German Manufacturer Transforms its B2B Client-Supplier Relationship

Heidelberg needed to grow its B2B services and consumables division.

Heidelberger Druckmaschinen AG (Heidelberg) has been a major provider and reliable partner to the global printing industry for many years. Heidelberg is advancing the digitalization of the industry, providing integrated and reliable production processes, financially optimal investments, and smooth access to all necessary materials.

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The company geared its portfolio towards growing segments of the industry: equipment, service, and consumables. Together, services and consumables account for around half of the group’s total sales. Despite operating in a very traditional industry, Heidelberg has set a new benchmark in the B2B world with its award-winning eCommerce platform, which is transforming the client-supplier relationship.

The services and consumables division is critical to our business. Growth through eCommerce was the winning strategy.

Jens Hegenberger

Head of eCommerce Consumables

Magento radically changed the way Heidelberg did business.

Creating an eCommerce website across 21 countries with a product catalog of more than 50,000 SKUs, and 14,700 registered users was a daunting task. But Enterprise Solution Partner Inviqa and Magento were ready for the challenge.

Heidelberg needed an experienced technology partner to develop a multilingual B2B website with complex requirements for product cataloging and pricing. Inviqa was tasked with designing and developing the highly sophisticated eCommerce platform. It integrated with Heidelberg’s existing product information management system (PIM), the company’s SAP enterprise resource planning system (ERP), user management system, and several payment providers.

Magento Commerce (formerly Magento Enterprise Edition) enables site visitors to browse products without having to register or create an account, as is often the case with many B2B eCommerce platforms. Payments can be made by invoice for existing account holders or via credit card. Next, customers can track their delivery status in real time. Again, this was something new for this industry and for B2B.

The ability to extend and customize product detail pages allowed the team to attach documents to individual products. Both files and product information are imported automatically by the custom importer making downloadable information available to customers; giving them all the product, security, and technical details they might need.

The flexible nature of the Magento platform, and Inviqa’s expertise, helped the team react swiftly to change requests and enhancements. Processes including managing user logins, account-based pricing for registered clients, and tax and freight cost calculations, were quickly and easily migrated from the SAP ERP system.

Heidelberg’s short product videos provide guidance and advice about many of its products, complimenting its eCommerce platform with engaging content that delivers value to customers and drives sales. Videos are now available on product detail pages using default Magento content management functionality, which is easily extended to use YouTube-hosted videos. Videos can also be used instead of product gallery images via a custom implementation.

During the next phase of this long-term project, a range of Heidelberg's spare parts and items from its services offering, will be made available on the online store to expand its digital offering.

21 countries in just 12 months.

The new Heidelberg eCommerce website was launched across 21 countries in just 12 months, with international rollout and customer migration successfully completed in April 2016. The shop now supports 27 countries in total.

The platform has opened new opportunities for customer acquisition through the introduction of B2C elements into the design and usability, without losing focus on its B2B customer base. In opening its shop to all visitors, and not only registered customers, Heidelberg is raising the standards for B2B eCommerce platforms.

Focusing on the customer experience, a diverse and comprehensive product offering, and ease of use have been key in making progress towards the goal of achieveing 50 percent of group sales through this business division. 

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Magento gives us limitless ability to implement a project of this scope and magnitude. It also gave us the flexibility we needed to integrate it into our existing infrastructure.

Claus-Jürgen Kromm

Head of eCommerce