‘Live it up for less’ is the slogan of online retailer vidaXL. This ethos is extremely popular, as the evidenced by the incredible growth of this Venlo-based company. Founded in 2006 by young entrepreneurs Gerjan den Hartog and Wouter Bakker, the online shop specialising in furniture, home & garden and DIY was met with instant success. A private label, exponential growth and an international breakthrough soon followed. When asked to take on the daunting task of tailoring the website to this unprecedented growth, FORWARD eagerly accepted the challenge. The FORWARD team’s can-do attitude is mirrored by that of vidaXL.
With 2,000 employees, 130 million unique visitors a year, 90.000 vidaXL brand products, availability in 33 countries, the figures are staggering. They not only demonstrate the Dutch retailer’s growth, but also the challenges of creating a website that can keep pace with this rapid expansion. vidaXL had already spent two years building a PWA website with a self-developed front end. By the time they approached FORWARD, they had several concerns. Would the platform be scalable enough for the company’s incredible growth? Could the website handle the high influx of visitors and grow alongside the company? Without a brick-and-mortar shop, vidaXL couldn’t afford any downtime. The new website understandably had to meet a lengthy list of requirements.
The Salesforce Commerce cloud solution we planned to implement had to address multiple challenges. That’s why, in consultation with the client, we decided against an integrated roll-out. Instead, we started with one of the 31 countries to be sure it achieved the desired results and could be adjusted as needed. In just three months, we fully converted one of the countries to the Salesforce Commerce Cloud solution. Although it was not possible to integrate all of the features of their existing site in that short timeframe, the conversion rate was higher than that of their current site. These positive results quickly prompted the company to transfer its entire website to Commerce Cloud.
Within just six months, we transferred all 29 countries to Commerce Cloud and launched webshops in 4 new countries – an unprecedented achievement in our industry. The key to our success? The close collaboration between the dedicated ten-person FORWARD team and the vidaXL team. We took the plunge together and never lost sight of quality. This was no easy task, especially given the pandemic restrictions that made meeting face-to-face impossible. But our two teams eventually settled into a good rhythm and started to inspire each other. FORWARD kept pace with vidaXL’s growth and vidaXL learned the importance of celebrating successes – something we attach great importance to in our corporate culture.
Today, our relationship is based on openness and trust. We are both on the same page and have built a strong foundation from which to address new challenges. The dedicated FORWARD team currently has twenty members who are tasked with optimising the existing e-commerce platform and rolling out new features. After all, vidaXL continues to grow and we are happy to contribute in any way we can.
We rolled out several unique features during this project. For example, with an eye to making the company’s Auction platform more scalable, we transferred it to the Salesforce platform. The company was also interested in moving their Dropshipping, a feature that allows retailers to sell vidaXL products on their own websites, to Commerce Cloud as well as integrating it into their B2C webshops. After an order is placed, vidaXL takes care of all shipping and returns. Sellers can take out a subscription that gives them access to all products, as well as various features and functionalities specific to them. We also developed several interfaces to connect the vidaXL platform to the websites of other providers. All of these unique features support the growth ambitions of the company.
For vidaXL, we started by rolling out an e-commerce platform (Salesforce Commerce Cloud), which we will expand in the future with marketing automation (Salesforce Marketing Cloud) in combination with Salesforce CRM to link Commerce Cloud and Marketing Cloud. These solutions offer more robust growth opportunities, such as intelligent e-mails based on shopping and browsing behaviour. This collaboration is proof of the trust in FORWARD as a partner and the successes we’ve achieved together along the way. We look FORWARD to many more successes in the future.
The key to our success? The close collaboration between the dedicated ten-person FORWARD team and the vidaXL team.
We took the plunge together and never lost sight of quality.
Kevin van der Straeten, CTO – FORWARD
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