The steps to multi-channel retail
With the help of Digia, Halpa-Halli started to develop a multi-channel strategy and business concept. The result was an online service with a centralised product information management system as one of its cornerstones.
The multi-channel approach and changes in consumer behaviours are the issues dominating the discussion on retail at the moment. For this reason, Kokkolan Halpa-Halli Oy began looking into the opportunities created by the increasing pace of digitalisation and the importance of a multi-channel approach in the retail revolution more widely in 2015. The Finnish company Kokkolan Halpa-Halli is a family-owned enterprise that has been operating in the retail industry for more than 40 years now. At present, the company employs nearly 1,500 people in 38 shops around Finland.
Multi-channel approach based on a multi-stage survey
In the autumn of 2015, Halpa-Halli chose Digia as its partner in designing and building the company’s multi-channel approach. The project was launched in August 2015 with an extensive survey comprising the current state of the systems in use and their potential in the constantly developing multi-channel retail trade, now and in the future. We also ensured that the company’s data management was ready for multiple channels and their processes.
After the system survey, we began charting the product selection, product groups and their online sales potential, and defined focus areas for seasonal multi-channel sales, taking the special requirements of e-commerce into account.
On the basis of the survey, we created a multi-channel strategy for Halpa-Halli for the coming years and started building a multi-channel business ecosystem together.
A concept stemming from current trends
In addition to the internal survey of Halpa-Halli, we also carried out an extensive market and competition survey, including global multi-channel trends and the current and future situation in Finland. Based on the survey, we positioned Halpa-Halli in the market and competition.
The surveys helped us design a multi-channel service and business concept together with Halpa-Halli’s organisation, serving the company’s customer base according to Halpa-Halli’s values and strengths, without forgetting the changes in digitalisation and consumer behaviours and the revolution in the retail industry.
We also implemented a project survey of systems and designed added-value services for multi-channel business for the needs of Halpa-Halli’s multi-channel service and business concept, taking the existing systems and their role in the ecosystem into account.
We created a multi-channel strategy for Halpa-Halli for the coming years.
The goal: building a multi-channel business concept
The objective of the phased project was to build a multi-channel business concept for Halpa-Halli and use it to bring the chain’s operations into a truly multi-channel environment.
Once the concept was finished, Halpa-Halli launched a multi-channel business development concept, which included system procurement, recruiting key personnel for e-commerce and choosing system suppliers.
Digia was involved in every area of the development project and, together with other partners, built a new online service for Halpa-Halli, which was launched on 3 April 2017.
Effective product information management as part of the multi-channel business ecosystem
One of the cornerstones of the functioning ecosystem is a centralised product information management system that, together with the Progress ERP system and Magento online shop platform forms the core of the systems.
An open-source Akeneo PIM solution supplied by Digia is used as the product information management platform.
Akeneo is an excellent solution for Halpa-Halli’s ecosystem, as it offers ready interfaces to the Magento online shop and, thanks to Akeneo technology, painless integrations with other systems as well.
An online service, not just an online shop
The part of the online service visible to customers will be implemented with the Magento online shop and WordPress publication system, integrated into a single website. The service is capable of handling a constantly increasing volume of online content, in which traditional company information and Halpa-Halli’s other sales channels, such as HHcafé and HHsport are presented alongside the selection of the online shop.
Digia was charged with the technical implementation of the corporate website of Halpa-Halli’s online service. The site is built on the Wordpress publication platform, whose user interface has been integrated as an integral part of the online shop.