The way forward for Vinga

Vinga's new eCommerce platform has made it possible for the company to establish a web presence in foreign markets and led to a reduced workload internally.

Vinga offers companies and organizations a wide range of interior design and lifestyle products. The concept "Creating Memories" runs throughout the entire business, and it is based on creating carefully designed and functional products, in aesthetic packaging, for a memorable experience.

The company started in 2005 and has had a rapid growth in the following years. Today, Vinga has a range of approximately 2,500 products, sales of approximately 130 million, and 600-700 retailers in Sweden and other countries in Europe.

As the needs have changed over the years, Vinga's eCommerce platform had to be expanded. As there was no uniform structure from the start, the platform became a patchwork quilt, which made it difficult to add, update data, and create new sales channels.

The shortcomings in the integration between the business systems and the eCommerce platform meant that the employees had to spend a lot of time entering and updating the product information themselves.

"We had three platforms running. We sent a lot of Excel lists between us and did the updates in CSS and HTML. There were often errors and we had performance issues with response times of up to three minutes," Niklas Dahlros, COO at Vinga, said.

At the beginning of 2018, when they wanted to invest more in internationalization and establish a web presence in more countries, it was not possible with the original platform.

"We did not have a system support for it, so it was obvious that we needed a new digital infrastructure," Niklas added.

The company contacted a number of web development companies who presented their solutions and ideas, after being briefed on what the company needs in terms of digital solutions, and what are the short- and long-term plans. After the evaluation, Distancify was commissioned to create a new eCommerce platform for Vinga.

"Distancify was the only company that went through all our processes and immersed itself in the underlying systems," Niklas added.

Johan Davidsson, CEO at Distancify

In about ten months, Distancify created a stable, scalable, and high-performing eCommerce platform for Vinga, with an efficient integration between the business systems and the eCommerce platform, and a system that automatically updates the product information on the websites.

"With the new eCommerce platform, prices, stock balance, and other product information are automatically retrieved from the business systems, and the response times are now down to a few milliseconds. This change resulted in increased sales and fewer questions about the products, as all technical and commercial information is now available to customers. The internal workload got significantly reduced, which also had a positive impact on the brand," Niklas said.

"It is now possible to quickly establish a web presence in a new market. For example, it only took us two weeks to establish an eCommerce platform for Norway. This means that we can invest in internationalization now," Niklas added.

Direct contact with the developers

Distancify offers functionality based on the fact that each function costs a certain number of points. The cost of a function depends on the scope and complexity of the job, and it is determined jointly by the development team, for each project. Fixing bugs or other problems are included in the score.

"It is a model that makes it easy for us to make decisions. IT projects can often take off both in terms of cost and time. With Distancify, however, it has never happened that it has become more expensive than the offer, or that they have missed a deadline. We have a close collaboration and feel like we're all in the same boat. Our employees have direct contact with their developers, who are handling the support too, which is very convenient." Niklas said.

"IT is not our core business, we sell memorable products. That's why we want a partner we can trust and who can really help us out. Not only when something goes wrong, but also when we want to develop further. And we have achieved this with Distancify, who gave us a lot of advice during the journey as well," he added.

"We want to maintain a high presence and work proactively. We have weekly follow-ups where we discuss the plans and decide on priorities, in order to create the greatest possible business value and synergies. We have regular meetings with the company's decision-makers, to establish a common vision of what is most important in the next six months, but also in the following year or two. This means that we can plan and work long-term. Niklas shouldn't spend a lot of time running and maintaining the eCommerce platform. We carry out what needs to be done, and apart from that, we're in direct contact with their other external IT suppliers and make sure all integrations are implemented according to the specifications," Johan Davidsson said.

"We will continue to invest in the expansion in Europe. But also in other types of business areas. For example, a bonus shop where customers can convert points into actual money, which is new to us."

Niklas Dahlros, COO at Vinga

Industry award for the best product information

The new eCommerce platform has been received very well, and Vinga even won an industry award for the best online product information.

Niklas Dahlros is looking forward to the new establishments the new eCommerce platform is creating.

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