Designing the Coca-Cola HBC Web Shop

To bring the advantage of online shopping to customers ordering beverages, Coca-Cola HBC opened a web shop that fulfills the needs of users in different countries and environments.

Opportunity: Establishing a New B2B Sales Channel

Coca-Cola HBC is one of the largest bottlers of the brands of The Coca-Cola Company in the world. Headquartered in Zug, Switzerland, Coca-Cola HBC serves business customers in 28 countries by offering more than 136 brands, including soft drinks, juices, water, and sports and energy drinks.

How does it sell such a variety of products to resellers working in different environments such as restaurants, canteens, bars, shops, or gas stations?

Coca-Cola HBC runs several call centers for customers ordering by phone. In addition, business developers are serving customers as regional selling agents. Working in the field, these agents build up a close relationship with the customers and provide on-the-spot help. As an additional sales channel, Coca-Cola HBC wanted to offer a web shop to enable customers to place orders in a few clicks. The primarily challenge was to ensure high customer acceptance of the future web shop. To make ordering items as easy as shopping at Amazon for customers throughout Europe, Africa and Russia, the real needs and requirements of the end users had to be discovered. Therefore, SAP Design Services was asked to observe and interview the target group.

Customer Testimonial from Coca Cola Hellenic from SAP UX Design Services on Vimeo.

Approach: Don’t Be Afraid of Your Users

To involve the end users in the design process, customers were chosen for field research in the piloting countries. SAP researchers together with Coca-Cola HBC project team  interviewed customers in Czech Republic, Austria and Switzerland. Key and end users of the future online shop were visited in their working environments, and their ordering process was reviewed in detail. The interviewers gathered information about the customers’ habits and how they manage their daily tasks.

“Looking deep into the users’ needs does not automatically create a high amount of development effort. It’s quite the opposite: If a tool is easy-to-understand and fully satisfies all requirements, it is much more accepted by the consumers than a very sophisticated solution that is difficult to use and where the main functions are complex or simply missing”, explains Bronislaw Tultschin, Program Manager, SAP Customer Design Engagements.

Hristo Enev, Solution Architecture Manager, Coca-Cola HBC, shares his experience: “To improve the user experience in your applications, you always need business process experts, user interface experts, and technology experts working closely together. That is really a key success factor to me!”

Experience: Encourage End Users to Satisfy Their Needs

What lessons learned can be shared from the different stakeholders? (including DCC team)“We learned a lot about how a bar or restaurant manager is ordering beverages for his business, for example. And we captured important, totally new insights such as: There is no Internet access in a warehouse. In some countries people only pay cash, not online, because of their bad experience with quality issues. “We had a lot of such  unexpected experiences!” summarize Thomas Biedermann and Karen Detken, SAP Design Consultants.

A two-day synthesis workshop was held together with business developers from the piloting countries. After the field research, the large volume of data that had been collected was analyzed and used to create personas and user stories that described the typical Coca-Cola HBC customers. With the help of these basic findings, interaction designers from SAP created wireframes of the online shop, reviewed the interaction design with the customer, and then created mock-ups using the Coca-Cola HBC corporate identity to transport the brand values.



Consumer Products

Customer Facts

  • Leader in the alcohol-free beverage industry
  • 136 brands such as Coca-Cola, Fanta, and Sprite
  • Customers from Ireland to Russia

SAP UX Design Services Benefits

  • User Experience research on customers in different countries
  • Concept and visual design of the web shop in corporate identity
  • Product-independent design service

This story originally appeared on the SAP User Experience Design Community.