The digital DIY store
toom and Qvest bring together the offline store with the online customer
Toom DIY stores stand out for their extensive product selection and immediate availability. This is particularly crucial as products purchased in hardware stores are typically needed on short notice. Additionally, these items are often preferred to be bought locally due to their size or weight, rather than online.
To optimize the DIY store shopping experience for customers, toom planned to integrate a cross-channel platform, bridging the local store into the online realm. For this purpose, the company approached the Qvest Digital AG to develop a Click & Collect functionality within an entirely new digital platform.
// Real-time availability of stock for every store
// 24/7 support for service and maintenance
// Scaled agile process
// Magento E-Commerce Software
Cross-channel online shopping close to DIY store customers
With over 330 stores in its portfolio, 15,500 employees, and a gross turnover of over 2.6 billion euros, toom stands among the leading providers in Germany's DIY store industry. The company is part of the REWE Group, one of the leading retail and tourism conglomerates in Germany and Europe. Regularly, toom ranks first in customer satisfaction surveys and has even been recognized as the most sustainable hardware store in Germany. Toom's digital orientation complements its customer-centric corporate structure, setting the hardware store chain significantly apart from its competitors.
When we began the Cross-Channel project in 2016, we were introduced to Qvest Digital AG through a recommendation from our sister company, REWE digital. Since then, our collaboration with Qvest Digital has been characterized by deep trust, commitment, and quality. The team led by Kai Ebenrett takes pleasure in exploring new paths, thinking 'out of the box,' and has accompanied us from the outset on the journey to becoming the best Cross-Channel DIY retailer in Germany. My colleagues and I look forward to the upcoming years of collaboration and the exciting new topics that lie ahead.
Toom's requirement was to jointly develop a highly performant Cross-Channel platform. This was accomplished through three major milestones:
- Online representation of product availability in local stores
- Click & Collect functionality allowing customers to reserve goods online for local store pickup
- Integration of an online shop system into the microservices landscape
The implementation was based on a microservices architecture, providing crucial advantages in the development process. For instance, it allowed each team to work independently on different modules. Technological agreements were significantly simplified by communicating through standardized interfaces. Moreover, the modular microservices approach enabled the existing content management system to coexist with the newly established Product Information Management System (PIM), ensuring uninterrupted operation while the new platform received data directly from the production system.
A particular challenge was ensuring that all stores displayed correct and up-to-date information regarding their portfolios, prices, offers, and stock levels. This was essential for end customers to order goods via the online platform for in-store pickup. To facilitate a smooth rollout of the Click & Collect functionality, we ensured that each store could individually implement this at a self-determined time.
In the third development stage, an online shop based on Magento was integrated into the website, offering customers the option to order goods directly online in addition to Click & Collect. The shop component was developed by Inviqa GmbH. Our challenge was to interface this component with the newly developed PIM. Our microservices had to ensure that orders were sent to one of the over 300 toom stores with the corresponding stock and adjust it in real-time.
During the COVID-19 pandemic, toom, like other stores, had to close all branches to contain the spread of COVID-19. When the German government allowed shopping by appointment, the demand for Click & Meet solutions surged. Toom also commissioned us to develop a solution, which was developed and launched live within three days. The seamless cooperation between the development teams and the swift response from toom allowed customers to resume shopping at nearby hardware stores.
Through the close and productive collaboration between the teams from Qvest and toom Baumarkt GmbH, an individual and flexible Cross-Channel platform was implemented, capable of dynamic evolution at any time — a progression that is ongoing.
Together with toom Baumarkt GmbH as our client, we implemented a complex IT project in an extremely agile and highly professional environment within a very short timeframe. Despite intense pressure on the project, the collaboration was very efficient and goal-oriented.