With products on 30 separate websites, JAB ANSTOETZ worried that dealerships and end-consumers were struggling to find the fabrics they wanted. Could it unify its range and cut operating costs?
JAB engaged ecx.io, an IBM Company, to help consolidate its fragmented portfolio onto one site powered by SAP® Hybris® Commerce, enabling dealers and consumers to easily discover the entire collection.
Engagingexperience means customers spend twice as long discovering new designs
97% reductionin number of websites leads to a better customer experience at lower cost
Connectscustomers with specialized dealers to boost sales
Business challenge story
Connecting with customers
In the past, JAB ANSTOETZ Group struggled to present the full breadth of its product portfolio. The company was running 30 different websites for its different brands and audiences, which include interior designers, architects, the dealers themselves and end-consumers browsing for inspiration. This diversity of sites did not offer a comprehensive overview of the product range, and the company was concerned that customers’ difficulty in finding the right products could impact sales.
Sören Diekmeyer, Project Manager for Digital Media at JAB ANSTOETZ Group, explains, “Previously, our online presence was very fragmented. To keep all sites up-to-date with the latest prices, offers and designs, we had to add information to a wide range of systems via six different agencies. The associated management overhead consumed our time, making it very hard to keep up with new requirements or adapt to emerging trends quickly.”
Another key challenge lay in enabling prospective customers to find product information online using their mobile devices. Because the company was running so many different websites on multiple platforms, it was faced with developing 30 different mobile versions – greatly increasing investment and operating costs.
“The fragmented user experience had a negative impact on customer engagement,” adds Sören Diekmeyer. “To support growth, we wanted to offer potential buyers an easy, quick way to search our entire product portfolio across all our brands and immediately find a local dealer who could provide them with advice and help them place an order.”
With its sights set on simplifying its online shopping experience, JAB invited four companies to present their visions. It selected the concept delivered by the e-commerce and digital marketing specialists at ecx.io, an IBM Company, as the most compelling.
“The overall package offered by ecx.io was clearly the best option,” comments Sören Diekmeyer. “The consultants showed us that they understood our pain points, and demonstrated that they could deliver a reliable solution using an agile project management approach that would help us modernize and strengthen the digital presentation of our brands. Not least, we also got along very well with the project team—a soft benefit that is crucial for project success.”
JAB worked with ecx.io to implement a consolidated, cutting-edge web solution for its entire product range based on SAP Hybris Commerce. Following agile project management methodologies such as Scrum, the joint team of JAB and ecx.io designed a simplified user experience that would scale across brands, markets and audiences.
The company selected SAP Hybris Commerce to ensure simple integration with its mission-critical SAP ERP application. Sharing product details, inventory and other data is essential for JAB to provide a state-of-the-art experience to dealers and consumers.
Together, JAB and ecx.io built a consolidated, central platform with a comprehensive product content management and a product catalog at its core. The solution takes advantage of advanced search features that allow customers to explore the full range of fabrics, sunshades, wallpapers and floors.
Following the successful launch of the consolidated website and product finder, JAB has already started working on the next step of its digital strategy.
Sören Diekmeyer continues, “ecx.io tailored and customized SAP Hybris Commerce to meet our requirements perfectly. To make it even easier for our customers to engage with our products, we are creating a product configurator.
“Starting with curtains, our customers can choose fabrics, dimensions and styles. Then on their screen, they can see an example room with their individual configuration. And if they like it, they can order exactly what they see straight away from one of our partners in their area with a single click.”
Closer customer relationship and better service
Consumers are now spending more time exploring JAB’s products and dealers to get inspired, and more customers are staying on the website once they arrive.
Sören Diekmeyer confirms: “It is rewarding to see that our customers value our efforts. Offering a better overview and improved search functions resulted in customers discovering a wider product range and looking up more product details, spending twice as long browsing our collection. That kind of success shows that we are truly engaging customers—and that’s exactly the kind of achievement we want to build on when we add new features.”
By consolidating 30 separate websites on a single, modern platform, JAB cut the number of platforms to be updated by 97 percent, helping to reduce operating costs for its online presence. This move reduces the need to input the same data into multiple systems, and eliminates the requirement to develop similar integrations between different websites and business systems over and over again.
Consolidating on SAP Hybris Commerce also enables JAB to provide engaging, mobile experiences to consumers.
“More and more customers rely predominantly on mobile devices, so we want to keep up with this trend,” elaborates Sören Diekmeyer. “Eliminating management and maintenance overheads has allowed us to focus on expanding our online services and ensuring a user-friendly implementation for small, mobile screens to reach more customers.”
Integrating the product finder with the directory of specialized dealers combines a wide selection of products with local customer service, avoiding disruptions in the customer journey and boosting sales. As soon as a consumer chooses a product, they can see the best places to order it in their local area.
JAB will offer its new online product configurator on its website soon and also launch it as a white-label solution to its dealers. In doing so, the company will transform the relationship with its partners and will be able to provide entirely new services to them, helping them reach out to new customers.
“According to our conversations and tests, our partners are very happy with the product configurator,” explains Sören Diekmeyer. “Younger customers probably do not visit many local interior designers, instead they prefer to do their research online. Our sophisticated tool will help our dealers to engage with those customers more effectively than is possible through just a simple website.”
Digital Transformation of Working Practices
JAB continues to work with ecx.io to develop new services for its website. For example, the team is already thinking about adding more brands and product lines to the configurator. And to ensure outstanding performance as complexity and data volumes grow, the company is considering migrating its SAP Hybris Commerce solution to the SAP HANA® in-memory database.
The collaboration with ecx.io is creating a lasting impact on project management at JAB and has resulted in a digital transformation of working practices.
In fact, the digital team was so satisfied with the agile methods and tools used by ecx.io during the implementation that they now also use agile approaches in their own work.
Sören Diekmeyer concludes: “JAB customers and dealers already benefit from a simpler, more comprehensive website and new online services. Implementing our new web platform together with ecx.io in an agile project was an eye-opener for the team. This flexible approach to project management helped us to adjust the project where needed and go live with a first version without long delays. Our internal team and the team from ecx.io continuously learn from each other, becoming even more efficient – exactly how collaboration between partners should be.
“Furthermore, we have added a feature to enable end-user consumers to request samples of fabrics online, free of charge. This may look like a minor change, yet it opens up new possibilities for our company. This step could help us reinvent our business—for the first time, we will get to know our end-consumer customers directly. We can learn from them, and use the new insight to optimize our offerings. In the future, we will use the customer information for targeted advertisements to help increase sales of the latest collections through our partners.”
JAB ANSTOETZ Group
JAB ANSTOETZ Group focuses on stylish living and exquisite textiles. With its 1,600 employees, the group sells fabrics, sunshades, wallpapers, floorcoverings and furniture in sophisticated designs. Offering a portfolio spanning 3,000 items in 20,000 different colors and variants, JAB ANSTOETZ Group retails exclusively through its large dealer network.
- GBS - DSI - iX: Digital Commerce: Digital Commerce
- GBS AD&I - iX&M - Smarter Commerce & Customer Platforms
- IBM Global Business Services
- IBM-SAP Alliance
Take the next step
ecx.io, an IBM Company, is a leading European full service digital agency with twenty years’ experience. Its 200 employees are able to address the diverse needs and demands of international market leaders. To learn more about the ecx.io, an IBM Company, please contact your IBM representative or IBM Business Partner, or visit the following website: ecx.io