Carl Ras
NEW B2B PLATFORM INCREASES TURNOVER AND ORDER VALUE

Carl Ras has become the tradesmen’s preferred supplier in the construction process.

00. FACTS
Stores

18

Employees

+350

Products

+40.000

Sustainability

Reducing CO2,
reusing resources and close to 100% plastic-free packaging.

Founded

1932

Technologies

Episerver, inRiver, Microsoft Azure, MicroSoft Dynamics AX, SlimStock, Lazernet, Apsis,
Power BI Raptor.

01. EXECUTIVE SUMMARY

DIGITAL TRANSFORMATION WITH GREAT RESULTS

A scalable and ultra-fast B2B commerce platform and major digital marketing efforts have boosted Carl Ras’s’online revenue. The platform is built on Episerver, inRiver PIM and a Microsoft Azure omnichannel integration layer. IT architecture and the right technology have reduced time-to-market and provided a solution that loads much faster than its competitors.

35%

Online revenue growth

10%

Average order value increase

20%

Conversion rate increase

02. CHALLENGE

LACK OF SCALABILITY BRAKES AMBITIONS

Carl Ras contacted IMPACT with the ambition to increase online sales from 4% to 10% – and of course, to boost total revenue.

Carl Ras sells tools to professional craftsmen and industrial clients. It is a highly competitive sector, where the winner is the one who best, most easily and most quickly helps customers to efficiently carry out their tasks. All products in the range must be accessible and and easy to find online, and with mobile devices and apps.

With more than 40,000 product numbers and customers with different needs and projects at the time, Carl Ras’s platform left quite a lot to be desired with regard to scalability, oversight, time-to-market and not least, user-friendliness, for the master craftsmen when they have to order products and keep track of their construction projects.

03. CONCEPT

THE MASTER CRAFTSMAN’S HELPER IN THE CONSTRUCTION PROCESS

Carl Ras had a clear wish: to be the tradesmens’ preferred supplier and give them a whole new experience of buying tools online, handling product ordering, reordering, invoicing, delivery, etc.

The collaboration between Carl Ras and IMPACT led to a new B2B commerce solution that makes it easy to edit and add new items quickly, while for end customers it is easy to shop, manage job sites and remember previous orders.

04. TECHNOLOGY

TECH-STACK ENSURES A QUICK, CLOUD-BASED PLATFORM

As part of the solution, Carl Ras’s entire IT architecture has been modernized to create a future-proof solution. It includes transition to the cloud, a new architecture based on microservices and a headless commerce approach that ensures an agile solution with faster time-to-market.

The IT architecture is built up so that Carl Ras can reuse services across the business and perform replacements of back office systems without having to change the customer-oriented applications. This means that Carl Ras can achieve the ambition of connecting even more sales channels to the platform.

The IT architecture surrounding integrations and data layers has been rewritten to focus on an omnichannel architecture that creates a uniform purchasing experience across all channels. In addition, a Microsoft Azure integration layer is a strong factor in the solution loading much faster than those of the competitors.

Carl Ras has chosen Episerver as the commerce platform. Episerver excels in user-friendly editing facilities and fits seamlessly into Carl Ras’s IT strategy, as several of their applications are cloud-based.

To ensure uniform data across channels and a faster time-to-market, Carl Ras has implemented an inRiver PIM system. This provides an overview of their data and makes it easier for editors to create product lists and prepare new products.

THE FOLLOWING TECHNOLOGIES ARE USED:

  • inRiver (PIM solution)
  • Microsoft Dynamics AX (ERP solution)
  • SlimStock (Forecast Solution)
  • Lazernet (invoice creating solution)
  • Apsis (newsletter solution)
  • Power BI (dashboard)
  • Raptor (personalization and recommendation)
  • Microsoft Azure (cloud)
05. COLLABORATION

PARTNER. NOT SUPPLIER.

Carl Ras had wanted a digital partner from the start – not a supplier who just delivered a solution and disappeared. From the start, we established a clear project organization together with Carl Ras, with a clear output focus and business goals as benchmarks. The project has thus been supported by a close, ongoing dialogue from day one, so that both parties can quickly get answers to questions and try out ideas.

This close collaboration has been of great importance, particularly to the design process. Carl Ras has had a product owner with an associated decision-making mandate who was able to provide quick feedback on design proposals, participate in the idea development, present solution proposals in his own organization and thereby speed up the development.

06. PROCESS

INSIGHT, INTERVIEWS AND PROTOTYPE TESTING – IN ONE WEEK

STAGE 1: INTERVIEWS WITH CUSTOMERS AND STAKEHOLDERS

Through interviews with customers and stakeholders, IMPACT’s UX & Design team made some important discoveries. Most master craftsmen spent a tremendous amount of time ordering products for their journeymen and keeping track of the products for the various building projects, addresses, customers and payers. Thus, easing the ordering process, improving oversight and making it easier for the masters to delegate purchases to the apprentices became central focal points of the solution .

WEBINAR: ELEVATE YOUR BRAND EXPERIENCE BY COMBINING TECH AND DESIGN

Learn how to use the hottest designs and tech trends to create unique user experiences. Click here.

PHASE 2: PROTOTYPES AND TESTING

IMPACT’s UXers and designers developed prototypes that they tested on the same masters themselves. That gave us direct feedback on how the solution proposals fit into the customers’ daily lives as a helping hand. Interviews, prototypes and tests were all conducted in less than a week.

PHASE 3: EASY-TO-USE, FOCUSED NAVIGATION

Based on the same findings, the navigation/menu structure was made more user-friendly and focused. The same applies to all important landing pages, such as category and product pages as well as the check-out flow and the entire B2B customer universe.

07. THE SOLUTION

PERFORMANCE MEETINGS ENSURE LONG-TERM SUCCESS

PERSONAL, ATTRACTIVE PURCHASE EXPERIENCE. EVERY TIME.

Today, when master craftsmen log into Carl Ras, they can:

  • See individual prices, discounts, delivery methods and delivery terms.
  • Create job sites to keep track of materials for the different projects and get delivery directly to the job site.
  • Order items for multiple sites at once in one common cart. Once the cart is full, they are only one click away from completing the purchase. The order flow is based on one checkout, so they only need to confirm the purchase before it is completed and they receive an invoice.
  • Delegate the orders to journeymen and tailor the shopping experience to their needs by limiting what products they can order and the amount they may spend. When others than the masters order their own products, the masters only need to swipe to approve the purchase. All of this helps to streamline the purchasing process, so that the masters no longer have to spend several days ordering products.
  • For example, through the created “building sites,” the masters can keep track of what kind of spring steel nails have been used on a project, so they can easily order the same kind  at the five-year review.

Carl Ras’s new commerce solution consists of web and related apps that are identical to the web solution, so masters and journeymen can order goods by phone.

At the same time, Carl Ras’s apps collect all datasheets for the products used, thereby ensuring that the craftsmen always have all safety information available, regardless of which construction site they are on.

SMART SEARCH AND FILTERING SAVES TIME FOR CUSTOMERS AND EDITORS

Customers are greeted by an intelligent search engine (built in ElasticSearch) that can search for products, specifications, labels and product numbers. As customers type in the search field, they are shown possible results, suggestions for whole words and categories to which the various products belong.

Editors can create a list of synonyms and add search terms related to the items. Thus, customers easily find specific products, get a quick overview of relevant products, are inspired to buy and have a quick buying process.

Product filtering and category structure are shown with both text and image. Instead of storing the categories away in a menu, they are visible at the top of the page to simplify navigation. Personal recommendations based on their purchase history, while favorite lists and individual interests also facilitate the customers’ buying process.

I have never been so proud to launch a site as I am with this one. The complexity of the site combined with our goal that the customer must never visit the site in vain, and our collaboration with IMPACT have succeeded very well.

Morten JørgensenDigital Tech Lead, Carl Ras

TRACKING AND DASHBOARD MAKE THE VALUE OF MARKETING VISIBLE

IMPACT Extend has built a robust reporting platform and implemented tracking and a dashboard that collect data from Google Analytics and ERP. With the dashboard, Carl Ras can see how their online and offline marketing activities affect sales in relation to the cost of each channel.

Previously, Carl Ras had to wait 24 hours to get data about their performance, but with the dashboard they get it in real time. This makes it easy to reprioritize marketing activities according to the channels that generate the most sales.

carl ras
REGULAR PERFORMANCE MEETINGS ENSURE LONG-TERM SUCCESS

Carl Ras has not just benefited from the dashboard. Throughout the project, IMPACT has acted as a dialogue partner and still does so now that the solution has gone live. The dashboard helps IMPACT and Carl Ras to ensure the right focus and follow market developments.

Every month, employees from Carl Ras and IMPACT meet for a performance meeting, where the coming initiatives and improvements are decided. Once a quarter, we take a helicopter perspective and look at Carl Ras’s entire business with a critical view, challenge decisions and evaluate the ambitious roadmap. This is how you get the best from your investments.

 

IMPACT has given us a confidential dialogue partner who, with their technical and business experience and insight, can advise us on which strategic and tactical choices will benefit us in the short and long term. Their advice has been of great importance during the course of the project, but certainly also afterwards.

SØREN ELGUMHead of Digital Marketing & Sales, Carl Ras
carl ras
08. RESULTS

ONLINE GROWTH OF 34% AND
TIME-TO-MARKET REDUCED BY HALF

After just a few months, the solution showed great promise. The customers find a lightning-fast site, and this can be seen from the number of visitors, which has increased significantly since the solution went live. For editors, the new solution means that editing work has been reduced by 50%, and time-to-market is twice as fast.

BUT MOST IMPORTANTLY:
35%

Online revenue growth

10%

Average order value increase

20%

Conversion rate increase

Would you like to know more about the project?

Then get in contact with Troels. He can tell you the entire story.

Troels Haugstrup | IMPACT Team