New B2B webshop - the scalable solutions serve Paulig’s entire digital development

Paulig set out to modernize their B2B webshop not only to a new platform but also to a refreshed customer experience. Additionally they recognized an opportunity to make technology choices that could be utilized throughout their digital ecosystem. Convinced by Lamia’s headless approach including Contentful and the successful B2B ecommerce project, Paulig has made Lamia a trusted partner towards the future.

Lamia built a new B2B webshop for Paulig.

Scalability as the key metric

Paulig’s B2B webshop Paulig Professional was build on an old technology and had to be updated to a new Magento 2 platform. “When building something new there’s always the possibility to create a better solution than before, not just move the old solution. We also wanted to enhance the buying experience”, Antti Lauronen, Director, Creative, Planning & Digital at Paulig describes the starting point.

Lauronen’s digital development team lead the project but there was a number of stakeholders involved in the discovery phase, from marketing and sales and from different business areas in Finland and in the Baltics. “Already in the design phase we clearly recognized new needs”, Iina Valtonen, project manager from Lamia, says. A broad scoped design phase was key in getting all the different needs into the project and that the new service would cater as a basis for other countries’ and business areas’ ecommerce solutions.

What made the case special was that all technology and other choices were made keeping in mind Paulig’s broader ecommerce business. In the course of the project scalability became the most important metric.

“As project owners we took a bold forward stance and chose scalable solutions to fit our organization’s needs now and in the future. We do not want to build services one monolith at a time but one solution that we can build on”, Antti describes.

"We do not want to build services one monolith at a time but one solution that we can build on."

Lamia built a new B2B webshop for Paulig.

Paulig’s choices: headless and Lamia

What Lamia brought to the table already early in the process was the headless approach and Contentful as the CMS. “Headless is a modern way of doing things which is exactly what we want. Headless in itself was not the most crucial choice but scalability”, Antti explains the reasons behind choosing Lamia and continues:

“For us it was important not to paint ourselves in the corner when it comes to technologies and other choices. We felt that with other partner candidates the solutions were more contained. We chose a path with sustainable technologies that can be developed further easily.”

Headless approach is a key enabler in Paulig’s ecommerce development but also an important track in the on-going modernization of Paulig’s IT and integration architecture.

In the end, partnering with Lamia was not just about the technologies. “Lamia had a strong belief in their own thinking and the solution and a drive to do things in a certain way. Compared to some of the bigger partners with fully standardized technologies and methods, Lamia seemed more flexible yet ambitious.”

Cooperation and careful decisions

The Paulig team and the Lamia team worked closely together both in the design phase and the software development phase. “It is customary to compliment the team spirit and smooth cooperation. In this case the team really did solve quite tricky obstacles with a positive drive. Working together so tightly obviously supported the team’s ability to solve problems – together”, Antti says.

Lamia took a clear role in leading the agile development. Within the technical solution build-up every decision was contemplated carefully and the fit to Paulig’s overall architecture considered. “Integrations and architecture were discussed a lot. The headless architecture was gone through especially thoroughly and different options discussed along the way. Here taking the needed time paid off as the decisions now stand the test of time”, Iina thanks Paulig.

In regards to Contentful the solution definitions were among the all three parties, Paulig, Lamia and Contentful. As combining a modern ecommerce platform Magento 2 and a headless content management system were a big change to Paulig’s content editors, trainings played an important role already during the project.

Lamia built a new B2B webshop for Paulig.

Synergies: technologies + processes, business + IT

As part of the project Paulig also unified internal ways of working which Lamia aimed to support. “Technologies simplify and enhance operations and leverage the recognized synergies between different countries and business areas. To make the big picture work, people and the organization too need to simplify and enhance their ways of working, too”, Iina describes.

Antti Lauronen emphasizes the same thing: “If we would have built this three years ago, before our One Paulig organization, we wouldn’t have thought about the expansion possibilities. Instead, now we had a clear idea that all brands, products and solutions go on the same platform. And this is the same thinking that we’ve used internally. All changes now aim to utilize and expand the new solution, both technically and in our ways of working and within the organization.”

One important perspective to the project was that it brought together the business side, marketing and IT. Lauronen’s team develops Paulig brands’ and products’ digital business both in the B2C and B2B. IT looks at the same solutions from the engine room: which technologies make sense, how integrations are built, how does the data move. “Our IT development roadmap is quite significant and all the technical choices from this project went to be part of that roadmap”, Antti explains.

“The journey is only starting”

Paulig’s new B2B webshop was piloted to selected customers in the spring of 2021 and published to all Paulig Pro customers in the summer. It is a thoroughbred ecommerce platform that scales to support brand site development and also Paulig’s other ecommerce initiatives. The user feedback has been positive and for example the new usability features are well liked.

”Paulig has a new gorgeous site but under the hood there’s a lot that you cannot see here and now but which enables future development”, Iina sums up the project.

”This project became the forerunner at Paulig when it comes to scalable technologies. It was an ambitious goal that we reached. We already now have projects on our roadmap utilizing technologies, integrations and processes based on this project”, Antti says.

How will the cooperation with Lamia continue?

”We have built trust by solving conflicts and sharing expertise. We now have a genuinely good relationship. Now it’s time to put this relationship into good use. I hope Lamia will continue proactively challenging us which was their original positive differentiating factor. There’s a lot of development to be done and our joined journey is only starting.”

”Lamia has earned our trust in such a way that we want to involve them in the decision-making when discussing this and other projects’ future. Trust is not about briefing the partner on what we want. Instead trust is working and planning together and open and honest communication where both sides get value. This is what we have with Lamia.”

"I hope Lamia will continue proactively challenging us which was their original positive differentiating factor. There’s a lot of development to be done and our joined journey is only starting."