Julien Schneider also needed a solution that wouldn’t necessitate expanding his internal IT teams – a solution compatible with the system already in place at Balibaris. ‘I had to find a solution adapted to my own technical capabilities,’. ‘Rather than forcing a whole company to adapt to the technical ambitions of the software company.’

The Holy Grail: an omnichannel solution that’s easy to use, to deploy, and to adopt by the workforce, and which responds to the customer’s needs, all while keeping the IT team small. This need re-wording

Another priority for Balibaris: rapid deployment. Julien Schneider wanted a fast deployment, something that challenges most software vendors.

From the moment I signed off on Cegid Retail Live Store to the moment I implemented tablets in-store and was doing the first UATs…three weeks had passed. 60 stores were up and running in 5 weeks!

Julien Schneider

CEO of Balibaris

Julien Schneider also pointed out the importance of using the solution in SaaS. For the CEO of Balibaris, this is an essential parameter for managing production and network/server maintenance simply and serenely. The move to the cloud thus freed the Balibaris teams from technical constraints so they could concentrate on their core business: offering the best advice to their customers and selling.

Cegid Retail Live Store: benefits the store associate as well as the customer

What was Balibaris’ number 1 challenge to solve?

Giving the store associate an incentive, motivating them to sell. For that, the brand’s CEO knows from experience what needs to be done: give each associate a summary of their sales at the end of the day.

Why?

Because it’s a matter of their commission and bonuses. If you want the workforce to adopt the solution, they need to be able to see the sales they have generated, whether they be from the in-store inventory or the stock available throughout the network via Order In Store.

Also deployed to concessions, the solution also helps to improve franchisees engagement by allowing them to instantly track their KPIs.

According to Julien Schneider, there are even more advantages for the store associate. For instance, Cegid Retail Live Store makes it easy to search for sizes, reduces waiting times, and lets the salesperson concentrate on what they do best, advising the customer.

Straight off the bat, Cegid Retail Live Store is very ergonomic, but it’s a real plus for our sales during peak times. The tablets allow us to be on the shop floor rather than at the checkout and to truly accompany the customer to the end of sale so we don’t lose it. We do a lot of Order In Store, there are very little processes to follow, just one click and bam, the order’s done. Then, we can have it delivered to the customer so it’s a real plus for us and a real time saver.

Salesperson

from the Paris Bon Marché Balibaris store

Omnichannel retailing: The importance of the customer experience

Cegid Retail Live Store  improves the customer experience. For Balibaris, the storage capacity can be relatively limited and the items, manufactured in France, Portugal, or Italy, cannot be duplicated at will. A season’s most popular items may  be out of stock in a store. However, the retailer must be able to satisfy their customer and not lose a sale.

This is where the unified stock comes in. ‘If the customer is interested in a product that’s unavailable in store, I can have them try it in another colour then get it delivered in store or to their home, either the same day or the next depending on their needs. We make our choices in real time, we cash out the digital sale directly by card, cash, Apple Pay or Android Pay, … We adapt to the customer’s habits and that is what is essential.’

Why physical stores are still important

 For brands with premium products like Balibaris, the physical store is  crucial: customers want to touch, people want to try the product. Fabrics, materials, cuts, style advice – so many criteria that make it, so retail remains retail and keeps the seller’s role from disappearing any time soon.

Today it is necessary to adapt to customers’ new requirements. If the product isn’t available in store, you need to be able to see its stock live and get it sent to the customer’s home the same day. Digital and omnichannel retailing go hand-in-hand with the physical experience because nothing can replace the quality of human interaction.

The human values of exchange and style advice find their place in ‘a stage-setting’ called retail. We know that the customer who buys on our site has normally already come into our store and knows their size. They’ve already had the Balibaris experience, they’ve spoken to our store associates, they’ve listened to our music and bathed in our physical brand universe: our furniture, our decor, our scent… For me, this is the role of the physical store of yesterday, today, and tomorrow.’