Neo4j Enables Hästens to Create 360-Degree View of Customers & Drive Ecommerce Worldwide

The Challenge

Hästens’ decades-old culture of craftsmanship and “no shortcuts” has carried over into its modern ecommerce operation. In 2015, Hästens decided to integrate its IT systems worldwide and drive up sales, based on achieving a full 360-degree view of all its data, operations, customers and partners.

Kent Lovestjärna, Hästens Digital Media Manager, said: “We have a well-defined goal: to drive traffic to our stores everywhere. To do that we needed technology that could evolve and scale quickly.”

To manage this global project, Hästens called in NetConsult, a Swedish ecommerce specialist.

Anders Ekström, CEO of NetConsult, said: “Hästens’ goal is to provide ecommerce to the whole world. Our target was to provide them with a 360-degree view of every customer.”

This required the integration of data from Hästens’ complex global organizational structure, which comprises 275 points of sale – including both Hästens and partner-run run stores – which offer customers over 200,000 different combinations of bed components and colors.

Hästens was also using separate IT systems, including SAP for production planning and material handling, Salesforce for sales and marketing, and other standalone data silos. As Anders said: “Our job was to model this data structure and suck it all up – to integrate everything.”

The Solution

NetConsult chose to collect all Hästens’ critical data in a single core database, based on a master data management approach. This mass of inter-connected data – Anders calls it “relationship-intense” information – required a special type of data store. The solution was Neo4j, a graph database designed to capture complex relationships between data.

Anders explained the choice of Neo4j over a traditional database: “It comes down to how the data is structured in Neo4j, which enables us to quickly build queries and retrieve data. We couldn’t do that with a conventional SQL database; it wouldn’t scale up. Using Neo4j, we can deliver code and new features much faster and with more flexibility than ever before.”

Hästens’ first crucial step was to use Neo4j to automate and optimize the management of requests for its product catalogue, dramatically cutting the time between order and delivery.

Kent said: “We know the people ordering the catalogue are the most likely to come into stores and buy our products – they provide a high ROI. Depending on customer location, it used to take four weeks for delivery. We’ve lowered that to two to three days worldwide.”

Hästens and individual stores are also using the new knowledge to optimize their marketing, carrying out much more narrow-filtered campaigns targeted at where actual sales are.

Kent said: “Instead of the marketing team pushing everything to a particular country, we can target specific areas. Before we couldn’t measure anything. Now we have Neo4j collecting everything, giving us full omni-channel marketing. That is the most important thing for us.”

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