In the digital economy, customer experience is becoming a make-or-break factor for success. According to IDG, 63% of companies say customer satisfaction scores are the most important success factor of digital initiatives. However, as technology becomes more complex, tech sellers and resellers face more intricacies in provisioning and integrating software, and at the same time delivering a seamless procurement experience for sometimes mission-critical applications. On top of that, maximizing customers’ spend, articulating the importance of innovative services to customers, and creating a positive lifecycle management experience are in focus for tech sellers more than ever.
In its 20 years of existence, Network One Distribution (NOD) has become one of the leaders in tech distribution and reselling in the Romanian market due to its ongoing focus on customer experience. Zitec is proud to be a partner in this journey, supporting their B2B eCommerce platform development over the years and the recent redesign.
NOD: IT&C DISTRIBUTION AT ITS FINEST
NOD is the leader of the electro-IT distribution market in Romania, bringing over 320 world-renowned hardware and software brands to the local market. Their core business is built around the partner network, with a focus on powerful business relationships and surpassing partners’ expectations. Currently, the company is the business partner of more than 3,200 IT and electronics resellers from Romania and abroad and has a network of more than 8,000 customers.
The company’s strategy is based on a broad line distribution concept, which means NOD offers a full range of components, peripherals, and accessories necessary for the equipping and operating of any computer or office. They have become the leader of the local distribution market by developing an ecosystem of technology specialists and a varied portfolio of solutions continuously adapted to market changes and trends that define the future in electro-IT. Moreover, NOD has several private labels, such as Heinner, Horizon, and Pegas. The development of their own brands as a business strategy comes from the desire to use their expertise for the benefit of consumers.
WHAT NOD WANTED TO BE SOLVED
To help establish a powerful partner network, NOD approached Zitec 10 years ago to build a B2B eCommerce platform that meets the needs, expectations, and requirements of such a vast ecosystem of partners, resellers, and customers. The reason why NOD decided to invest in such a solution lies in its core business, built around its partner network. By extending its solution portfolio, NOD’s long-term goal consisted in consolidating its market position as a top player in regional electro-IT distribution.
THE SOLUTIONS AND HIGHLIGHTS OF A SUCCESSFUL ECOMMERCE PARTNERSHIP
In order to technically support their goal, there were 3 main areas in which our teams were involved over the years:
1. B2B platform development
The NOD B2B eCommerce platform was built to offer resellers a digital shopping environment, allowing for basic stockpile purchase, reservation, and ordering. Moreover, it enables NOD to honor its business response time of 24 hours of delivery from ordering.
The framework used throughout the development process was Agile Scrum. Our team worked under the guidance of the NOD Product Management team and aligned with their internal processes and teams. The quality assurance stage of the project was ensured by Zitec and other NOD software partners.
Developed in PHP, the platform uses a series of Microsoft technologies such as Windows Server, IIS (as a web server), Apache Solr, and SQL server (for the database). Also, the platform interconnects with the NOD ERP.
2. Platform functionalities
The main functionalities Zitec implemented on the B2B eCommerce platform are authentication, product listing, address management, orders, invoices, exchange rates, payment methods, and delivery options. The platform is also integrated with a series of other products and services, such as:
- Cargus – delivery service;
- ERP SAP Integration;
- HP iQuote – iframe for HP products configuration;
- ElasticMail – transactional email services;
- Solr – full-text search server;
- SSIS Packages – data import from ERP;
- MSSQL – main database;
- Icecat & HPE – importing images and descriptions.
3. Platform redesign
Together with the NOD product management team, our UX/UI team created a completely new design for the user interface, focused on usability principles. Through a customer-centric design approach, we conducted multiple user interviews to map the resellers’ journey on the platform.
Once the user interface was redesigned and improvements were implemented, NOD invited its customers to test the upgraded platform. Rather than doing a single-date formal launch, the company decided to give its clients the possibility to choose between the new interface and the previous one to avoid any potential disruptions in the order flow. The 70% adoption rate for the new interface was the first validation of the new design.
THE BUSINESS OUTCOME
For NOD partners, the eCommerce platform developed and redesigned by NOD and the Zitec team means easy access to product prices and stock availability, as well as the possibility to place orders and track them. It also allows them to check invoices and payment progress, while the platform’s main functionalities are available through an API (Application Programming Interface) that can be easily integrated by partners.
NOD’s eCommerce platform is now prepared for future technology developments, thanks to the flexible architecture that will further improve the company’s operations. The new design has simplified the buying journey for both long-time customers and new businesses alike. It has also given NOD’s team better visibility over accounts, which in turn enables improved account management and maintenance.
In numbers, the B2B platform built and redesigned with the support of our teams registers impressive performance indicators:
- 70% adoption rate for the new interface;
- 18.8% of the NOD revenue was generated through the application (176M EUR in 2021);
- 101% increase in the number of clients in 2022 compared to 2021;
- 83% increase in the number of placed orders in 2022 compared to 2021.
We’ve been happy to count on Zitec in our journey to building a powerful B2B eCommerce platform that meets the needs of a complex ecosystem of partners, resellers, and customers. Given Zitec’s extensive experience in a diverse range of complex eCommerce projects, in our 10 years of partnership, we’ve been able to address multiple technical aspects and, through the flexible architecture we’ve built together, our platform is now ready for even more future technology developments.
Florin-Adrian Șerbu, Product Owner, NOD
WHAT’S NEXT FOR NOD?
In the near future, NOD aims to add new features to the platform, bring new tools to resellers, improve the API for diverse eCommerce needs, and expand to Europe.
If you want to learn more about this project or Zitec’s capabilities in eCommerce solutions, feel free to get in touch.