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Bel&Bo is a Belgian fashion company with up to 600 employees and 95 different shops. They offer a wide fashion range at an affordable price and with a personal service. Bel&Bo not only goes for a pleasant shopping experience in its physical shops, but also online.
Fashion company Bel&Bo needed a new, omnichannel website including a customised webshop with a new look and feel. This would allow their customers to browse, shop and convert faster. As a loyal customer of PHPro, they therefore wanted to replace their older Magento 1 webshop with a new Magento 2 platform on which Bel&Bo's customers can shop 'till they drop.
Mike Gryson, E-commerce Manager, started at Bel&Bo in 2020:
"The already existing webshop of the family business, was still built in Magento 1 and was therefore in need of an upgrade. For this reason, Bel&Bo decided to take advantage of this moment to streamline the needs of the various departments, ranging from Marketing, Logistics, to Customer Service and IT, and put them into a large audit document. An SOW (Statement of Work) emerged from this internal audit, and after several workshops with PHPro, this document was translated into a comprehensive analysis. This analysis was then turned into several tickets and a comprehensive roadmap."
At the same time, the web design was given a refresh, thanks to the help of sister company Sidekick, and the User Experience (UX) was also extensively re-examined.
Bel&Bo now has a website that is both beautiful and functional on mobile and desktop thanks to the move to Magento 2. To keep up with the latest trends, Bel&Bo did not opt for a traditional Magento webshop, but for a PWA, also known as Progressive Web App.
A PWA is a website that behaves like an app, which improves the user experience. And a happy user, in turn, is good for your sales! As 70% of Bel&Bo's customers visit the website via mobile and also convert, this was the ideal framework to implement.
Mike explains: "Another reason for choosing PWA was the 'early adopter' fact. Bel&Bo wants to be future-proof, and PWA has been generating interest for years. You can also see this in Adobe's current releases, where PWA gets a lot of focus. As early adopters, we hope to be a step ahead of the competition, and we find that with the current platform we are much more responsive and agile in our story."
Besides using the latest technologies, Bel&Bo also wanted a strong focus on their omnichannel strategy. The goal was therefore simple: Bel&Bo wanted a revamped, omnichannel website with webshop that exuded a fresh look and feel with a focus on mobile first.
"To achieve this, we also made the necessary changes in the ERP to support the omni-channel story. In addition, all 95 shops also changed their cash register system, which allowed us to better align all processes within Bel&Bo." Mike adds.
To achieve the fresh look of their new webshop, PHPro enlisted the help of sister company Sidekick. An experienced UX/UI designer took care of the graphic part and designed a new style for the optimised website.
Using the extensive corporate identity guide that was already present, Sidekick set to work to give it a contemporary touch. The recognisable stripes of Bel&Bo and the logo were retained. The bright colours specific to the brand were also kept and matched with other shades.
In the footer and the navigation, the typical brand colours return, and here too, the familiar Bel&Bo lines ensure good recognition while scrolling.
Anyone who knows Bel&Bo is familiar with one of its 95 physical shops. It was therefore important to create a clear link between the current physical shops and the webshop. For this reason, the stock in the shops, for example, can be consulted in real time on the webshop. Thanks to the omnichannel approach, we see that we get visitors from the webshop into the stores more easily as well, which is a really nice cross-pollination!
Another nice example of the omnichannel approach is that physical gift vouchers can also easily be used in the online web shop, so customers can shop anytime and anywhere! In addition, online we have also provided that you can enable notification to be informed whether an item is back in stock.
n addition, the webshop is also used to control other platforms, by generating a Facebook and Instagram feed, for example.
Other great features you can find on Bel&Bo's webshop are:
Customers of Bel&Bo turned out to be fans of the new webshop as well, and this was clearly reflected in the figures!
Thanks to the new Magento PWA shop, sales increased by a whopping 38% (2022 compared to 2019 due to COVID). The new shop also provides better product information and product images, which helped reduce returns by 11%.
In turn, the average value per purchase increased by 20%, while the number of purchases per customer remained roughly the same. The conversion rate, in turn, increased by 13%.
In Google Analytics, browsing behaviour also shows similar findings:
“Thanks to the omnichannel approach, we see that we get visitors form the webshop into the stores more easily as well, which is a really nice cross-pollination!”
E-commerce Manager Bel&Bo
Bel&Bo has been working with PHPro for years, including for their Magento 1 webshop.
It was therefore quite obvious that Belgian Bel&Bo chose a real Belgian company like PHPro again. After submitting their SOW to several parties, Bel&Bo saw that many other companies have a much more international spread, and in addition, Bel&Bo has been satisfied for years with PHPro's tone of voice and communication.
The new collaboration is also going very smoothly, although there is no denying that such an e-commerce journey is very intense. "You live on each other's lips for a year in such a course," says Mike. "That means that sometimes there are also disagreements, but we were able to resolve all conflicts and discussions very smoothly along both sides, creating a fantastic story. To this day, we still sit together every week and write new chapters to our story. The roadmap is still full for the future! (laughs)”
“Apart from our traditional collaboration, we also held some Bel&Bo days with the PHPro team. Specifically, we then sat together with the whole Bel&Bo team and the whole PHPro team for a whole afternoon and those were very nice and instructive moments.
Also for the PHPro team, because suddenly the webshop became very tangible. We were able to unpack our fully automatic system in which the clothes from the "squares" (i.e. the place where labels are attached to the article) go through the company and are automatically given their rack per shop.
So the clothing racks are automatically dragged through the warehouse and the process of web packages was also run through. Quite a few mouths fell open when they saw a wall with more than 5,000 boxes where we continuously collect web orders," laughs Mike.
For Bel&Bo, the switch from Magento 1 to Magento 2 also meant a move from Open Source to Commerce Cloud.
“It was a logical next step” says Mike. “Apart from the extra features, we do support the whole Cloud story. We see the biggest advantage in automatic server scaling. At Bel&Bo we send out a lot of newsletters, which means that at that time the server has to deal with a very large peak, and thanks to the auto-scaling functionality, our webshop remains continuously available and we don't have to worry about this. In addition, the extra Commerce functionality also provides more convenience for us and our customers.”
For these newsletters, Bel&Bo also calls on another sister company of PHPro, namely IDA. Together with PHPro, IDA ensured a flawless integration between Adobe Campaign and the Adobe Commerce Cloud webshop, so that abandoned cart mails, newsletters and reminder e-mails can be sent to customers smoothly.
“Through this journey, I really learned how important it is to take your time and think everything through” Mike realises.
“There are always several parties in an e-commerce journey and you want to involve them all in the process and certainly not make any rash decisions. In addition, what I would definitely like to pass on to anyone facing this process is: 'Always think in terms of the customer!' We too often think from our own sector, but in the end, the customer should always be central.
Our site has a certain simplicity, because that is what our customers want. We therefore not only sat down with salespeople, district managers and warehouse staff, but we also did surveys and steering groups with our customers.
The difficult part of this process is also to make all opinions flow together, because fifty opinions obviously also means fifty different stories, but finally I feel that we succeeded well in this and that we can be proud of our webshop 2.0”
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