Mobility and efficiency are essential in the e-commerce business. With the new EM.App from mp technology, Elektro-Material AG (EM) offers its customers a modern app with access to the entire online product range. With a selection of more than 250’000 articles, the offline ordering option and an integrated barcode scanner, EM provides customers with state-of-the-art technology.
Project highlights for Elektro-Material AG
- Complete integration of the mobile app into the existing EM.Webshop backend
- Offline access to the complete product catalogue
- Integration of barcode scanner and voice recognition for efficient ordering process
- Significant increase in customer satisfaction and online sales through joint and continuous development
- Positive cooperation with mp technology & Scandit
Use the EM.Webshop on the go – With the EM.App on your smartphone
Simple order processes – even offline
When the last light switch is missing and time is pressing, a small thing quickly becomes a big annoyance. The realisation of an offline ordering option was a great need for EM customers. Because without a mobile network or WLAN, even a responsive webshop via smartphone is of no use to anyone on the construction site. Exactly where time is short and no computer is available. With the EM.App, material managers can place their orders directly from the construction site, despite the lack of a mobile network. Using the same login as for the EM.Webshop and having the same favourites and watch lists available, an order can be placed quickly. As soon as the connection to the mobile network is re-established, synchronisation begins and the order can be processed further. Together with EM’s service promise, the customer can thus be sure that the goods will be available at the right construction site the following day.
Innovative ordering with integrated barcode scanner
Barcode scanning in the EM.App is solved with the Software Scanning SDK from Scandit. Scandit is one of the leading providers of scanning solutions. Scandit’s software-based solution is noticeably more performant than the built-in scanning APIs of iOS and Android. By scanning barcodes on packaging or lists, the EM shopping cart can be filled efficiently and easily. The augmented reality scanner even allows product information to be shown with an AR overlay on the display. The convincing features and easy integration made the implementation fun for our developers. The innovative solution convinced our developers and the result convinced the end-users.
Elektro-Material AG is very keen to offer its customers not just an order catalogue, but an innovative shopping experience. In addition to the barcode scanner, the ordering process can be controlled by voice recognition. Voice ordering – also known as voice commerce – is an application of artificial intelligence of speech recognition in sales and retail. The technology was introduced as early as 1961 by IBM with the development of a voice recognition programme, but has only recently become commercialised. With iOS Siri «order from EM» (in the according App language) and simple voice commands, users of the EM.App can place their orders; a helpful alternative to selecting products via text search when on the go.
A solution for every need
A customisable main navigation, individual favourites and watch lists, and easy switching between customer numbers, construction sites, addresses, etc., facilitate logistics on every construction site. Not every need and not every innovative idea can be formulated in advance by a client as a clear requirement. Cooperation in a spirit of partnership, short communication channels and an agile way of working support us in working out needs and requirements with Elektro-Material AG and our partners and implementing them as the best possible solution for the end customer.
After several years of development, Elektro-Material AG was looking for a new partner to create a healthy code base for its app, which had grown considerably in complexity in the meantime. Without a new start, the two large code bases for Android and iOS were to be taken over, optimised, unified and the app made more performant. Our developers evaluated the two different platforms and their almost 50’000 lines each of code, restructured them step by step (code refactoring) and modernised them. Cleaning up and optimising this amount of code through refactoring may sound more time-consuming than creating a completely new code structure, but it is usually more cost-effective and involves fewer risks. In iterative and agile software development, the refactoring process simplifies the maintenance and further development of apps. We ensure this with regular interactions and in the sense of continuous delivery together with Elektro-Material AG. Our respective expertise from the industry and development complement each other in the collaboration; the result is an innovative app with integration of state-of-the-art mobile features.
With the right partners to joint success
There is more to the success of a project or an application than code and features. Fast and uncomplicated communication channels with competent partners contribute to the efficiency and, above all, the satisfaction of a common customer. The EM.App was realised in close cooperation with the Elektro-Material team and our partners e-Sphere (Hybris Webshop Backend), Nextension (UX/UI) and Scandit (Barcode Scanning SDK). The many positive reactions to the app and the significant increase in sales testify to the joint success of this project.
We would like to thank Elektro-Material AG for the trust they have placed in us and all the contributors for their cooperation in a spirit of partnership.
29 January 2021