The Client

Koninklijke Ahold Delhaize N.V., commonly known as Ahold Delhaize, is a Dutch-Belgian retail company, operating supermarkets, and e-commerce businesses. Its 21 local brands employ 375.000 people at 6.500 stores in 11 countries. Formats include supermarkets, convenience stores, hypermarkets, online grocery, online non-food, drugstores, and liquor stores.

The Project

The project team’s name is "Air Max". Here's a little story on where the team got its name from. The sneaker was created after Nike asked Amsterdam illustrator Pieter Jansen, better known under his pseudonym Piet Parra, to design the Air Max 1 silhouette to his own taste. This resulted in two designs, the Air Max 1 "Amsterdam" and the Air Max 1 "Albert Heijn". It's a very exclusive sneaker, just like the project team. Fun fact: almost everyone from the team is wearing Air Max to work.

The assignment has the objective to improve the current checkout process in such a way that it will be perceived by the customer as very user-friendly. These improvements should also increase the number of customers (B2C) who subscribe to the premium grocery delivery bundles. (Bezorgbundel) A premium bundle allows you to pick a fixed slot each period for a reduced tariff and give you extras like free delivery at Bol.com. (One of biggest online retailers in The Netherlands)

The project team is asked to perform the following tasks: Improve the old checkout flow by injecting snippets of code when the customers visit a certain page. Transform the current checkout flow for the biggest e-commerce channels (ah.nl) to their micro-services orientated technology stack.

Due to the fact that in Q4 2019 Ahold Delhaize has changed their brand colors and way of marketing communication, the team needs to rebrand also the front-end component library that all product teams consume.

Technologies

  • NodeJS, & Typescript
  • GraphQL, Redux
  • ExpressJS, React
  • Oracle
  • Docker, Kubernetes
  • Cypress.io, SiteSpect
  • Jenkins, Bitbucket
  • Apollo, Prometheus, Grafana, Storybook

The team added data points to the checkout flow to be able to measure how users respond to these changes. If the conversion rate turned out to be high enough, the feature was added to the final version of the flow. From a business perspective, the hypothesis of the product owner was translated into agile tasks. New components were written, multi-variation tests were implemented. The added data points measured how users responded to these changes, and to see if the conversion rate increased. From a customer perspective, the whole checkout flow was redesigned. Different variants of the checkout pages were created and visual triggers were used to convince the customer to subscribe for a premium grocery delivery bundle.

From a business perspective, these product improvements gave them the possibility to get more insights into customer behavior/actions. It also gave the business the opportunity to try different marketing strategies that would eventually lead to selling more premium grocery delivery bundles.

The benefits of these product improvements from a customer perspective was an improved user experience when shopping online. They should perceive it as "easy", not a hassle.

Results

Ahold Delhaize is a gigantic conglomerate that needed help to transform from an old fashioned monolith architecture to a more future proof micro service-oriented architecture. Sytac has broad experience in helping our clients creating a leaner and faster customer journey so we were able to support them in this transformation. Optimizing and improving the current applications on a micro-level resulted in double-digit (%) increases in conversion rate. Next to that, a solid foundation was laid for the creation of a new checkout process. This project invested a lot in planning and thinking to provide Ahold Delhaize with solid software architecture.