Europe’s largest department store adopts SaaS for online expansion


French department store Galeries Lafayette says it has significantly increased its product range since introducing a new marketplace to its online business earlier this year.

The leading French fashion brand had sought to grow its business via international expansion and e-commerce, and implemented a software-as-a-service (SaaS) platform from Mirakl to help support its e-commerce goals, increasing product range and profits without inventory costs and restraints.

“A major part of our e-commerce strategy involved the launching of a marketplace,” says e-commerce director Franck Zayan, Galeries Lafayette.  “This allows concessions and new sellers to combine with direct business on the same website, dramatically increasing the product range and offering to our customers.

“Choosing Mirakl as our marketplace platform partner was an easy choice and we are already seeing the benefit. We have doubled our product range and expanded into new product categories we hadn’t looked at previously.”

Galeries Lafayette was founded in 1894 and is seen as the leader in high street retail in France and one of the world’s most recognised department stores.

It operates 60 stores in France and has recently opened stores in Germany, Beijing and Dubai.

>See also: SaaS will be $14.5bn market this year – Gartner

The addition of a Mirakl marketplace platform allows Galeries Lafayette to include third-party sellers alongside its direct sales. The department store can retain complete control over sellers and what they sell, offering increased product choice without inventory and logistics costs and restraints, whilst at the same time fitting seamlessly with the department store’s existing online presence.

After a test launch in June, which involved the inclusion of a small number of sellers, Galeries Lafayette has moved to the next stage in its marketplace, with the addition of a number of home appliance merchants, electronic products, fashion brands and games and toys.

“Our customers are hugely and rightly demanding in the both the service they receive and their overall shopping experience,” Zayan said. “Our brand is everything and our marketplace had to reflect that, being an integrated part of our online presence.

“We expect to see a dramatic increase in revenue over the following 12 months as our customers take advantage of the increased product choice.”

As a SaaS, the Mirakl marketplace can be customised and scaled to suit a customer’s specific requirements.

There is a private messaging system in place that prevents fraud and guarantees that the sale takes place in the secure space of the Galeries Lafayette Marketplace.

All exchanges are tracked so customer services can intervene if required, ensuring the overall experience is safe and secure.

“There is no retailer that can’t make strategic use of an online marketplace to enhance its e-commerce channels,” said Adrien Nussenbaum, Mirakl. “Galeries Lafayette is one of the world’s most recognised, established and trusted brands and Mirakl has enabled it to expand its products dramatically, without compromising that brand in any way whatsoever.”

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Ben Rossi

Ben was Vitesse Media's editorial director, leading content creation and editorial strategy across all Vitesse products, including its market-leading B2B and consumer magazines, websites, research and...

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