Drucker.de – much more than an online shop
Drucker.de was in the market for a new high performance, scalable shop system. After a long time coming, the system they had developed on their own finally reached its limits. So to cope with the growing demand for printer and printer supplies across Europe, they looked toward the Shopware Enterprise edition. This is the story of their successful shop transformation.
During project planning and implementation, www.drucker.de was owned by Freyer & Ploch, who had been in the digital sales of printers since 2004. Generating an annual turnover of 75 million euro in the financial year 2010/2011, Freyer & Ploch was one of the 50 largest and most active online merchants in Germany. The company has since reorganized and is now under new ownership, Bluechip.
Looking back on the decision to upgrade from a homegrown to professional online store, Stefan Linse, Head of IT at Freyer & Ploch, recalled: “Due to positive coverage in the trade press and my own research and personal experience with the competition, Shopware was the clear choice.” After selecting their shop system, the team wanted to work with an internet agency that fit well with their company and project. Enter: eliomedia, a Shopware partner with over 10 years’ experience building individualized solutions for mail-order businesses.
The project concept
In developing the new concept for the website, the team wanted to provide the personalized consultation that one might find when shopping in a physical electronics store. Using detailed information and a careful selection process, they wanted the customer to be completely informed, but not overwhelmed by the amount of choices.
To answer this requirement, the team sought to build a printer configurator that included a questionnaire so that the customer could respond with their ideal printer requirements. After implementing the configurator and going live, the effect was immensely successful. In guiding the customer through a series of choices, the system was able to automatically recommend printers that met the exact requirements of the customer. This type of interactive personalization resulted in even greater customer satisfaction and turnover.
The team knew from the beginning that customizations would be necessary in order to connect the technological components required by Drucker.de. The scalability of the system was of important, as it was necessary the system would be able to handle the demands of higher traffic loads, as well as be able to grow in the future. Next to that, a custom WireCard plugin had to be built, which was the preferred payment method of the growing company. Moreover, Stefan Linse recalls, “With www.drucker.de, we wanted to offer more than a pure online shop. Customers should be able to find adequate information on printers and be able to find a competent contact person at all time.
After testing a few solutions, the team decided to draw upon one single database for information and communication – this was achieved by building a custom connection between all shop functions and the ERP system, Microsoft Dynamics Navision. Created in close cooperation between eliomedia and IT system house, Altenbrand, the connection proved highly flexible and extendable. Additional interfaces for product information and prices were provided by IceCat and COP-Media.
When it came to hosting, Shopware and eliomedia worked in close cooperation to draft an appropriate solution with profihost, whose previous experience with Shopware proved more than helpful. Without a doubt, strong third-party cooperation had a strong, positive influence on the project. Following this theme, Florian Hoffmann, Head of Marketing, emphasized: “The standard template had been adjusted by renowned graphic designer from Hamburg completely to our needs and later implemented by eliomedia.“
The team at Drucker.de was impressed by the fast and efficient project implementation, as the complete project planning – from the schematic to platform selection – lasted only from June to December, 2012.
The actual programming began in January, 2012 and reach completion in April that year. According to Florian Hoffmann, this astoundingly short turnaround time can be attributed to the competent care and detailed planning from eliomedia, Altenbrand and Shopware. “Internally, we have never experienced an IT project that was realized so quickly, smoothly, and on schedule across the board. The cooperation was exemplary and highly professional from every angle, during every phase of the project. Open questions were answered quickly and completely and the communication was always top-notch,” said Stefan Linse.
Particularly impressive was the relatively low cost of the project, which wound up in the mid six figure range. The company expected a payback period of three years, which would up less considering the increasing conversion rate and superior customer satisfaction.
Florian Hoffmann positively recalls of the project: “Shopware provides a holistic and sophisticated solution for professional eCommerce companies. Both the shop system itself, as well as the competent support and uncomplicated communication, were totally convincing. Moreover, the depth of eliomedia’s knowledge was outstanding. They made it possible to realize an extremely difficult project, not only in a short amount of time but always managed to meet the demands a tight schedule.”
Expectations for the Drucker.de project were more than satisfied by Shopware and eliomedia. Having considered the project to be far more extensive, Hoffmann remembers: “We would like to emphasize the simple adaptability of existing functions, availability of numerous plugins and seamless integration of self-developed plugins.”
- Highly performance, scalable solution
- Integration of all shop functions to the ERP system Microsoft Dynamics Navision
- Interfaces to information and price suppliers
- Personalized product consultation
eliomedia, Shopware Solution Partner