Online trade has undergone a radical transformation in the past few years; both in traditional retail and the B2B sector. The range of what a consumer can purchase over the internet is astounding - a range that encompases typical consumer goods, manufacturing parts and intricate office furniture. As such, a B2B online shop must differentiate themselves from the competition just like in the retail sector. That is why furniture manufacturer GO IN from Bavaria in Germany took hold of their competitive edge this year by relaunching their entire online shop, together with partner dasistweb. Success was quick to take form; even with the incredible challenge of implementing over 3 million item variants.
GO IN GmbH has been a specialist in functional and design-oriented catering furniture for over 40 years. The company employs around 140 people throughout Europe and offers a unique collection of modular furniture. In addition to an enormous range of chairs, tables, bar stools and upholstered pieces, GO IN offers customers complete support in every area dealing with their customized furniture. The company has showrooms in Europe’s major cities – Berlin, Vienna & Paris – and annually participates in more than 50 fairs.
One of the greatest challenges was realizing the range of item variants. The company offers nearly 650 items, a majority of which can be customized according to size, material, color and much more. For a closer clook: the company offers 15 different wood options and 270 materials, including all types of leather (slick, synthetic, textured, etc.). This leads to an overwhelming number of possibilities for both the consumer and manufacturer.
The company decided to offer a collection of 6,500 standard items with their most popular variations. Should a customer wish to create a more customized version of the item, they can do so by opening a configurator. Selected variant options are processed in real time, which includes generating new images. Going one step further, if a customer change the structure of a table, the system will perform an automatic evaluation that tests the structural integrity of the new configuration. GO IN also provides an estimated time of production and delivery for the configured item.
To ensure the GO IN shop remains high performant, item data is only loaded when actually required and the majority of the shop displays only the bare minimum. Additionally, some data is sent to Elasticsearch in order to relieve the MySQL server during periods of high intensity. This also minimizes the response time for large data volumes.
GO IN has a wide range of target groups to martch their extensive range of furniture. Along with appealing to restaurants, hotels and businesses, the company also caters to architects, craftsmen and interior designers. For the latter, GO IN offers a comprehensive tool – called MyGoin – which offers special account functionalities for the middlemen. Registered merchants can create individual item data sheets, using their own logo and personal price conditions. They can also download the 3D product data for planning purposes. This valuable resource saves GO IN partners a significant amount of time.
Contrary to popular belief, B2B doesn’t have to be boring – and GO IN and dasistweb exemplify this case by creating an attractive, user-oriented and functional website. The shop is held to the highest technological and design standard; one might even call it the beauty and brains of B2B. “During our project relaunch, despite having an enormously complex product configurator – single-seat models are available in over a million versions – we never lost sight of the user. We dedicated ourselves to providing an optimal shopping experience in the frontend,” said Stefan Leonhardt, Head of Sales and Marketing at GO IN.
At the beginning of project planning, there was an extremely complex 80-page list of requirements. After researching various systems, including Magento and Oxid, it became clear the Shopware was the most advantageous. One reason included the complete range of functionality that comes out-of-the-box. For this reason, the monstrous list of requirements was made less daunting.
Moreover, requirements that were not supported in the default could be realized with an extension or minor programming. Shopware also provided the team with a clean system, built with the most modern technology (as remembered by Martin Weinmayr from the implementation agency, dasistweb).
“With Shopware and our agency, dasistweb, we have two partners on our side that combine the most innovative technology with ideal design, functionality and usability,” Leonhardt says of their success. Already the online shop has seen a significant successful return, as they were honored with the award for the "Best B2B" online shop from the 2015 Shop Usability Awards.
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