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Lieferladen.de is Leading the Digital Transformation in the German Grocery Market

December 22, 2016 by Federica De Monte Faginto

We live in a world where everything is just one click away. Be it books, clothes, electronics – no matter what your heart desires, you can easily get it without leaving your desk or sofa.

It usually also gets shipped to you the day after you clicked the “buy” button. Soon, your goods will even get delivered instantly, within only 30 minutes or less, and instead of mail trucks on the road you will see drones flying past your kitchen window.

What is the Big Challenge in the Grocery Market?

While big brands are working feverishly to translate this vision into reality, the Swiss software provider SAAS Software as a Service AG has successfully filled a major gap in the grocery market and adapted to the home delivery trend: you can now do your entire weekly shopping online.

Not so special, you may think? Well, think again – where do YOU usually buy fresh food items like grapes, milk, and eggs? Most likely, you go to your local supermarket, run through the aisles, and put the food into your shopping cart. Why is that? Because most supermarkets and grocery shops sell fresh food exclusively in their physical stores.

The same is true for the German grocery market. Stores may have websites and apps, however, the online experience is best described as window-shopping – you can look but you can’t buy. Or, if you are lucky, you can buy from a limited selection of the entire product range, which does not include those that are fresh. So, what to do?

Closing the Gap with the Right Technology

SAAS AG realized they could help traditional grocers to easily meet this customer need by connecting their existing business to the right shopping platform. The question, however, was how to present and market products in a compelling way, so that they could drive business in this channel.

To create the experience they wanted, SAAS AG used a combination of services they subscribed to on the SAP Hybris as a Service marketplace. They developed the SAAS Food Commerce Suite, which runs on Hybris-as-a-Service (YaaS) and uses Commerce-as-a-Service, an API-first approach to build commerce apps across channels and devices. They enhanced the system’s automatic order splitting, pick list generation, and content management by using mix-ins and creating mash-ups of a number of different services. “We were able to use the existing storefront template and adapt it and use the single page application concept. So, we’re only maintaining one piece of code for all the tenants,” says Eberhardt Weber, CEO of SAAS AG and founder of Lieferladen.de.

How Grocers and End-Users Can Benefit

But what is Lieferladen.de? It is a partner system that brings together regional online supermarkets and local grocers, all using the online-shop functionalities tailored to their needs and those of their customers. Thanks to the revenue-based partnership model, grocers can now start using this additional sales channel without making major investments. While grocers benefit from an easy-to-use online resource management (including products, customers, orders as well as marketing content), end-users enjoy a simplified shopping experience, enhanced by intelligent functions and a responsive design, which spares them the need for an extra app.

Currently, Lieferladen.de is represented in Stuttgart and Ulm, but the plan is to roll it out to more cities throughout Germany. “We didn’t want to be concerned with scaling and performance. We also wanted to be able to add business logic and functionality related to our unique business and leverage the pre-built capabilities,“ says Weber. Other considerations were ease of user management and tenant deployment. “This gives us the possibility to have a mass tenant deployment to quickly and easily bring new grocers live on our platform.” The self-service concept was also considered to be important because in the future a grocer could even be able to deploy a new store themselves.

But even outside of the partner system, grocers can start selling their goods online, as the latest example of the organic food store Naturgut shows. Using the same technology as Lieferladen.de, Naturgut went live under their own brand as a software-as-a-service-customer of SAAS AG.

Why There was Only One Place to Go

Looking at a number of alternatives, Weber quickly realized there was no better choice: “YaaS ticked all the boxes and we believed this approach was very much the way the software industry was going,” he says. What was also appealing: to generate revenue streams via SAP Hybris as a Service Marketplace from the investment being made. Finally, Weber concludes: “We believed in the component-based approach and trusted in the proven expertise and know-how of SAP Hybris.”

So, it’s time to rethink – whether you’re tired of carrying those heavy shopping bags or curious to explore a unique digital sales channel, visit Lieferladen.de to check out the new art of grocery shopping. And, although no drones will deliver fruits and vegetables to you as of now, you will still enjoy the convenience of home delivery within the next day. Not too bad, right?

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