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French Racquet Sports Retailer Babolat Aces Media Management with Cloudinary

French Racquet Sports Retailer Babolat Aces Media Management with Cloudinary

Babolat, headquartered in Lyon, France, is the oldest international brand specializing in racquet sports. It’s tennis, badminton, and padel equipment are used by many of the world’s best players and sports enthusiasts. Since the invention of natural gut strings for racquets in 1875, Babolat continued its long-standing tradition of innovation in support of players and the game by continuously adding racquet-sport equipment to its product portfolio.

After focusing on the business-to-business market for more than 100 years, Babolat embarked on a move to a direct-to-consumer model that integrated e-commerce functionalities. As it began planning a website redesign to support online sales, the team realized that it needed a robust digital asset management (DAM) solution as the foundation of its digital transformation.

Babolat selected Cloudinary because it offered a modern DAM, as well as additional capabilities, such as delivering dynamic image and video transformations and support of mobile responsiveness, which were features that it required as it launched into the consumer market.

In this blog, learn more about how Cloudinary helped Babolat deliver media-rich e-commerce experiences globally for its new B2C market.

Entering the E-commerce Market

Planning to launch a direct-to-consumer offering that included e-commerce functionalities was a major change for Babolat. With a goal to bring this new consumer-focused website to eight Asian and European countries this year, and expand into the United States in 2021, Babolat wanted to create an e-commerce ecosystem that featured videos of top players using its gear, and have an image-rich website to highlight its products.

Because they would need to handle product images, player videos and other brand assets, Babolat’s team began looking for a DAM solution that could efficiently manage a centralized library of assets and share them with external teams. But that was only part of their needs. They also knew they’d need to transform and optimize media, ensuring that their audiences around the globe could view the site regardless of the device they were using, or any bandwidth constraints they may face.

Another key consideration was ensuring the DAM they selected could be integrated with their existing deployments, including Akeneo Product Information Management (PIM) system and Salesforce Commerce Cloud.

Easy Implementation and Integration

After weighing its options, Babolat selected Cloudinary because it delivered all the functionality needed to support the e-commerce site, plus it integrated with content delivery networks (CDNs) to ensure optimal performance of the sites across four continents.

"We already had over 50 different tools doing various things, so simplifying our workflow was a no-brainer. Cloudinary gave us a single platform for all the teams working with assets, and we also benefit from a more tightly integrated technology stack,” said Guillaume Sérodon, digital project manager at Babolat. “The ability to manage the entire lifecycle of assets—from creation to delivery—as well as its seamless integration with our e-commerce platform and PIM system offered tremendous benefits and set Cloudinary apart from competitive solutions that focus on storing and sharing media assets.”

Two use cases of Cloudinary were adopted for the initial e-commerce launch.

  1. Workflow for managing product images, such as pictures of racquets. Images are implemented on the company’s SharePoint collaboration tool, then transferred to Cloudinary, where custom metadata gets added for integration with the Akeneo PIM system before being published across digital catalogs.
  2. Delivery of marketing assets. These assets are created and managed in the Cloudinary DAM, where Babolat uses Cloudinary's URL-based transformations to deliver each image in the proper format, resolution and quality for every user. The team also can automatically crop images, manipulate video and do overlays with simple manipulation parameters.

Babolat has more than 5,000 product assets mapped to relevant information and delivered as high-performance, responsive experiences, helping it improve its Google PageSpeed performance to 94%.

Building a Foundation for the Future

Just six months after selecting Cloudinary as its DAM platform, Babolat was able to launch its new website in Europe and Asia, and begin work on its debut in the U.S. market next year.

But this is just the start. "We still have a huge roadmap for which we want Cloudinary to be a central component," said Emilien Chareyron, digital and e-Commerce program manager for Babolat. “Cloudinary's 360-degree service offering provides us what we need to continue supporting our e-commerce website, while working with distributors on the B2B side to offer them the much needed solution to take full advantage of our media content."

Thanks to Cloudinary, Babolat's asset lifecycle management has matured dramatically. Now, the company is looking forward to expanding the platform’s internal scope from storage and delivery to collaboration and sharing. Chareyron sees the potential for Babolat's communications and marketing teams to use Cloudinary to support asset workflow, and deliver media assets to all the brand lovers worldwide: employees, distributors, retailers and, of course, consumers.

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