Carlson, which runs department stores, hardware stores, and home goods stores, and Halonen, a fashion store chain, employ a total of approximately 700 people in Finland.
The aim of the e-commerce development project was to have a better end customer experience and, as a result, to increase sales.
In order to enable these goals, Amazon’s AWS was chosen from among the public cloud services as the implementation platform. This platform had the most pre-available solutions and services to support the project’s implementation.
The main objectives were achieved by increasing the performance and reliability of the web store: 50 % user growth and 50 % increase in campaign sales.
Improving the customer experience of the web store and increasing reliability
Halonen & Carlson, with their strong brick-and-mortar store background, aims to grow its respective web stores into the largest individual stores in their chains. However, the existing system’s previous solutions no longer supported this growth target, nor did they support the familiar high-quality customer experience of the brick-and-mortar stores.
For example, adding new products to the online store had been identified as an issue. In addition, online stores built onto the common Magento 2 e-commerce platform and its technical features did not enable achieving the large visitor and sales goals that increased even further during campaigns.
The occasional performance challenges were reflected not only directly as lost e-commerce sales, but also as a poorer customer experience. When the number of visitors exceeded a certain point, online stores slowed down and challenges emerged in their use.
Auditing the current situation, modelling the overall architecture, and enabling future growth
From the start, it was clear that the main objectives would not be achieved solely by changing the technology. In order to achieve the best result, the development work was divided into different phases.
The first phase focused on the technical audit, which reviewed the current state of the online store and analysed the following aspects:
- the quality of the existing code
- third-party modules used
- customised solutions
- data security
After the audit, the overall architecture was modelled and development frameworks were created to support the objective.
The construction of a new, scalable environment that takes into account the needs of the future was then started. This meant that the architecture of the environment was designed and implemented already during the modelling and construction phase in a way that would allow easy editing when necessary.
"We are delighted with the fast pace of the development and the quality of cooperation. Communication with the team is direct, immediate and active."
Carita Tuunala, e-Commerce Manager, Velj. Halonen Oy & Carlson Oy
Both campaign sales and user numbers increased
With the first big campaign behind it, the wider benefits of improving performance and reliability have now become visible.
Halonen & Carlson has managed to improve the customer experience of end customers significantly through this online store development project, and this is also reflected in an increase of more than 50% in campaign sales compared to the previous year.
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