Digital change is bringing to the forefront technologies that open up new perspectives for the retail industry. SPAR ICS is actively responding to the evolution in information gathering and purchasing behavior with solutions built on their e-commerce platform Accelerator XLR8.
What exactly is the Accelerator XLR8? What functionality does the platform offer?
The E-Commerce Accelerator XLR8 is a strategic omni-channel platform for the digital transformation in food retailing. It enables us to meet the needs of a basic online shopping service, independent of time and location. The core elements of the XLR8 comprise over 30 applications, which in turn are integrated with over 100 interfaces. The platform functionality is grouped across the following five areas of competence: Webshop & Customer, Crosschannel, Analytics, Masterdata, Logistics.
How has the e-commerce platform developed over time?
The platform has been in continual development over a period of one and a half years. The first shop Go-Live was the Food Shop in Austria in 2016, which has been a great success. The next launch on the platform was the Non-Food-II Shop, followed by the Wine World online store. Online shops were also launched in Slovenia and Hungary.
The XLR8 platform covers the entire product value chain, consequently almost all departments in SPAR ICS were involved in the platform development. The core project team consisted of about 40 people, and was a mixture of ICS core specialists.
The XLR8 platform continues to evolve and development is currently ongoing is special focus areas as follows:
To ensure that we and our XLR8 platform are future-ready, we are constantly working on cloud and big-data scenarios, ensuring our platform can evolve at the same pace, if not faster, than e-commerce and market trends.
What is particularly unique about the XLR8 e-commerce platform?
With the E-Commerce XLR8, we are creating a “standard”; a common tool set across our organization which contains a large set of function specific modules that can be used and re-used across the different business units and territories. Despite the differences across the countries, their respective IT system landscapes, the local legal and market requirements, we offer a standard solution with customized installation. This achieves our goals of efficiency, standardisation, flexibility, Time2Market and governance.
There is also an economic upside, namely the creation of new jobs. People are needed to fill newly created IT roles, as well as managerial and administrative roles. For example, we are actively looking for e-commerce managers, solution consultants, software developers, logistics staff, delivery staff and IT support staff. Check out our job board here: open positions at SPAR ICS.
What are the customer benefits?
For the customer, the simple, easy-to-use shop interface, and the technology engine that supports any device, anywhere means customers do their shopping at any time they want, wherever they are. The customer selects their desired delivery time window, and the order is delivered either to the customer’s home or to a pre-designated pick-up station. Our e-commerce shop also takes care to ensure the online experience is as easy as possible for older and non-mobile people.
Even businesses and organisations such as kindergartens, are increasingly shopping via our online food shop. The biggest benefit here is the possibility to order larger quantities of goods and with fresh goods delivered daily. The product range extends across 20,000+ items, from frozen goods to fresh meat, delicatessen products, cheeses, beverages, household items and cosmetics. Various payment options are available such as advance payment in the online shop or payment on delivery at the front door.
With the XLR8 e-commerce platform, SPAR ICS has created a digital retail benchmark and is a pioneer in Austria in digital transformation.