Founded in 1935 by Dr. Rudolf Hauschka, WALA Heilmittel GmbH is a premium brand that develops natural medicinal and personal care products. Today, it consists of two brands: WALA medicines and Dr. Hauschka cosmetics, which produces the Dr. Hauschka Med. product line. Following the guiding principle “The Healing Powers of Nature Harnessed for the Health of Humankind”, both brands use only natural substances, preferably from organic farming and obtained under fair conditions. In addition, WALA is very much characterised by its own and unique production method, as extracts are obtained from medicinal herbs and preserved without the addition of alcohol.
WALA is not a newcomer to eCommerce: it already had online shops in seven countries, including the Netherlands and the UK. The German shop was the first to be relaunched and will serve as a model for the others to follow. Online shops in other countries (e.g. France, Italy and the UK) were to follow suit with their own instances and subshops.
The aim was to convert to an international shop software that offers multiple languages. In addition, an open source solution was required that could be expanded by means of various plugins. An integrated ERP system was also of importance. It comes as no surprise that WALA has opted for Shopware with the Pickware ERP system. “With the combination of Shopware and Pickware, we are trying to stay within the standard wherever possible,” explains Sven Fischer, International Product Management at WALA Heilmittel GmbH.
Customers can find WALA and Dr. Hauschka products anywhere from pharmacies and health food shops to large department stores. Moreover, customers can find various brick-and-mortar shops using a search function and numerous links in the online shop. An online partner programme also includes the option of earning commissions for brick-and-mortar shops and retail partners.
Since December 2018, the Dr. Hauschka online shop offers an additional section, adding to its four classic product categories – Experience. Here, consumers can book guided tours of the WALA medicinal herb garden. Previously, bookings had to be mainly handled manually. The process has been greatly simplified and standardised since relaunching with Shopware.
A large content area was created using Shopping Worlds, which allows products and stories to be linked (for example, Dr. Hauschka Cosmos). Linking to an additional CMS system was not necessary for this purpose.
Overall, WALA had a very positive experience in its collaboration with Shopware, Pickware and the Shopware-certified von Affenfels agency. Germany and Austria had previously lacked an online shop. From this perspective, sales have increased by 100%. The value of an average shopping basket is EUR 60. At 0.2%, the number of returns is very low.
With the German online shop, the company has a significant advance in internationalisation. The simplified booking processes and attractive Shopping Worlds have also delivered very positive results.
A welcome side effect: the implementation of the new online shop resulted in an increase in digital knowledge within the company. There are plans to further expand this expertise in the future. Other strategic and operational plans have also been developed for the area of online marketing.
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