280+ employees


increase in new customers


JBC is making shopping fun for families with Salesforce

Shopping for yourself can be fun, but shopping for the family is a mission. From dressing room tantrums to children who keep outgrowing their clothes, shoppers face a whole new set of challenges when it comes to keeping a young family clothed and entertained.

But buying from JBC is different. With play areas to keep kids busy while their parents shop, loyalty points to help budgets stretch further, and the latest trends in fashion, the retailer truly puts customers at the heart of the shopping experience. And with Salesforce, it’s taking the customer experience to a whole new level.

“Everything we do at JBC is based on our customers’ needs, from the products we stock to the services we offer,” said Michelle Stulin, eCommerce Coordinator at JBC. “Salesforce is helping us tailor our ecommerce operations to be more relevant and rewarding for our customers.”

Adapting to changing customer expectations

Founded by former cyclist Jean-Baptiste Claes in 1975, the retail chain now has more than 120 stores across Belgium and Luxembourg, with an online presence in Belgium and Luxembourg, and the Netherlands and Germany. The retailer is a socially responsible corporation that promotes local designers, entrepreneurs, and sustainability.

As consumer behaviour shifted to place a bigger emphasis on online shopping, the company launched an ecommerce channel with ambitions to give customers a seamless omnichannel experience, while retaining its unique culture of fun but practical solutions to make life easier for parents. 

“We operate in a fast-growing market that changes quickly, so we need our technology to be agile, scalable, and efficient,” commented Jeroen Vankrunkelsven, IT Coordinator of eCommerce at the company. “We started to outgrow our custom ecommerce platform when our data and processes grew too large for it to handle, which stopped us from releasing new features quickly.”

The team went to market to find a new solution, and with strong out-of-the-box functionality and advanced features, they deployed Commerce Cloud in 2016 with implementation partner Forward.

Delivering smarter merchandising and unified commerce experience

Today, JBC connects with their customers across multiple ecommerce touchpoints to give them a seamless shopping experience, whether they’re browsing from their phone or desktop, ordering for click and collect, or using an in-store kiosk that leverages endless aisle to ship items that aren’t currently in stock at that location.

And their experience is personalised from the moment they open the landing page. With operations across multiple regions, Salesforce automatically displays the website in the customer’s local language. For returning visitors, the landing page is tailored for the department they were last browsing and features more relevant items they might be interested in based on which items they previously clicked on.

When customers use the search function, Einstein Search Recommendations displays relevant products with attributes they may like based on aggregated customer history and browsing history. Recommendations are displayed on landing pages for each department, and on the wish list and basket page before the customer has added any products. When a customer adds an item to their cart Einstein also generates a pop up with accessories that match it.

“By adding these personal touches we’ve seen a 70% increase in new customers and have increased up- and cross-sell opportunities,” revealed Stulin. “Customers love our user experience; we never get feedback that people couldn’t find what they were looking for.”

To retain customers, the company runs multiple promotions using Salesforce’s promotion engine. These include annual multi-buy promotions, 2 for 1s on baby clothes, and discounts off second purchases. These promotions help to generate higher volume of sales and offer more value to customers. “Salesforce makes it really easy to align promotions in-store and online,” adds Vankrunkelsven. “The platform is robust and reliable so we don’t have issues handling higher volumes of traffic during peak periods.”

Rewarding customer loyalty and providing lifetime value to shoppers

Salesforce also simplifies the points-based loyalty scheme, which is integrated with the point of sales. Customers both online and in-store receive a loyalty card when they register that generates points with every purchase and can be cashed in next time they buy. The retailer also has a dedicated campaign called ‘Very Important Baby’ where new parents can earn double points on baby and pregnancy purchases. 

“Our target market is growing families, which means there’s an opportunity to provide value to parents from when their children are babies right up until they’re teenagers,” explained Cielke Vaes, Digital Marketing Manager. “To stay closer to the customer as their child grows, we send them personalised emails at benchmarks in their life – such as when they start nursery or on their birthday.”

The company also runs campaigns to reduce churn, for example using first-party data it can map how often a customer shops with JBC and predict when they’re next due to place an order. If the customer doesn’t order according to their usual habits, they get an automated email offering them double reward points. But the win-back opportunity doesn’t end there, if the customer still doesn’t engage with the company, they’re offered money off to entice them to make a purchase. Win-back emails currently have a 38% open rate and 5.11% click-through rate. 

“Salesforce makes everything we do much more efficient. I used to ask Jeroen which innovations were possible. Now I know everything is possible, it’s just a question of how we do it,” added Stulin.

A new approach to marketing boosts conversion and retention rates

During the first wave of the Covid-19 pandemic, retailers were faced with a sink or swim situation as stores were forced to close. At JBC, rather than putting marketing budgets on hold, it shifted its focus from selling to engaging with customers.

“We refocused our content strategy around how we could add value for parents – it was really tough for people to manage working from home with their kids there, so we posted tips on social media with ways to keep them entertained,” explained Vaes. 

After an initial dip in traffic, the volume of online shoppers grew rapidly, with a significant number of new visitors and conversion rates doubling. By investing in nurturing strong and personal customer relationships with Commerce Cloud, JBC has retained those new customers and numbers remained high when physical stores reopened.

“It was really scary to take that leap of faith, but we’ve found a new way to connect with people and we’ll never look back,” said Vaes. “Salesforce is a key differentiator that immediately sets our ecommerce experience apart from our competitors.”

A strong foundation for future success

With Salesforce underpinning more personalised, relevant, and valuable customer interactions, JBC has seen significant growth in its online business. “The beauty of Salesforce is how easy it is to configure, but if we do need advice the team is really responsive and supportive,” added Vankrunkelsven. “We’re also active in the Trailblazer community so we can talk to other customers and share insights.”

Next on the agenda, the retailer is continuing to align the in-store and online experience and hoping to give more local designers a platform to sell their products through its website. 

“Our ultimate goal is to give customers a unique level of service online – for example getting even smarter with product recommendations so we can accurately suggest items in the correct size,” revealed Vaes. “With Salesforce, we can amplify our values and continue to delight customers with a truly personal shopping experience.”


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