Wunderman Thompson Commerce announces the launch of Sainsbury’s new multichannel grocery platform. Heralded as the largest grocery re-platform programme globally.

  • Heralded to be the largest grocery re-platform programme globally (based on revenue)
  • Annual online grocery sales already in excess of £1 billion

Wunderman Thompson Commerce, the eCommerce digital agency, is pleased to announce that Sainsbury’s, the UK’s 3rd largest supermarket, is now fully live with its new multichannel grocery platform, offering customers an even better, smarter and more intuitive shopping experience.

Sainsbury's have replaced their existing platform to help them realise their future vision of growing a multichannel offering for their customers spanning store, web, mobile and tablet. The move reflects the increasing importance that Sainsbury's are placing on technology and digital sales channels.

Wunderman Thompson Commerce has re-platformed Sainsbury's eCommerce platform from Blue Martini to IBM WebSphere Commerce as well as an additional eight systems to deliver the enhanced and extended customer experience that Sainsbury's required. Crucially, Wunderman Thompson Commerce worked closely with the retailer to adopt a strategy that minimised disruption to customers and protected the retailer's highly regarded online service and brand throughout the roll-out.

The new site has been phased-in to customers by region and is now in full operation. Jon Rudoe, Digital and Technology Director, Sainsbury’s said:

"Much of the work by Wunderman Thompson Commerce has focused on improvements "behind the screen" to allow us to build new and exciting functionality that will make the shopping experience better, faster and more efficient for our customers. Customers can look forward to some exciting developments on the horizon."

Jon continued:

"It's taken Sainsbury's 14 years to reach £1bn annual sales online and this new platform gives us the capacity to double this. Wunderman Thompson Commerce has been a key partner in helping us transform our digital offer, managing the overall programme and more than ten third parties. With ongoing support from Wunderman Thompson Commerce, we look forward to achieving this significant milestone."

Neil Stewart, CEO at Wunderman Thompson Commerce said:

"This programme marks a landmark for Wunderman Thompson Commerce; it's one of the first and largest grocery implementations on IBM WebSphere Commerce anywhere in the world. Technically challenging - taking into consideration the performance implications of the large number of items in the average shopping trolley, the sheer abundance and complexity of grocery promotions, tight coupling to legacy systems and data migration of 8 million customer accounts, 4 million credit cards and 12 million orders - by any standards the launch has been a resounding success."

The new platform is providing Sainsbury's customers with a truly connected experience with data shared across channels whether it's come from in-store, online or mobile. This helps Sainsbury's to understand what customers are buying and when, enabling Sainsbury's to tailor offers and rewards unique to individual customers. All of this supports Sainsbury's commitment to offering great service and fantastic products.

Highlights of the new platform include:

  • Improved navigation – search by favourites, special offers, new products, top brands
  • Improved recipes – click and add ingredients to trolley
  • Favourites – updated quicker as well as offering inspiration
  • Data-driven merchandising allowing more personalised offers based on what a shopper puts in their basket
  • Call centre capability
  • Delivery slot booking and van/driver allocation capability
  • In-store support tools
  • Integration into 225 stores across the UK
  • Business data repository supporting +90 reports

The functionality is vast and continuing to grow, with some interesting grocery features. A new floating trolley allows customers to scroll down their shopping list, multi-faceted navigation allows customers to sort by brand and type, ratings and reviews are available for products and recipes and a richer customer experience is supported with great imagery and video.

Technically challenging, the site includes support for thousands of simultaneous promotions (calculated real-time in the basket) and a single customer view for Grocery and General Merchandise.

New optimised sites for mobile and tablet are also available for customers that want to shop on those devices.

Pages are now rendered in HTML, using User Interface Design best practices with CSS as standard to mirror the same customer experience across browsers.

Click & Collect functionality is currently being trialled by Sainsbury's to a sub-set of customers who can collect their goods from more than 1,000 stores.

In addition, Wunderman Thompson Commerce developed a number of bespoke applications and developed 80 plus integration points to back end systems and the supply chain to support reporting and Sainsbury's entire multichannel proposition.

About Sainsbury’s

Sainsbury's was founded in 1869 and today operates over 1,203 supermarkets and convenience stores and employs around 161,000 colleagues. We put our customers at the heart of everything we do and have invested in our stores, our colleagues and our channels to deliver the best possible shopping experience. Our strong culture and values are part of our identity and integral to our success.

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