Promod's e-commerce architecture gets a makeover
- Retail & Consumer Goods
- Experience Elevation
Get to know Promod
Promod is a French family-owned company specializing in women's ready-to-wear fashion, founded by Francis-Charles Pollet in 1975. His son, Julien Pollet, took over as president in 2018. The brand was born in Marcq-en-Barœul, in the North of France, where its headquarters are located. It relies on a network of branch and partner stores in France and internationally. At the root of the company stands a passion for textiles and the desire to dress women in a trendy and accessible way.
Today, Promod is orienting its model towards an ever more connected fashion and wants to highlight its values by making its activity more eco-responsible and inclusive. Like other brands in the fashion and ready-to-wear sector, Promod's current strategy is focused on omnichannel, sustainable products and second-hand clothing. The company is present in 18 countries and has 10 e-commerce sites in Europe as well as a showcase site, PROMOD.com. It achieves 90% of its sales through its 549 stores, with 3,500 employees around the world and 21 million customers.
Focusing on omnichannel experiences
The company faced a major obstacle: its existing e-commerce platform was not able to meet the challenges of stability, scaling and improving conversion rates targeted by the company.
To achieve its growth objectives, Promod knew they needed to modernize the existing platform (store front & back office, e-commerce front & back office, unique customer repository, supply chain) which had initially been developed in line with their historical "Do It Yourself" culture.
The fundamental element to be redesigned was the internal sales engine, especially in terms of shopping cart management and payment, which didn’t meet the current challenges of e-commerce, nor the current and future requirements of omnichannel. It was this observation that was the starting point of the collaboration.
The transformation aimed to enrich the digital offering and optimize existing tools, with an omnichannel solution based on an API-first architecture. To date, e-commerce at Promod represents 5% of sales, and 9% if we include omnichannel activity. The latter is based on a functional e-commerce site, offering multi-channel services such as e-booking, free in-store delivery, in-store returns and store-to-web ordering.
They planned to invest heavily in their acquisition and communication strategy across all channels, with the objective of achieving 20% of its sales through omnichannel activity, 10% of which would be exclusively via the Web.
Promod chose Valtech and its partner Commercetools, both founding members of the MACH Alliance, to guide their transformation.
A MACH architecture to elevate the Promod website
When you think of a future-fit digital offering, you think of modern, flexible, adaptable and scalable technologies. The best tools on the market are part of a set of composable infrastructures, and that’s what we implemented for Promod; with MACH (Microservices, API-First, Cloud-native & Headless) architecture, via the Commercetools solution.
The architecture involves:
- Microservices, which are technological elements integrated into a single application, but operating independently of each other.
- An operation based on APIs (programming interfaces allowing interactions from one machine to another).
- Cloud native, an approach to building and running applications that leverages the benefits of the cloud computing model.
- A headless architecture, which consists in separating the front-end from the back-end of the site.
Meeting the expectations of this project meant integrating the new Commercetools services in response to Promod's commercial and technical objectives, as well as increasing the capabilities of the Promod teams to make them autonomous at the time of the new site launch.
Additionally, we created a new shopping cart and checkout system for the existing platform, using a composable architecture based on MACH principles, and a bespoke front end.
Implementing an agile, flexible and modern platform
Promod knew they needed to strengthen their brand to boost online sales, increase turnover and improve traffic and conversion rates, both on mobile and in-store.
We created 2 microservices based on the Commercetools API, deployed within the Azure cloud provider, with a headless front-end and a Contentstack CMS. We moved to a fully headless platform and implemented a set of APIs around the Commercetools tool as well as a universal and scalable front-end application. We further supported Promod in its e-commerce acceleration through the development of a new shopping tunnel for web and mobile.
The main features of the new platform, under a MACH architecture included:
- A technological environment that promotes agility, measurability and flexibility.
- Better control of Promod's own architecture thanks to the different layers of services that are independent from each other.
- Over 100 new features added each year.
- Better consumer experience, facilitated by decoupling the frontend from the functional layers.
- Scalable architecture to reduce dependency on third parties.
The newly transformed e-commerce environment, from the discovery and analysis phase to the stabilization and launch of the new solution, was delivered in just 6 months. The increased competency of the teams means they are now able to concentrate on their essential tasks, increasingly efficiency and effectiveness, and Promod is benefiting from a new ease of monitoring and adjustment thanks to the new composable architecture and MACH components.
So far, we are very satisfied with the stability of the platform and its resilience. The first numbers are encouraging, especially considering that our focus has been on the technical redesign. Now we can fully exploit the possibilities of our new tools! Claire Thelliez - CIO, Promod
The architecture is fully functional and ready for updates, so now we will gradually integrate new functionalities. Amongst them, the implementation of a wishlist, new payment methods and customization options throughout the customer journey. A project that is still bearing fruit today.