Opportunity

PLUS Retail is a cooperation of 221 independent grocery retailers with 262 stores across the Netherlands. It has been named the country’s leading supermarket for corporate social responsibility multiple times and states its ambition is to serve good food for everybody, every day.

PLUS Retail originally appointed Wunderman Thompson Commerce with a brief to create a web platform that would offer their customers both inspirational and informational content, with the ultimate goal of persuading more people to place an online order. Over the years, our relationship with PLUS has developed to the point where we have been able to play a leading role in transforming the company into a truly omnichannel business.

Inspiration

The initial project we undertook - building a new web platform -started off on a conventional trajectory. We approached the design following a traditional ‘waterfall’ development strategy with a fixed series of objectives set out in a linear fashion.

However, PLUS Retail’s cooperative structure was already reflected in a uniquely complex digital infrastructure. It ran ecommerce operations from 240 different locations, with an additional 90 web shops affiliated to it in local marketplaces. It had ambitions to run premium services, including two-hour delivery, consistently across all of these sites.

Recognising the need for more flexibility and innovation in our development approach in order to answer these challenges, we adopted the Scrum Agile methodology. This saw our team replace a long, linear development process for a series of two-week ‘sprint’ cycles, which allowed us to build, test, release and then revise features and functions at speed. We brought in colleagues from India who specialise in Scrum to create a collaborative team structure between our developers and PLUS Retail’s own staff which was centred on providing rapid, data-led performance feedback for each release, meaning features could be rapidly adjusted based on real-life user data.

Solution

We developed the core commerce platform for mobile and desktop was on Intershop. The Agile methodology ensured the build proceeded with a direct understanding of what customers wanted and responded to when buying their groceries online. This led to a truly inspiring, customer-led shopping experience.

We subsequently helped developed two APIs, one a customer-facing sales channel, the other an order picking platform. These APIs helped support communication across two apps and share all data in real-time. As it continued to evolve, the strength of the commerce platform also led to the roll out of the PLUS Express Services, realising the company’s ambition to offer delivery within two hours of order.

Growth

The commerce platform we built has played a pivotal role in helping PLUS Retail become an omnichannel player.

As a forward-thinking strategic partner in digital development, Wunderman Thompson Commerce continues to provide the foundation for PLUS Retail’s evolving digital landscape.

And we're delighted that the PLUS Retail platform won most popular grocery site in Website of the Year in 2020.

Within PLUS Retail, ecommerce and the development of the ecommerce platform is an ongoing process. In Wunderman Thompson Commerce we found an Intershop implementation partner which fits our organisation in terms of size and corporate identity.

Tamara Smith-Zonneveld

Online / Ecommerce Manager at PLUS Retail

Please provide your contact information to continue. Detailed information on the processing of your personal data can be found in our Privacy Policy.