BWT: A focus on water, the elixir of life
The BWT Holding family is completely dedicated to water. Their motto: "Without water, there is no life, no growth, no progress." Their goal: to develop high quality and sustainable water treatment products to become the international No. 1 in the water technology sector. The company was founded in 1823 under the name "Benckiser Wasser Technik". A lot has happened since then: BWT currently employs over 5,000 staff at 10 production sites and sponsors numerous athletes in their distinctive pink jerseys. In addition to the B2C business, the company also serves the B2B needs of gastronomy, spas, the chemical industry and even the fuel cell industry, among others.
BWT subsidiary BWT Sports & Digital Services GmbH operates two stores that also offer both B2B and B2C services. In addition to the Best Water Home online store, which sells all water-related products to end customers, there is also the store for sportswear and intercompany merchandise. Thanks to Shopware 6, these can now be found in a new guise. BWT's new online stores serve as a digital store window for the brand and give customers the opportunity to order products from the comfort of their own homes.
A complex store system brings challenges
Initially, BWT's online stores were based on SiteCore Commerce, but this was not up to the demands of a complex multi-store solution. It didn't offer the features needed and was difficult to customize because it lacked expansion options and further developments. In addition, BWT was dissatisfied with the price-performance ratio. The decision to switch was therefore clear. For the relaunch, no more compromises would be considered, but only a "best of breed" solution.
The choice was easy, according to Anselm Ruby, Head of Ecommerce Solutions at BWT Sports & Digital Services GmbH: "Shopware is one of the most widespread store solutions in the DACH region. The technological framework of Shopware 6 is promising and has impressed us."
In Shopware 6, BWT found everything it was looking for: a system that not only fulfilled all standard store functionalities, but was also individually adaptable to the needs of BWT's online stores. These included, for example, subscription products, a loyalty points system, download of digital products and easy front-end usability for editors.
Shopware 6: Unbeatable thanks to numerous development options
The option of integrating external third-party systems into the new online stores was particularly important to BWT. Shopware 6's API-first architecture meant that other systems could be linked seamlessly to meet every need. In addition to the extensions and customization options, they were particularly impressed by the large developer community.
The active further development of the software by shopware AG as the manufacturer makes it possible to always be up to date. As a result, the range of functions is constantly being expanded and thus also requires adjustments to their own development. Anselm Ruby sees a great advantage in being able to build up his own expertise to meet all the requirements.
"With Shopware, we have a solution that we can control ourselves."
One of the most important system extensions integrated into BWT's online stores is the PEARLS bonus points system. BWT partners can use these loyalty points to purchase BWT products as well as travel, televisions or other items. Part of the incentive shopping offer is also the purchase of digital products, such as hotel vouchers. In addition, vouchers with remaining credit can be redeemed in several instalments. Integrating all this posed no problems with Shopware 6.
Intelligent solutions for intelligent products
In addition, Shopware 6 enables the seamless linking of the online store with smart products and thus replaces the previously necessary and maintenance-intensive middleware solutions. The Best Water Home Shop offers IoT-enabled products. For example, the softening system for the domestic water connection automatically signals when the salt needed for regenerating the filter unit is running low. Customers can take out a subscription in the online store and, thanks to the technology, are automatically supplied with new salt when the system needs to be filled. This way, customers get the products they need quickly and easily.
An engaging shopping experience
Anselm Ruby also praises the Shopware 6 Shopping Experiences as a "very powerful CMS functionality". For BWT, the Shopping Experiences in particular are one of the most important features for the relaunch of the online stores, in order to optimally present both the sporting goods and the water-related products to the target group.
In no time at all, the editors were able to create appealing category pages, landing pages, etc. without lengthy training. The stylish moving images particularly stand out against the clean and clear layout of the online stores. These images are used to make customers of both the B2B and B2C business aware of product innovations, similar items, discount promotions and much more.
The undisputed "best of breed" solution
Anselm Ruby is completely satisfied with the decision to use Shopware.
"Shopware has turned out to be absolutely the right solution for us".
BWT Sports & Digital Services GmbH rates the cooperation with Shopware as smooth and successful despite some challenges during the implementation.
"System-related limitations are often not economically surmountable with large system providers. With Shopware, a "best of breed" store solution, we have been able to meet all requirements so far!", Anselm Ruby summarizes the experience with Shopware 6.
Great things in store: BWT plan next extensions
It is still too early to measure the success of the switch to Shopware in precise figures. But the collaboration between BWT and Shopware is also far from over. In addition to the establishment of a brick-and-mortar BWT flagship store, the next step will be internationalization. The B2C business is soon to be Europe-wide. In addition, the range of services is also being expanded, including the offer of online video advice on pool products as well as guarantees. BWT can count on Shopware's successful support for all these extensions.
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