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Fashion store Heine to roll-out cloud-based e-com platform across Europe after UK success

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Multi-channel retailer Heinrich Heine is to roll out a new-look, consistent, multi-channel shopping experience across Europe, including on mobile and social, thanks to the multi-geography reach of IBM’s WebSphere Commerce technology.

The first Heine online shop to be based on IBM,, launched in England in July 2013. Heine decided to implement IBM WebSphere Commerce in March 2013 based on its performance and its cloud-based multi-tenant and multi-device capabilities, which make it easy to deploy across different countries at no additional cost. Following this successful implementation stores in Germany, Austria, Switzerland and the Netherlands are now migrating to the new platform.

This latest upgrade to IBM is helping Heine to create systems of engagement with its customers by allowing the retailer to interact efficiently and consistently with shoppers across mobile, social and online platforms. 

Consumer expectations for online retail and personalisation via mobile are rising. The latest IBM survey of over 30,000 consumers worldwide, ‘Greater expectations – Consumers are asking for tomorrow, today’, found that the online channel had seen its share nearly double to 27 percent of shoppers in 2013, versus 14 percent the previous year.

The survey also revealed 38 percent of consumers would provide their mobile number for the purpose of receiving text messages and 32 percent would share their social handles with retailers. 

“Retailers now need to reach beyond simply selling online to extending their brand across digital and physical channels, delivering a consistent shopping experience across all these channels,” said James Lovell, European retail solution consultant, IBM. “This includes providing contextually relevant content, marketing and promotions, and engaging with consumers across new channels including social.”

“Heine is able to localise the regional shops based on the existing back-end platform, regionalised into different languages,” explains Christian Doerfel, head of site management at Heinrich Heine GmbH. “The multi-device capabilities delivered by IBM via the cloud, mean the shop can be used both on desktop and on mobile devices or tablets without overloading our server resources excessively.” 

“Other advantages included the speed and ease of set-up. It took only five months to get started with the webshop and IBM Websphere Commerce very easily connects to our internal ERP system,” continues Doerfel.

Based in Karlsruhe, Germany, and founded in 1951, multi-channel retailer Heinrich Heine GmbH offers the latest fashions and inspiring designs for women. In 1976 the company was acquired by the Otto Group. The webshop has been online since 1996 and offers the Heine customers more than 22,000 products from a wide range of product lines.

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