An Online Gallery for Rare Book Collectors

With truly unique inventory and a service-based approach to sales, this retail operation needed a sophisticated solution to manage, advertise, and sell their products to customers around the world.

Real-time inventory information transformed Bauman’s sales process — on and offline.

Bauman Rare Books sells unique books, photographs, and documents internationally, both in their retail locations and online. They’ve earned a reputation as one of the world’s leading rare book dealers, and are known for their extraordinary customer service.

For Bauman, the ultimate mark of success revolves around working with customers to build their collections over many years. Doing this requires an intimate knowledge of both the customer’s existing collection and the inventory on-hand; with inventory that spans many specific interest areas, being able to identify a piece that fits the tastes of a particular collector simplifies the sales process.

The challenge for Bauman was to create a collaborative inventory and customer management system that managed the internal processes of buying and cataloguing a book, and the customer-facing processes of advertising that book and eventually selling it.

Using technology to collaboratively manage, publish, and sell rare books.

Before working with Brio, Bauman had a desktop application with inventory and customer information dating back decades. Building a collaborative new app would help Bauman modernize their retail operation moving forward, yet their backlog of old data needed to be included to create a full picture of historical information.

Designing Bauman’s new app started with an extensive discovery phase, where we interviewed their employees and learned every process they used to run their operation. With a full vision for Bauman’s technical future, we began building small pieces of functionality that would eventually become a full-featured inventory and customer management system.

A web app that’s completely tailored to this unique process.

BSpace, a custom app built by Brio, has been Bauman’s one-stop-shop for their back office needs since 2013; it includes everything from inventory, sales, and reporting to website management and catalog production. The app includes dozens of features and user roles, tailoring the experience to the various functions and roles that exist within the company.

Online sales: a (lucrative) new frontier.

When Bauman wanted to start selling their inventory online, they came to Brio to discover ways to best use BSpace data to drive website content, and for technical consulting, project management, and graphic design. To take their website to the next-level, we needed to replace the email ordering process with an actual eCommerce system, and design a fresh and responsive new look for the outdated site.

Working with another development company, we created an online sales gallery for Bauman that represents the rich look and feel of their stores, and their one-to-one sales approach. The new online experience worked: within 1 year, online sales doubled.

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