Business Challenge

How could CEWE reach out to new customers, market to them efficiently, and sell new services in the connected world?

Transformation

CEWE centralized the commercial activities of its retail chains to a single platform that integrates and hugely improves the online and instore experience.

Results

Attracts

new customers with a seamless retail experience

Boosts

sales of both cameras and online photo services

Enables

easy expansion of services into new sites and new countries

Business Challenge Story

Flash of inspiration

CEWE realized that the key was to create a single platform for its retail chains across all its brands throughout Europe, and use this central platform as the basis for developing modern, easy-to-use web stores with mobile-friendly versions in each market. CEWE selected IBM WebSphere Commerce as the foundation for its business transformation.

Dr Joachim Marz, Head of IT at CEWE, explains, “Of all the solutions we considered, IBM WebSphere Commerce offered the fullest range of e-commerce functionalities straight out of the box. A Gartner quadrant showed IBM WebSphere Commerce as a leader, and its multi-language capabilities were great.

“Our e-store is crucial to our retail business, so we wanted as much control over it as possible. IBM WebSphere Commerce offered this to a much greater degree than others, which was an important deciding factor.”

IBM WebSphere Commerce is a strategic tool vital to the long-term success of CEWE’s retail chains.

—Dr Joachim Marz, Head of IT, CEWE

Transformation Story

Getting the whole picture

To complete the deployment, CEWE engaged novomind, an IBM Business Partner specializing in B2B and B2C multichannel commerce. Dr Joachim Marz comments, “novomind provided excellent advice and support, and was able to implement, configure and deploy IBM WebSphere Commerce rapidly and efficiently.”

CEWE runs the hardware and middleware platforms, while novomind manages the IBM WebSphere Commerce solutions. Compared with the previous fragmented web and customer management systems, the IBM solution provides outstanding performance and reliability. Where previously web searches could take up to ten seconds, consumer searches are now in the range of one to two seconds, and during 2014 there was no unplanned downtime.

With IBM Websphere Commerce, CEWE has unified its IT management across its major retail chains. Each line of business and brand has its website hosted on the shared platform, and the front-ends have been optimized for PC, tablet and smartphone.

IBM WebSphere Commerce has enabled CEWE to roll out new stores quickly and reliably. Where previously each new business operation required web stores to be designed and implemented from scratch, CEWE can now use established templates that simply need to be configured to local language, currency and branding requirements.

Dr Joachim Marz comments, “IBM WebSphere Commerce makes it easy to implement changes and test the results. We now use the same site template for rollouts to new sites and new countries, cutting deployment time significantly. By using standard templates we can plan the deployments very accurately, which helps with advertising, promotions and in general business management.”

Results Story

Optimized consumer portraits

As CEWE builds its customer base, order histories enable the company to understand and predict consumer behavior. Collated data is integrated with sales data managed by the CEWE corporate SAP ERP solutions.

Igor Kerbs, Manager of Retail IT Systems at CEWE, comments, “The integration between the SAP solutions and IBM WebSphere Commerce Server is based on SAP Process Integration, which is used as the shared infrastructure to connect SAP ERP and other applications. This provides a consistent environment for interfaces, connectivity, orchestration, governance and more, greatly simplifying our operations.”

Dr Joachim Marz explains, “Previously, there were two separate e-commerce platforms, one for photo products and one for photo camera equipment. Now that we have a single-sign-on functionality, we can provide greatly improved retail shopping experience to our customers in a way that simply was not possible before. Based on closer integration between both platforms, we can create better promotional campaigns now. The very powerful marketing module of IBM WebSphere Commerce enables us to cross- and up-sell products and service in much smarter way than before.”

“IBM WebSphere Commerce is a strategic tool vital to the long-term success of CEWE’s retail chains,” concludes Dr Joachim Marz. "By creating a single point of control, we anticipate that the IBM solution will deliver great business process, management and revenue benefits. Based on this success, CEWE plans to migrate more webshops to the IBM WebSphere Commerce Server platform."

The integration between the SAP solutions and IBM WebSphere Commerce Server is based on SAP Process Integration, which is used as the shared infrastructure to connect SAP ERP and other applications. This provides a consistent environment for interfaces, connectivity, orchestration, governance and more, greatly simplifying our operations.

—Igor Kerbs, Manager of Retail IT Systems, CEWE

business logo

About CEWE

Photo and online print service company CEWE, headquartered in Germany, employs around 3,200 people in 24 European countries. In 2014 CEWE delivered around 2.3 billion prints, 5.8 million CEWE photobooks as well as photo gift items to over 30,000 retail partners, generating an annual turnover of EUR 523.8 million. Additionally, in Scandinavia and in Middle Eastern Europe, CEWE operates its own retail chains.

Solution Components

  • IBM-SAP Alliance
  • WebSphere Commerce B2C Multi-Channel

Take the Next Step

IT service provider novomind AG specializes in e-commerce solutions, providing comprehensive consulting and implementation services and helping its customers to successfully complete multichannel deployments. The company is headquartered in Hamburg, Germany, and employs more than 200 people.

To learn more about solutions from IBM and SAP, please contact your IBM representative or IBM Business Partner, or visit the following website: ibm.com/services/sap

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