Salmon, a specialist in delivering eCommerce solutions today announced that they have implemented a new eCommerce platform to support the vision of Scotts & Co., for 50% of turnover to be delivered by the online channel by 2011 and to maximise opportunities offered by the new online market.

Recently re-branded Scotts & Co, the company holds nine brands in their existing portfolio; these include Scotts of Stow, Cucina Direct, The Original Gift Company, Expert Verdict, Viva!, Presents Direct, Renwoods, Ancestral Collections and Stow Grange. As a catalogue driven business to the 50+ age group the company views its eCommerce strategy as a platform to drive existing business as well as increase its brand portfolio to expand its reach and drive revenue growth.

Wendy Derbyshire, Director of eBusiness & IT at Scotts & Co says: “We didn’t have an infinite budget, and needed nine eCommerce websites to be developed under tight deadlines, without compromising on the areas we see as key, namely scalability, rich functionality, business-user control and, above all the ability to differentiate and deliver a great customer experience.

"SAFE™ and Salmon's track record in delivering eCommerce solutions on time and on budget helped us decide they were the right partner for us. During the project they provided us with the perfect approach, a combination of software, services and consultancy meeting and exceeding our expectations."

The new eCommerce platform and eCommerce websites have been built using SAFE™ (Salmon’s Application Framework for eCommerce), a series of pre-configured, reusable and customisable eCommerce components which combine with a mature project delivery methodology. SAFE™ allows Salmon to deliver very sophisticated eCommerce solutions rapidly, significantly lowering the risks traditionally associated with launching a new eCommerce capability, or replacing an existing eCommerce platform.

Scotts & Co’s new eCommerce platform ensures maximised site performance, scalability and adaptability. Each Scotts brand will be able to deliver a rich, relevant customer experience. Common business services across brands can be reused at each point of interaction (store, contact centre, web etc).

Salmon has also ensured that Scotts & Co can use intuitive, role-based tools to empower better merchandising and increase customer service across channels. Rich, out-of-the-box capabilities for catalogue and content management, member management, contracts and entitlements, negotiations, order management has also been provided.

The technology behind the eCommerce platform is a single instance of IBM WebSphere Commerce (IBM WC) Enterprise Edition.

Built to benefit from open technology standards, Salmon has integrated IBM WC with Scotts & Co. back office systems namely Elucid and Stibo Step, Mercado for optimized search and browse and Coremetrics for online analytics and marketing. The sites will run on HP hardware running Linux and IBM DB2.

“Salmon executed the project with integrity and passion and the speed at which the sites have gone live is incredibly impressive.” says Derbyshire. “Furthermore, we now have complete control and ownership of our e-commerce system acquiring faster routes to market and the ability to trial new brands quickly and cost effectively. We have been extremely happy with the results to-date and have already seen a 25% uplift on conversion rates.”

Salmon has delivered a range of sophisticated and award winning eCommerce solutions for Argos, Halfords, Arcadia Group, ICI Dulux and Homebase.

About SAFE™

SAFE™ (The Salmon Application Framework for eCommerce) is a series of pre-configured, reusable and customisable eCommerce components which combine with a mature eCommerce project delivery methodology. SAFE™ facilitates the rapid delivery of very sophisticated eCommerce solutions, significantly lowering the risks inherent in launching a new eCommerce capability, or replacing an existing eCommerce platform.

In the interests of customer choice and commercial flexibility, SAFE™ can be implemented in three ways: either as a Software as a Service (SaaS) solution, as a starter store with rich 'out-of-the-box' capabilities, or as a framework to support a fully bespoke and extended eCommerce implementation.

Published on: 12:00AM on 22nd July 2008