Lekkerland – Tech Focus and Digital Mindset in Convenience Retail
A platform for maximum convenience
12.4 billion euro in sales
Active in 7 European countries
90,000+ points of sale
Lekkerland is a specialist for on-the-go consumption in Europe. The company’s vision is to be the “most convenient partner” for its customers. The group employs approximately 4,900 people and serves approximately 91,000 points of sale in seven European countries. Its customers include petrol-station shops, kiosks, convenience stores, bakeries, food retailers and quick-service restaurants. Sales amounted to 12.4 billion euro in the 2018 financial year.
On-the-go consumption is one of the areas with the greatest growth prospects in the food business. Growing mobility is also driving the demand for out-of-home food products that consumers can handle easily on their way from point A to B. With innovative services, tailor-made logistics and a wide range of wholesale products, Lekkerland is not only a B2B retailer, but also an expert, committed and reliable partner for its customers< With innovative services, tailor-made logistics and a wide range of wholesale products, Lekkerland is not only a B2B retailer, but also an expert, committed and reliable partner for its customers.
The days when a B2C software worked for a B2B company are over
The customer experience is an extremely important factor for Lekkerland. Support for digital solutions plays a key role here. That is why Lekkerland has been operating an e-commerce shop for about ten years, through which various customer groups can order their products online.
The technology used to be an original B2C Enterprise Shop System solution. The core functionality, i.e. ordering products via a webshop, worked very well and was stable. However, in B2B, the classic ordering function is just one aspect as the requirements for a B2B platform are much more complex. For example, customers may want to be informed about their delivery, make a service request easily, or have access to contract data or documents.
With the increasing demands on the platform in areas that are only indirectly associated with the order, the company began to realize that the current shop system could not meet these requirements. The attempt to map functions that are not order-related via the existing shop system with a reasonable cost-benefit ratio was not possible over the long term. The system was just too monolithic for this, and the incorporation of individual solutions into the standard product inevitably led to an increase in the technical debt. The result was that each additional functionality represented an even lower cost-benefit ratio and the operation costs increased sharply.
Repeatedly expanding such a monolithic system is akin to buying a car – and turning it into a truck. And in the future the vehicle is also supposed to be able to float and fly ... The additional functionality slows down agility and increases technical debt many times over.”- Rainer Breidenbach, Head of Digital Product Management Lekkerland
The requirements for a new Commerce OS
Lekkerland’s experience showed that another technical solution was needed. Lekkerland first looked at platform solutions that focus on the B2B world, i.e. that offer more functionality in areas only indirectly connected with the order. However, it became clear here that a standard system, which always has a monolithic character, would only be of limited use as a solution. Ultimately, the standard would have to be extended or changed here as well. That means the solution needed to be so modular that Lekkerland could also implement requirements on the platform, which were not yet known at the time the platform was developed, with a strong cost-benefit ratio and minimal technical debt.
Another requirement was for the new technology to support Lekkerland's component-by-component development approach on the new platform – this was limited by the old technology. This would ensure that Lekkerland, for example, would not lose sight of its customer-centric approach, even with a supposed technical-architectural issue. Lekkerland calls this approach ‘macro-partial substitution’.
The goals when upgrading to Spryker
Lekkerland would like to offer the best customer experience as the confluence of all the interaction points with the company. The platform helps Lekkerland pursue its vision of being the “most convenient partner” to its customers. The following aspects contribute to this.
User Experience A positive customer experience is strategically the most important factor for Lekkerland in the digital purchasing and service experience as well. A personalized, appealing and quick customer journey leads to increased sales and increased satisfaction in after-sales processes.
Platform Economy Instead of a pure, digital B2B shop Lekkerland would like to create a platform for the entire on-the-go consumption industry, which is interesting and profitable for all stakeholders: For example, retail partners can advertise and sell products on the platform and thereby increase sales; customers can work with Lekkerland to test new bespoke services and help shape the platform's feature roadmap; and in future, other service providers can also test the market acceptance of non-traditional retail products and services with Lekkerland customers.
Increase in Efficiency Processes such as customer onboarding can be optimized with new tools and features – saving both time and money, for Lekkerland and the customer. Other processes that have developed over time can also be digitized to add value. Retail enablement – to increase the consumer experience of the customers of Lekkerland customers (and thereby increase sales and profit for our customers)
Needed: a Dynamic Platform
It is no longer a challenge today to connect new functions to a shop system. But the main function of an online shop as an interface between the customer and retailer is long outdated. The requirements are much more complex today: An online shop needs to be presented via a dynamic platform whose functions can be constantly reinvented and further developed while remaining flexible in terms of structure.
“We differentiate ourselves through the full-service support of our customers, so it is very important for us to proactively test new digital services and be able to respond to changing customer needs with agility. The delivery tracking based on Spryker is a very good example of this – it’s been repeatedly tested together with a few customers and is now being scaled.” - Niels Bungenstock, Head of Digital Innovation Lekkerland
Lekkerland – more than a B2B retailer
Lekkerland sees itself not only as a B2B retailer but also as service provider that meets all the needs of its customers and partners with digital solutions. The use of macro-partial substitution means digital services are treated as separate modules, always with the goal of launching the best possible products that are also scalable. Many of the digital services are rolled out using the hypothesis-driven MVP approach or as AB tests to gain early user feedback or to identify services that are not worth further development.
This approach increases the likelihood that the product will go in the right direction. If the test phases indicate that this is not the case, there is still a chance to correct the course early on. Spryker's modular architecture reduces cost and risk by allowing multiple small instances to be tested and validated or discarded accordingly.
„We can't know today what our B2B platform will need tomorrow. That's why we need a commerce software that guarantees us this flexibility and creates the best conditions for future developments. That's why we think we've made a good decision with Spryker.” – Rainer Breidenbach, Head of Digital Product Management Lekkerland
The digital integrator NEXUS United supports Lekkerland as an expert for technically complex IT projects in the conception, implementation and further development of the Lekkerland service and trading platform. The MVP approach followed in the project is also reflected in the development and deployment processes between Lekkerland and NEXUS United developers. In this way, go-live deadlines can be maintained and growing requirements can be responded to at short notice. NEXUS United is significantly involved in the implementation and further development of Spryker at Lekkerland.
Thanks to the solid back-end of the headless Spryker Commerce OS, all shop frontends as well as external systems such as The Episerver Digital Experience Cloud™ for intelligent marketing automation. The B2B Suite equips Lekkerland with the specific B2B features the company needs for personalized customer management.