Thursday 06 July 2017

Glassolutions moves into m-commerce
to revolutionise its customer experience

A mobile app to boost sales and retain customers

GLASSOLUTIONS, a Saint-Gobain Group company that transforms and markets a wide range of glass solutions for the building trade, decided to develop a mobile e-commerce application. Beyond the challenge of increasing sales, this mobile application aims to promote various services. The design of the application and its graphic overhaul are the work of WAX Interactive, the SQLI Group agency, which carried out the development.

Offering its customers a new digital experience

The GLASSOLUTIONS network is present on 200 sites in 16 countries in Europe. As part of its European e-commerce development, the Saint-Gobain company specialised in transforming and distributing glass solutions for buildings, wanted to set up a mobile solution for its professional customers (including mirror and window installers, and plumbers). The brand wanted to take on this mobility challenge as its customers working on sites required an instant response to their request. This service complements its e-commerce site: an online service for configuring glass, pricing, estimates and order tracking.

"Our e-commerce site was launched in 2015: Our customers can order glass online with a complete product catalogue, easy reference search, prices and a delivery date shown immediately. Our business is growing strongly with 100 to 200 orders each week. We need to be as responsive as possible to stand out from the competition. Today, the e-commerce site is available in 6 countries. With SQLI we want to go even further in terms of customer experience and especially mobility", explains Laurent Elisseche, Head of Digital Technologies & E-commerce at Saint-Gobain Building Glass Europe.

The objectives are therefore strategic:

+       Enhance the user experience by providing them with a tool that will simplify their life and save time when ordering,

+       Improve customer satisfaction by being more responsive and offering new services.

GLASSOLUTIONS chose SQLI to assist them with this project due to the compatibility of SQLI's technological skills, but also their skills in UX and graphic design, expertise provided by WAX Interactive, SQLI's integrated digital agency. In addition, GLASSOLUTIONS especially appreciated SQLI's bold technological choice around the Xamarin solution. Xamarin is a framework for developing mobile applications with the aim of creating Android and iOS applications using a single language: C#. In other words, it allows GLASSOLUTIONS to develop a cross-platform native mobile application.

A technical feat with the Xamarin solution

The project took place over a year, in two stages, with an initial phase for defining the project scope, UX design and graphic design. This step was carried out hand-in-hand with the GLASSOLUTIONS teams to design the user journey and the software usability, while ensuring its compatibility with the technical complexity of the IS.

In the second stage, SQLI developed the mobile application using Xamarin, where the technical challenge was to ensure communication across the entire Saint-Gobain IS (Salesforce for CRM, Pros Smart CPQ for generating offers and quotes and Azure for hosting) using a set of homogeneous APIs.

In addition, a single back-office provides access to the e-commerce site and the mobile application.

The result is a platform for accessing future GLASSOLUTIONS applications.

B2B m-commerce with multiple functions

Browsing the application has been tailored to optimise the user experience and save customers time when ordering. They can select the delivery method and view their order status—a first in the B2B building sector. The application offers several features:

+       A Touch ID system to save time when logging on,

+       Language management,

+       More intuitive access to information (search engine and outline),

+       Products automatically loaded with the possibility of saving the configuration for a future order,

+       A list of next delivery steps on the homepage,

+       Comprehensive management of all quotes allowing them to be re-used to save even more time when ordering,

+       The ability to generate quotes for the customers of customers,

+       Push notifications,

+       A history of previous orders.

The app was first released on the Apple Store in mid-May and will be launched on the Google Play Store on the 21st July of this year. Initial customer feedback gathered by Saint Gobain Glass Solutions is positive: in particular, they appreciate the speed, the user experience and the configuration steps.

Laurent Elisseche adds, "Our goal is to double the number of active customers on our application. Today, we have 1,200 users on the e-commerce platform. We expect as many users, if not more, with this new solution. Implementing it was essential to offer a smoother, better quality buying experience, in line with new mobile consumption. We count on achieving a better conversion rate, offering our complete systems and accessories more systematically, and, ultimately improving customer satisfaction. SQLI understood our needs perfectly and offered us the highest quality support in the technical as well as functional aspects, in spite of a very tight schedule. The teams were flexible and tenacious in finding a solution to the technical problems encountered.".

In the future, other features can be easily integrated in accordance with how GLASSOLUTIONS' customer usages evolve. The application is currently available in 6 countries and will be expanded to all of Europe this year. Thanks to this success, GLASSOLUTIONS is already capitalising on this achievement to develop new features on its e-commerce website.

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