Varsego is made up of 23 different wholesalers all over Sweden who were initially individual GB Glace wholesalers. They joined forces in 2009, and today they are part of an organization with almost 450 employees who make ice cream available to everyone, from Kiruna in the north to Simrishamn in the south – and everywhere in between. This allows them to reach out to an enormous network of around 18,000 customers. Besides ice cream, Varsego also provides a range of bestselling products from market leading brands: drinks, confectionery, protein products, fast food and bread and pastry products, known as on-the-go products.
Manual work took far too long
Joacim Bergström is the sales and marketing coordinator at Varsego and is responsible for the website and online store. He describes the origins of Varsego’s e-commerce journey and why they eventually decided to switch to a different e-commerce platform:
“We started the online store in 2012 on the initiative of one of our controllers, who built it in WordPress. When I started working for the company in 2016 and took over the main responsibility for our website and online store, I quickly realized how much time was being spent on manual work. This was because we always wanted to ensure we had reliable information. Of course, it is important to ensure that product information and prices are updated so that all systems contain the same information, but the restrictions in our system environment meant I had to enter new information manually if products were added to the range, or removed from it. This was incredibly time-consuming, and lots of manual steps were needed to update our business system, and then the online store as well. This was a flow that could be linked together with the right technology to make handling much easier and faster.”
Holistic solution resulted in decision
In order to make a well-founded decision on a new e-commerce solution, Varsego talked to a number of different suppliers who were asked to present the various platforms that they had to offer. For Varsego, their main priority was to find a solution that could handle the complexity of a large number of products where new information frequently had to be updated, alongside an equally large customer base that included around 18,000 customers. This was why having an effective PIM system was crucial when it came to deciding on a supplier.
“It is really important for us to make sure that the information is the same on all platforms, so a good PIM system is crucial when it comes to futureproofing and streamlining our operations. This system has so many applications and can be linked to so many modules that it was a fundamental element in our choice of supplier and solution.”
In the end, Litium was chosen as a platform. Joacim explains why.
“There were a number of reasons why we chose Litium. The solution was more or less ready to link to our business system – that was a primary consideration. Litium was the ideal choice for us right from the outset as it was able to provide an e-commerce platform in addition to PIM. So we made our decision because it allowed us to implement a holistic solution of this kind.”
Manual work reduced by 80 percent
The project began in 2018, and May 6, 2019 saw the launch of the new online store using Litium as a platform. Joacim can see a clear difference.
“As all our information is now so reliable, we have noticed that both we and our partners now rely on the online store above all, which means that they can push customers towards the online store more extensively – which is exactly what we were aiming to achieve. So we are seeing a huge increase in both user numbers and the turnover of our online shop.
"In 2018, which was a fantastic year in sales terms thanks to that hot summer we had, we had a total turnover of 21 million at the online store – and we already passed 23 million in August 2019. We estimate that the amount of manual work required for updating information has been reduced by around 80 percent.”
Strength in close cooperation with the right technical partner
Varsego’s technical partner for business development, project management, design and development is Toxic Interactive Solutions AB, which has helped the company to build the Litium solution on the basis of their wishes. As a result of the favorable outcome of their cooperation, Joacim sees major potential going forward.
“We are now planning with Toxic to see how we could develop and optimize our business even more. Toxic’s strength is that they are quick on the draw and responsive when they are asked to make adjustments and changes. It is clear that they are passionate about what they do, and we can also bounce thoughts and ideas off them about our business. We also feel they value us highly as a client, so we enjoy a really great partnership.”