Lyko and Avensia - more than a supplier-customer relationship
Lyko is one of Sweden’s most successful e-commerce companies within the beauty and haircare industry. Since Lyko became the first company to use Avensia’s framework Storefront Nitro, the site has become much faster and even more customer-centric, and it is continuously developed in close collaboration with Avensia, to live up to the rising expectations from customers. During the years that Avensia and Lyko have worked together, the relationship has become both close and honest, which is beneficial for both parties. A working climate that allows everyone to challenge each other is the best soil for innovative and feasible ideas to grow in. During 2019 Lyko managed to reach the magic number 1 billion SEK in turnaround, of which 74% came from their digital commerce.
Customer focus, innovation and sustainability
The partnership between Lyko and Avensia has always been focused on both companies’ top priority: the customers. Ever since Lyko opened the first hair dressing salon in Vansbro, Sweden, focus has been on the customer. When Avensia presented the idea which would later become the Storefront Nitro framework, Lyko saw its potential. Storefront Nitro was invented as an answer to customers’ increased demands for performance and stability. The innovative architecture speeds up response times and makes the mobile site stable, even when the network is unstable, e.g. on a train or on a bus. A significant part of Lyko’s target group wanted just that, so Lyko and Avensia realized the idea together. Today many of Avensias’ customers are using Storefront Nitro for their ecommerce sites.
For the past few years Lyko has experienced stronger growth than most of their colleagues in the industry, and the site is performing completely as expected. The results for 2019 showed a sales growth for online with 41% and during Black Week sales peaks Lyko sold 3 items per second online.
We chose Avensia because we believed that their platform would last long-term. We are not so much focused on what happens in one year, we look five years ahead. If you only chose a solution based on functionality there is a risk that it will be difficult to scale up. As a growing company, it is just as important that the solution is solid, says Rickard Lyko, CEO of Lyko.
The Lyko team at Avensia
The relationship between customer and supplier has developed into a close partnership and today the team at Avensia works as remote part of Lyko’s organization. They have joint weekly meetings and are in many ways working as closely as if they were colleagues.
We talk to each other every day and we use Slack to communicate quickly. We talk about everything from technical issues to details about new functionality before we start the development work, says Rickard Lyko.
Lyko has a clear vision about where they are going, and they know that to keep a place on the market in the future they need to be willing to change, take quick decisions and to explore new paths with agility. They are very humble towards the experienced team at Avensia and are always open to hear their views.
The people in the Lyko team at Avensia feel almost like colleagues to the team at Lyko. Our competence is highly valued, and we feel challenged to find the right solutions. It is great to feel that we are a part of Lyko’s success, says Tobias Ekholm, project manager at Avensia.
Challenging each other
To me, an innovative way of working is to give everyone the freedom to question everything, says Rickard Lyko. We know what has taken us this far, but we don’t know what will take us to our next destination. Our team at Avensia is important to us in that aspect. When everyone can be honest and challenge each other, you can work efficiently and reach the best of results.
Long-term, continuous development
Having worked 11 years with ecommerce, Rickard senses that a common mistake among peers is that they view the development of the ecommerce site as a finite project. The result of that is that are forced you need to make up for a long period of under-investment by extensive upgrades.
I think that the most common reason why companies don’t make continuous investments is because they cannot see tangible results of small updates. I think that is a wrong way of reasoning. It is not about chasing short-term goals, but about believing that you are on the right track, and continue to work with perseverence in that direction, says Rickard.
Curious and fast business development
During the last few years, the nature of business development has changed, from being an internal process to be much more about external monitoring. In the old days companies presented news to their customers whereas today they are looking at the consumers and adjusting their offers according to what they do and think.
The reason why smaller companies can compete with, and win over big players, is because the big companies aren't in sync with their customers and not fast enough to keep up with customer expectations. At Lyko, everyone is looking for new solutions and functions. We question and we test things. ”Look at this, why don’t we have this?” is a common exclamation in our office. We are very curious and are always on the lookout for new ideas, says Rickard.
It feels very meaningful to create technical solutions and spearhead functionality for Lyko, in order to realize their ideas and visions, says Anders Ekdahl, CTO at Avensia.
Experts who can see around corners
According to Rickard, one of the worst things that can happen is to lose the ability to make decisions. It can happen to decision makers without them even realising it. In the world of digital commerce you cannot wait until you have all the facts, then you will lose the race.
We need to get used to making decisions without having all the cards on table. We surround ourselves with experts who can see around corners and give us good advice. The better our partners know us and what we do, the better the advice, says Rickard Lyko.
A social platform and an e-commerce
In order to increase engagement, encourage customers to visit the site often and to stay there longer, Lyko and Avensia have added a social platform for beauty, skin- and haircare to Lyko.com. Once you have a profile, you can get inspiration, share experiences, discuss, comment post and pictures of yourself using the products. Everyone has their own profile, customers, hair and skin studios and a lot of brands. In the social feed everyone can comment, rate products and ask questions about skin-and haircare, to be answered by the community.
The social platform works as a link between the site, Lyko’s hair salons and physical stores. The booking system is already integrated with the ecommerce, allowing the customer to use the site for both shopping and booking of treatements. This connection will be developed further in order to enhance the customer experience.
Avensia knows that we have big plans, says Rickard Lyko. Their solutions are future-proof and solid and ready for new functionality based on new ideas. The developers are not working only to get the job done, they put themselves in the customers’ shoes, and make sure that their experiences are top notch, whenever they communicate with Lyko.