The largest B2B solution built on Optimizely Commerce Cloud
Ahlsell's customers have very different needs and all have unique prices. The project included hundreds of use cases and making sure that more than 500,000 products could be managed with simplicity, by both staff and customers. Ahlsell's e-commerce is the largest B2B solution built on the Optimizely Commerce Cloud, with customized experiences for all customers.
Type of project:
E-commerce, Digital strategy, Business strategy, custom-made app for Ahlsell's customers
Through a digital transformation of the sales processes and channels, fueled by a modern commerce solution, Avensia and Ahlsell set the strategy and the stage for accelerated digital sales.
With a customer-focused B2B commerce solution, personalized and catering for hundreds of use cases, reach the set KPIs, one of them being to increase the digital share of total sales.
550,000 articles – hundreds of use cases
Ahlsell is a leading wholesaler in the Nordic countries for products in the installation, plumbing, tools and machinery business. It is a pure B2B business with a yearly turnaround of $3.9 Million and 4,800 employees. They are active in all Nordic countries and the Baltic States.
Ahlsell was looking to take the next step in the development of their digital offering, a work that was not just about technology but also about updating processes and work methods. The previous e-commerce was implemented in 2007 and worked as a web version of the ERP. Being the market leader in their industry, Ahlsell aimed to set the bar for e-commerce in the industry and created a plan for how they would achieve it.
The greatest challenge was the scale of the project; more than 500,000 products needed to be handled with ease, so adding and updating product information had to be simplified. Therefore it was important that CMS and e-commerce were well integrated with each other. The products also needed to be shown to the right customer, so relevance was important.
For a long time, Ahlsell's goal had been to stop publishing their physical catalog (printed in a larger edition than the IKEA catalog in Sweden). Therefore it was important to create a modern interface that could truly replace it.
There were also hundreds of use cases to cater for. All customers have different discounts depending on company agreement with Ahlsell and were also completing their purchases in several different ways.
Ahlsell’s e-commerce should also be responsive and adaptive to all well-used interfaces such as mobile, desktop and tablet, and be a great tool for salespeople in the field, customer service and other functions in the company.
Avensia gave a good starting estimate. We were very humble and attentive to what they suggested. It was a complex project and Ahlsell needed an agency who knew what they were doing. They showed us a good model for how we could solve the task at hand. Value for money.
Mårten Forssell, Head of eBusiness, Ahlsell Sverige
A platform that could handle both e-commerce and content
In order to get their omni-channel and seamless commerce solution in place, Ahlsell decided to use a platform that could display both content and products, and chose Episerver Commerce, now Optimizely Commerce Cloud. Ahlsell were already using Episerver CMS and therefore didn’t have to start completely from scratch in the implementation process.
After choosing the platform, the company chose Avensia as consultant agency to carry out the mission. In the discussions about how to optimize the solution for customers, they also decided to implement Apptus eSales search- and relevance engine. It allows the e-commerce to present the right product for the right customer, regardless of what industry the customer is coming from.
Ahlsell is now the largest B2B e-commerce solution built on Optimizely Commerce Cloud. The site manages 550,000 articles and 30,000 categories.
When logged in, every individual customer can see the prices that are valid according to their agreement. Customers can also place orders via the Buy button, upload Excel sheets and use Punch-out. Everything can be customized to the customer, even order forms.
In order to make the customer journey even more efficient, Avensia have developed an app, available for all Ahlsell customers. The app gives the customer access to the entire e-commerce and can be used to scan barcodes, in the store to see customer unique prices, or to scan products they already have, in order to re-stock etc.
We have a goal to be the best, not only as a supplier but also in terms of availability and customer experience. Our new site serves as an incredibly talented digital salesman. It has an eye on every part of our range and can recommend the right products according to what suits each customer's specific needs.
Mårten Forssell, Head of eBusiness, Ahlsell Sverige
Always improving the customer experience
The dedicated development team at Avensia are constantly improving the quality and the customer experience of Ahlsell's omnichannel commerce solution. In close cooperation with Ahlsell, they are resposible for the maintenance of the site and to add new functionality in line with customer demands and expectations. One of Avensia's commerce advisors acts as a strategic sounding board when needed.
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Avensia has delivered according to our expectations both in technological capabilities and as an advisor for the overall solution.