As a business that requires a strong online presence to maintain activity that would lead to sales and engagement, Balibart may see most of it’s challenges presented by technological factors. One of my tasks has been to use Balibart’s services like I was a regular customer or aspiring artist who wanted to create an online shop and compare the experience to their competitors. While the general process, features, and experience is essentially the same across the board to create an account, add a product, or make a purchase, the big difference between Balibart and its competitors is the amount of glitches and lack of speed.
Technology is constantly improving and innovating, and anyone that uses the internet or smart device is accustomed to lightning-fast connection and websites that function without lag. Many bigger and established competitors offer an experience with much less lag and technical difficulties compared to Balibart. Nonetheless, Balibart’s size proves to be an advantage for them as their customer service is fast, direct, and always personal. However, pristine customer service will only be able to remediate the technical frustrations for so long.
There happens to be a large space for creative businesses in the fine arts sector, appreciated by Parisians, Frenchies, and beyond. Government expenditures in the culture sector are often criticized (as they also are in the United States) however, the economic benefits of cultural activity in France are notable. As per a 2014 report from the Ministries of France, the cultural sector takes up about 3.2% of France’s GDP, with France’s economy being the third largest in Europe behind the UK and Germany.
E-commerce holds an interesting advantage in that its products are accessible to an international audience (if their shipping policies permit). Within the European Union, shipping prices do not vary, however, they do spike when shipping beyond those boundaries. This makes Balibart an accessible service for Europeans while the price may deter the American market which they are currently trying to access.
Because of the high shipping costs, American customers will likely utilize Balibart’s competitors like Big Cartel or Etsy if they’re simply looking for decorative art from individual artists – most artists have both a Balibart and Big Cartel shop to address those shipping cost concerns from their customers and community.
Balibart plays an important role as a new start-up in their mission to deliver products made from sustainable materials. With a target demographic that is becoming consistently more concerned with the corporate social responsibility of the businesses they patronize, Balibart was smart to make this consideration.
France generally has a heightened sense of sustainability when it comes to the products they consume so it comes to no surprise that Balibart follows suit. However, for their American customers, highlighting this feature on their website could definitely attract a certain niche market of customers willing to pay a higher price for a fair trade, organic cotton, sustainably-manufactured product.
Balibart is a leader amongst many others that value the fair treatment of the people in their manufacturing process as well as the environmental impact of the products they create. Because the Balibart team is comprised of around 10 people with the average age around 26, their role in environmental leadership and innovation seems to be a natural consideration; this generation tends to hold these values more than others.