Integration of the new online shop with in-house ERP for effective B2B and B2C sales
“We needed an online store that would connect to our ERP, an in-house developed solution that we are constantly upgrading. In experts from Stroka Business Group, we found a reliable partner that knows all about integrations, and they were able to ensure a stable and scalable system.”
Urška Debevec, CFO, Q-BRICKS d.o.o.
The Q-BRICKS® brand has 40 years of legacy. It is based on R&D and engineering know-how of Daniel Bisello, who developed LEGO-compatible blocks after the Danish giant’s patents expired. First they were made in Italy, later in Slovenia. When he decided to retire, the know-how and the patents were acquired by his Slovenian manufacturing partners Jaka Bizjak and Urška Debevc, who founded Q-BRICKS d.o.o. and added R&D, marketing and sales to their slate.
Drawbacks of the inherited system
The new Slovenian owners quickly realized that the existing online store cannot support desired operations, and that they will require an upgrade and some new features. Another issue lay in the fact that the solution was provided and developed by an Italian company, as communication in English was often a challenge, and naturally nobody spoke Slovenian. Consequently, it took too long to implement changes, while bug fixes and issue resolutions took even longer. All the while the online store only supported sales to consumers, and was not suitable for selling B2B, as for example they could not even adjust the number of ordered items.
Q-BRICKS set out a long-term strategy for their online presence. It was their goal to have an upgradable platform that can connect with their ERP system, and which allows customers to use it interactively, and to which they can continue adding new features. For example, they had an ambition to provide interactive services that make it possible for users to play with blocks already on their website, preparing complex structures and plans to build them, which were not supported by their existing online store solution.
For Q-BRICKS it was essential that the new online store solution which was being developed can be integrated with their in-house ERP, so that they would have automatic data exchange and order fulfillment, as well support for their own in-house development. Their ERP system was the result of many years of development, and is now fully tailored to the company’s needs, and a driver of new service development. Therefore, it was essential for them to select a provider for the online store that has the know-how and experience in system integration, provides a high-quality of services and responsive support.
Stroka Business Group is a market leader in this respect, and for Q-BRICKS this made the decision fairly easy, as the NopCommerce online store solution they offered ticked all the marks from their feature checklist. The selection was completed in March with a goal to have the new online store up and running by September; however, because of requests for new features and attentive tweaks of user experience, the implementation took a bit longer. At Q-BRICKS they are convinced that this was a wise decision, as on launch date everything was working exactly as planned, and they did not have any issues whatsoever. This was also immediately put to the test as launch was just before Black Friday, when orders go through the roof, especially for products like toys.
Online store with immediate results
The new online store immediately cut the amount of work required, as it not only supports sales to consumers (B2C), but also to retailers (B2B), who order in bulk, both in Slovenia and abroad. Because it is integrated with the ERP system, there is no need to enter orders twice, which brings time savings and eliminates errors. At the same time, it also eliminates any potential language issues as most orders for Q-BRICKS are shipped abroad, especially to Germany, France, Austria and Switzerland.
The implementation of NopCommerce also provided an elegant solution for a variety of means of payment. While the previous online store supported only direct bank payments and PayPal, the new solution introduced the frequently requested option of credit card payment, as well as the option for payment in installments, Apple Pay and Google Pay.
The latter two options are becoming increasingly useful for mobile users, as analytics for visitors show that nearly three quarters of users visit the online store from their mobile devices – smartphones and tablets; these users most often visit the site in the evening. These are especially consumers, end users, who represent a half of the traffic, while during the pandemic closures of public life, they amounted to more than 70 percent of sales.