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How Algolia is helping Swedol create a better digital B2B customer experience

Algolia was very professional from the start. We had a great Customer Success Manager and team that provided a lot of help and was a great partner. When I compare it to other companies where they ‘sell you on getting a CSM and team working with you’, but then they pass you off to ‘look at the documentation,’ I am left asking, ‘what’s the meaning of the team if I have to look for everything myself?’ This did not happen with Algolia.

Clint Fischerström

Head of Ecommerce @ Alligo (Swedol)
Swedol
Use case

B2B Ecommerce

Headquarters

Sweden

Customer since

since 2019

Feature usage

Dynamic Re-Ranking, Rules, Personalization, Analytics

Key results
  • 26% more time spent on site

  • 22% higher conversions rate

  • 7.5% increase in searches

The challenges

  • 1.

    Inability to test, tweak, and optimize search on a regular basis

  • 2.

    Inflexible platform provided a poor developer experience

  • 3.

    Lack of user insights, reports, and analytics contributed to a lack of trust in data

The solution

  • 1.

    Fast and relevant search

  • 2.

    Easy to use, self-serve Dashboard reducing developer team help

  • 3.

    Seamless integration with Magento

  • 4.

    Bespoke search and listing solution for large companies

  • 5.

    Easy to analyze and understand

The result

  • 1.

    Improved customer and employee experience

  • 2.

    Lightening fast and relevant search experience

  • 3.

    Over 20% increase in conversion rates leading to growth in revenue

  • 4.

    Happy customers and Field Sales teams

Ensuring A Best-in-Class B2B Buying Experience Across 100 Stores

Since opening its doors in 1963, selling lubrication oil to transportation professionals, on through to present day, now supplying anything from tools to workwear for a diverse customer base, Swedol has been providing excellent customer service and a customized shopping experience to businesses and consumers alike. They span across industries such as construction, industrial and workshop, transportation, agriculture, and forestry and public service. 

With a company mission to provide both the tools and guidance to help their customers’ businesses grow, it’s no wonder that Clint Fischerström, Head of E-commerce at Swedol, strives daily to create a personalized, differentiated experience for Swedol’s online store across the Nordic Region. But the work doesn’t stop there. To create a best-in-class experience, the 1,000+ Sales team members across Swedol’s 100 retail stores also need to be equipped with top-notch technology to serve their clients quickly and efficiently.

Inflexible and Developer Heavy Solution Hinders Reaching Business Goals

In 2019, Clint and his Web Developer / Systems Specialist, Viktor Särelind, had finally tired at yet another gripe from the Swedol Sales team about the awful search they continued to experience. 

“Within the organization, before we switched to Algolia, the general opinion was when you went to the online store, everyone said ,‘this website is terrible because the search is terrible. It’s just terrible!“ Viktor Särelind, Web Developer

 At the time, Clint and Viktor were using an out-of-the-box custom solution built for the e-commerce sector. The solution offered useful features built for a business like Swedol, yet it lacked flexibility and relevancy, causing a multitude of challenges for the Digital team, including difficulty optimizing and improving their search and discovery experience. Adapting to rising B2B buyers’ expectations required finding a new solution capable of better engaging their online customers and helping them grow their digital presence.

“We had these problems we wanted to solve, but we couldn’t do anything without developers. The solution itself was pretty good but we didn't have a Dashboard or anything like that. Previously, with whatever we wanted to do, we had to send a ticket to the development team… or had to do it within the setup from the start, so it was very hard to continuously optimize the website and the search results. You couldn't do any campaigns or reorder items and anything like that.” Clint Fischerström , Head of E-commerce

In order to best serve the Swedol Sales team, its clients, and to help them grow to become the number one player in digital commerce within the Nordic region, Clint knew something had to change. “We wanted to create a new strategy around this, with a new system in place, but also allow some time and effort to clean bad data in our ERP, PIM and work with the MDM.” 

The team needed a flexible tool that could improve their developer experience, respond well to their highly technical requirements given their B2B nature, and it had to be something they could implement quickly and easily and a system with a clear future vision being number one in the market.

Speed, Relevancy, and Flexibility

Building a quick and relevant search and discovery experience for a B2B e-commerce website is no small task. Similar to a B2C e-commerce business, the team at Swedol has thousands of assortments containing thousands of products within each assortment. However, when selling to businesses, each client had unique access to different assortments, different prices, speciality items, and so on. And within each business and its various custom items, there were multiple user roles with differing levels of access to specific items. There was clear demand for customized results. 

Thanks to Algolia’s ability to index and sort items quickly, Swedol is now able to seamlessly and efficiently pass information to and from the Adobe Commerce hosted site to better manage product assortments, only showing up-to-date and in-stock items, while also only serving up the customer-specific product assortments.

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Displaying the contract-specific assortments (sometimes, including custom products) to the right customer is key to provide the online experience expected from B2B buyers. 

A combination of speed, relevancy, a self-serve Dashboard, robust analytics, and access to Algolia’s Partnership team has been the solution Swedol needs, helping the team to scale and grow their business. 

“The speed of Algolia is really one of the things we like the most, along with the Dashboard… And also, for the future, if I desire something, we really get the help that we need from Algolia to to find the best way forward… we get the help we need to make decisions on things really important to us.” Clint Fischerström , Head of E-commerce

Improved Speed and Relevancy Increases Conversion Rates

Since implementing Algolia, Swedol’s Digital team no longer hears daily gripes coming from the field. Their customers and internal teams are now much happier that they can browse products and find what they want with ease. 

The Web team’s decision to leave a turnkey, e-commerce solution for an API-driven search and discovery experience has proven to be a success, resulting in uplift in search results. After a year of powering their search and discovery with Algolia’s API, Swedol’s customers now spend 26% more time on the site with a 7.5% increase in searches and a 22% higher conversion rate, which of course directly translates to an increase in revenue (cha-ching).

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