Liberated Brands: multi-marketing with Shopify X Quable

Liberated Brands: multi-marketing with Shopify X Quable

Sold from the Kering group to the ADG group, which distributes 4 brands, in 15 countries with sales of 70 million, mainly in boardsports brands, surf, kyte and snow, the Liberated Brands group has chosen PIM Quable since 2021. Here, Matthieu Galtie, Head of Digital Europe for the Californian brand, shares his experience with the PIM solution. A testimonial also available on video :

Why did Liberated Brands choose PIM Quable?

E-commerce began at Liberated Brands 10 years ago, focusing on multi-brand (70% of business is done via this channel, 15% by retail and 15% by e-commerce). Multi-brands don't need the same level of information as retailers; this channel has very specific needs. During the Covid crisis, with the addition of products and sales figures, Liberated Brands wanted a more robust system than Excel files to integrate prices, product descriptions and assets.

A lot of content arrives from the USA, which the brand also creates at European level, and which it used to manage on Dropbox-type hard drives. As a result, the Group wanted to bring order to all this organization in order to create a more professional system that would improve overall team productivity. The idea was also to harmonize information from the group's various brands around a single technical base , PIM. Finally, the Volcom group chose PIM Quable over Akeneo for its UX and Saas mode.

What were the obstacles at Libertad Brands before implementing PIM ?

Equipped since 2018 with Shopify, importing data on collections was tedious; there are six collections a year, including a technical collection. The objective was therefore to streamline all these data exchanges. Similarly, assets had to be adapted to the right formats for different channels: marketplaces, own sites, etc. The idea was therefore to standardize the structure of the catalog and data from PIM onwards. Finally, the group, which manages 4 languages (German, Spanish, English and French), also had a localization problem. The aim was to adapt content not only to market languages, but also to environmental standards specific to each country. 

With no suitable tools for scaling its business, Liberated Brands found itself having to manage its best enemy: its product data. At first glance, Excels files and directories may be quite handy, but after a while they just don't keep up, with no automation and no link to the rest of the IT ecosystem. The numerous manipulations of the various files also create a lack of reliability in the data produced (versioning problems, data traceability, etc.). 

This poses a real problem for collaboration: there are no clearly established business processes, and no reporting tools to monitor the completeness of the data produced...

The PIM Quable and Liberated Brands solution 

The Libertad Brands group has the particularity of being a small team (around a hundred people), working with a large number of external service providers: copywriters, translators, external photo agency, and so on.

To establish the business workflows, the process was structured around 3 main stages: 

  • Datainitialization. The group uses a PLM, which is really the place where products are created. It contains technical data, material data and maintenance data. The group is also equipped with an ERP system to manage all aspects of coding, marketing, stock, pricing and so on. From the Quable platform, teams can access all this data and see what information is missing and/or needs to be completed.
  • Dataenrichment. Here, copywriters can add SEO content, which translation agencies will then translate. During this stage, the photo agency imports all visuals directly into Quable, and only in high definition. The platform also manages metadata, which can be controlled from the PIM Quable dashboard.
  • Automated omnichannel distribution. It is at this precise moment that the group's internal digital team pre-validates and publishes the various catalogs on all channels. Distribution is fully automated across all channels: Volcom's 6 Shopify sites, marketplaces and multi-brand.

How Quable and Liberated Brands work

"Getting an organization to adopt a new tool requires internal lobbying" - says Matthieu Galtie. This means calling on the design and production teams to change their processes too. "We had to convince an entire CODIR, which was very B2B-oriented, and then there's a great onboarding team at Quable that really supports us". 

The Quable AIR methodology was created precisely to secure all Quable deployments. The aim is to provide a series of workshops and tools to manage project deployment. This Quable-style methodology is structured around 4 stages: 

  • Look at the data model. What data does the company already have in-house? What data do you want to propel, and to which channels and markets? From here, Quable takes charge of defining a data map and establishing each system's governance over this data.
  • Import modeling into Quable. Here, Quable will focus on who does what in the company, how to orchestrate processes between different teams, and create fluid processes with different stakeholders.
  • Establish dashboards. The aim of this stage is to define the appropriate steering tools to manage team activities, and to ensure that the product repository is complete before sending it out to the various channels.
  • Managing users: who can do what on the platform?
  • Import/export. What are the protocols and exchange methods between Quable and the various platforms? Do we use a Quable-native connector?
  • Quable AIR training.
  • ‍Thebenefits of PIM Quable

"The idea is to focus teams on added value rather than additional workload" - Matthieu Galtie.

The benefits are many: 

  • The ease of use of the tool. It's very easy to navigate, to set up tags and dashboards. The tool is highly ergonomic, and equally well suited to product teams and those at more senior management levels.
  • Ease of adaptation compared with the Agec law. Liberated Brands can import all traceability data directly into the product sheet, making it very agile for teams.
  • Clean data. Product information is now clean and easy to manage, notably with the management of renewals, which enables data on permanent products to be maintained from year to year. There are also far fewer errors in product information.
  • Onboarding the American team. The Group succeeded in convincing part of the American branch to equip itself with PIM Quable, and today a team managing the Spyder brand masters the Quable platform.

Volcom and Quable in a few figures: 

  • More than 20,000 products managed on the PIM solution, exclusively with the Volcom brand.
  • 6 Shopify sites, 8 in total including the Spyder brand.
  • 6 marketplaces in 15 countries.
  • 4 languages deployed.
  • 2 advanced and daily users, and around twenty users in total.

Upcoming challenges with Volcom and Quable

The ABG (Authentic Brands Group) fund, which bought Liberated Brands, has also just acquired the Boardriders group (Quicksilver, Roxy, Billabong...). Other brands will therefore be arriving, and Volcom will have to make an effort to align itself with Quable and Shopify sites. The major challenge will be to integrate and harmonize all existing brand processes with the new ones, thanks to the PIM Quable platform.

Would you like to manage your multi-market experience with PIM ? Request your free demo!

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Content Manager

After experiences in retail, luxury and EdTech, Romane became Content Manager at Quable and specializes in writing about e-commerce, tech and the SaaS world in B2B.