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Multi-Channel eCommerce Solution for one of IRUK's Top 500 Retailers

ECP Case Study

Background

Euro Car Parts (ECP), UK's largest car parts supplier, was founded in the year 1978. It has grown from a lone motor parts shop to over 200 outlets within a span of over three decades. The company initially catered to BMW, Mercedes-Benz, Porsche, and Volkswagen models and further expanded to other make and model over the years. It was acquired by LKQ Corporation of Chicago, a Fortune 500 company in the year 2011. Today, it stands strong with a workforce of over 3,500 and has successfully executed a supply of 150,000+ car and van parts for all major vehicle marques. A recent feather to its cap is the accreditation it received in the 2018 edition of Internet Retailing Top 500 UK (IRUK) report where it was listed under the top 500 Multi-Channel retailers, where ECP got featured in the IRUK's Top 150 retailers list.

The Problem

ECP's team needed a multi-channel eCommerce solution as well as a content management system to organize their product catalogues. Currently spread across multiple websites, they needed to cater to the customer segments with a more efficient approach.

Despite bringing in premier quality infrastructure and selecting the top-rated databases (DBs) for their websites, the ECP team was not happy with the website conversions, which were far below their expectations.

In addition, they wanted to enhance the digital experience for their customers by bringing in consistent branding across their different websites.

The Challenge

  • Low conversion Rates

    The ECP team made ample investments to improve the conversion rate. Their IT team had been testing out several DBs to improve the results. Our team tested the ECP websites and observed that the existing websites were unable to handle the concurrent users, taking a toll on conversions. They needed to find a DB that could handle a large number of concurrent users.

    Slow Search Functionality

    Site search is a key usability factor, especially, for an eCommerce website. However, the search functionality on ECP's websites was slow, resulting into a poor user experience.

    Disorganized Product Catalogue

    The product catalogue spread across these multiple websites was very inconsistent, making it difficult for the client to see the value of their huge product line-up. This disorganization often caused ECP to lose opportunities for revenue growth.

  • Managing Multiple Websites with Variant Codebase

    ECP has a number of websites (both B2B and B2C) catering to various customer segments. Each of these websites had separate codebase, and managing frequent updates to these websites individually was a herculean task, allowing room for errors and confusion.

    Unavailability of Same Day Delivery Feature

    Home/business delivery were the only option available for the customers. With an average product delivery time of 3 to 4 days, this posed a serious problem, especially when a customer needed a car part urgently.

The Solution

  • Improvement in Website Conversions

    We helped the team diagnose the cause for the low conversion rates within two weeks. We found that the existing websites were unable to handle thousands of concurrent users and we suggested a database schema that helped them solve this problem.

    Optimized Search Speed

    We implemented a Sphinx Search server on the website that increased the search speed and enhanced predictability features. Users were now able to filter their searches to granular levels and find relevant products much faster.

    Increased Number of Payment Gateways for Customers

    As the company expanded its client base across the globe, we helped them getting more international and local payment gateways added for the convenience of customers in these new countries.

    Real-time Inventory Management

    Using third-party tools, we improved the inventory management system across their websites.

    Automated Packaging and Labelling

    We also helped ECP automate its packaging and labelling processes using our Continuous Integration Pipeline. This process had been carried out manually until 2010, before we came in as their technology partners.

  • Single Codebase for Multiple Websites and Better Data Management

    We developed a new platform that worked similar to a Content Management System (CMS), from which all of their websites were launched. This not only helped them manage the sites better but also saved them from maintenance costs. This platform now manages four different websites with a single codebase and database. The client can still manage features for each site separately. The new system resulted in improved storage, structuring, and control of data. We streamlined data management, and ensured that the backend operations ran more seamlessly.

    Same Day Delivery Options For Customers

    We helped the client deliver a premium customer experience by introducing features like, 'same day delivery' and 'click and collect'. These features enabled ECP to gain customer loyalty by responding faster in case of urgent requests.

    We modified the traditional buy online pay in store (BOPS) model with the "Click and Collect" feature. Here, users are required to key in only their postal/zip code to locate the nearest stores. They also had the facility to reserve the required parts online, which they could collect within a 24-hour timeline.

    Integration with Third-Party Analytics Tools

    We also integrated third-party analytics tools to provide actionable insights. This helped the client understand their customers' needs better and create more personalized experiences.

The Result

By choosing Net Solutions as their development partner, Euro Car Parts was able to receive the following value propositions:

  • Faster Speed of Supply Chain Logistics

    By introducing features such as 'same day delivery', and 'click and collect,' the ECP team was able respond to customers faster in case of emergencies. The automated packaging and labelling processes we introduced helped them cope well with the growing demand for day-to-day deliveries.

  • Unified Content Management System

    The new platform allowed ECP's team to manage all structured and unstructured content through a single user interface. They were able to make frequent updates on multiple platforms at once and managed to save time in the approval processes.

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