Neuland is an internationally active premium supplier that has been offering high-quality special products for meetings, workshops, seminars and conferences for 43 years. They are manufacturers and direct marketers in equal measure. The range includes products such as flipcharts, markers, pinboards and literature.
We supported Neuland with the migration from Shopware 5 to Shopify Plus. In doing so, it was also important to the brand to be able to serve B2C and B2B customers in the same store.
We found out what challenges the company faced, how the collaboration with Latori went, and what successes Neuland has achieved since then in a joint interview with Guido Neuland, Managing Director, and Bianca Hosenfeld, E-Commerce Manager.
Bianca can already see that the switch to Shopify has already paid off:
"The feedback from customers has been overwhelmingly positive. As we had linked the launch to a generous promotion, we were able to experience directly that the store is able to generate sales in exciting regions without any problems. But we always have the ambition to become even better!"
Bianca Hosenfeld and Guido Neuland
Table of contents
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At a glance - this is how we supported Neuland:
The move from 8 store domains to a single store.
The possibility to serve B2B and B2C customers in the same store
Optimizations in various places, e.g. multiple variant selection
Article interface to ERP to centralize data maintenance
Special shipping costs calculation according to specifications
Shipping cost inquiries for forwarding goods
Neuland was confronted with these challenges
1. The back story: the brand faced these problems over time
Neuland started its first online store in 1996 with an Intershop , which they operated for several years. For various reasons, Neuland then switched to a Java-based store from XSite in Düsseldorf and ran it extremely successfully for many years. It was only when they were taken over by Shop-Apotheke that the decision was made to switch to Shopware. However, after using it for quite a while, it turned out that Shopware was not the right store system for Neuland either. The store was very congested, there were too many subshops and the associated time expenditure was too high. When Shopware subsequently announced the version change from Shopware 5 to Shopware 6, it was clear to Neuland: they would not go along with the upgrade. The search for a better alternative quickly began.
"I started looking for alternatives. While doing some Google research, I came across Shopify Plus. I had long thought of Shopify as a pandemic solution for small stores. Through my research, I saw that even big brands rely on the solution and that complex projects are implemented with it. That convinced me," says Guido Neuland.
Reading tip: Shopware vs. Shopify - we compare the two store systems.
2. Everything in one place - from multi-shops to a one-stop store
Another problem Neuland had was that it had a B2B and a B2C store in Germany. In addition, Neuland operated B2B stores for EU, Non EU, US, CA, Global, NL and UK. In total, the company managed 9 online stores! This not only meant an immense amount of maintenance and time, but also caused confusion among customers. The many URLs also posed a problem for communication on social media.
The desire to merge all the subshops into one central online store and thus provide customers with a place where they could easily find their way around was strong. Consultation with a Shopify consultant revealed that this was exactly what Shopify Plus could do.
3. Fresh look, optimized UX - a redesign was needed
The design of the online store needed a change, both in handling and visually. The navigation was to be optimized, the appearance of the store adapted and thus a complete redesign created. For this, it was especially important to Neuland to get the professional and objective opinion of an outsider.
"We definitely wanted to have someone else look at the design there as well. We needed something contemporary," Guido Neuland.
The solution: Shopify Plus convinced
Why Shopify Plus is the best choice for Neuland
Initially somewhat hesitant, Neuland first contacted a Shopify consultant to clarify any questions that arose about the store system. Here it became clear that the wishes Neuland had could be realized with Shopify Plus.
Shopify Plus is not only easy to use, it also has a wide range of useful features and the ability to combine B2B and B2C in one store. Shopify also scored with the easy integration of other systems as well as the uncomplicated implementation of customizations. In addition, Shopify offers a wide range of themes that can be completely customized.
"We were looking for store software that was flexible enough to meet our complex requirements. At the same time, it had to be easy to use and easy to adapt to new requirements. A not entirely unimportant point was the cost of updates, with which our previous online store had annoyed us," says Bianca von Neuland.
The simple implementation of internationalization and multilingualism in the store was also a decisive point that made Shopify Plus the right choice, as Bianca Hosenfeld further reported:
"If you want to be successful internationally, you also have to offer different languages in your store. English is obligatory there, and since we have a large distribution partner connected in the Netherlands as well, Dutch was added."
Reading tip: Shopify vs. Shopify Plus - how to find the right version
The right partner at your side - that's why you chose Latori
Once it was clear that Shopify was the right platform for Neuland, they looked for a suitable partner to tackle the project. Here, Neuland relied on the Shopify consultant's recommendation and came to Latori. After an initial meeting with Latori's managing director Jan Laußmann, in which the requirements and wishes were discussed, nothing stood in the way of a successful collaboration.
"From our point of view, the chemistry was right from the very first moment. Of course, the references that Latori had to offer played their part. ", says Guido Neuland.
This is how the migration was implemented
1. Store architecture and multilingualism
A major challenge of the project was the multi-shop structure. Here, 8 store domains from different countries and languages had to be merged into one central online store.
In order to continue serving customers globally, the store has a language switcher. Customers have the option here to customize both the language and the region.
"Neuland has made a very good name for itself internationally through its specialization and the quality of its own products. Since we have had excellent experience with direct marketing in Germany, international direct sales via an online store was the logical consequence," Bianca Hosenfeld tells us.
2. The redesign
From the very beginning, it was clear that a new design had to be created for the online store. Guido Neuland summarizes the process as follows:
"It was all a bit different before and has now been completely redone. We had decided together with you on the theme on which the redesign should be based. Then there were the design proposals from Latori, which were implemented in the end."
However, the focus was not only on the visual appearance, but also on an optimized user experience. The navigation was completely redesigned to provide customers with a seamless shopping experience.
Reading tip: We show you what you should consider when redesigning.
Neuland attaches great importance to sustainability and social commitment. These aspects should also be communicated in the online store. Since they manufacture their products themselves in Germany, they can have a great influence on the materials used and the working conditions of the employees. Suppliers also come from Germany or from the European region. Therefore, long supply chains are avoided here in order to always keep environmental protection in mind.
Social commitment has a high priority for Neuland. That's why they also launched their aid project Drawn2Help - Help2Draw. The main goal is to create space for visualization, opportunities for understanding and for sharing knowledge and experiences all over the world. Neuland also provided active support during the war in Ukraine. Here, too, the many contacts with European distribution partners came in handy. Together with these partners, materials were collected to provide useful donations to the people who had come to Germany from Ukraine.
"That was really an extremely large amount, and it was also great that there were also distribution partners who supported us in the campaign. For example, we had a supplier from whom we normally get suitcases. He then provided backpacks for the children. We packed blocks into them, for example, which we in turn received from another supplier. We also provided markers. It was important to us to help as quickly as possible." - says Guido Neuland.
4. The implementation of individual requirements
A special feature of the store are the individual shipping conditions. In order to integrate these into the store, Latori had to program a suitable solution. For shipping goods that are to be delivered outside the EU, customers thus place their products in the shopping cart, which is then transmitted to Neuland as a draft order so that the shipping costs can be determined. Another highlight of the store are the individual prices, which are determined based on markings at customers and articles.
Another desired feature of the brand was the ability to select multiple variants by activating a checkbox on the markers and thus add them to the shopping cart at the same time. This functionality is well done and offers shoppers an easy buying experience.
5. Knowledge base
Neuland sees itself as a specialist provider with a correspondingly high level of expertise. It is important to incorporate this into the advice provided - online as well. That is why Neuland offers Markerpedia, a knowledge platform with useful and comprehensive information on the subject of Neuland markers.
With Neuland Ambassador and Neuland Toolmaster, the brand has also created an international network in which trainers, visualizers, coaches and facilitators operate as brand ambassadors. They use the products in their everyday lives and share tips and their knowledge. Customers can also find important information and current topics on the Neuland blog.
Neuland uses a few systems that we have linked to the online store. One of them is Growave, a loyalty program that allows Neuland customers to easily collect points and exchange them for a net price advantage. We also connected our partner Nosto so that cross-selling offers could be even more coherent and the search in the store could be optimized even further.
Reading tip: Nosto vs. trbo - We take a closer look at both customer experience tools.
We also took care of the integration of the ERP system. For this, we created an interface that simplifies and centralizes data maintenance.
The new store: What has changed and what else is planned?
The new store is now clearer and more practical. Among other things, customers have the option of adding several variants of the product directly to the shopping cart on the PDP. Compared to before, this now runs much faster and more fluidly. Bianca Hosenfeld sums it up like this:
"The feedback from customers has been overwhelmingly positive. Since we had linked the launch to a generous promotion, we were able to experience right away that the store is capable of generating sales in exciting regions without any problems."
In the future, Neuland plans to constantly expand and optimize the online store. For example, products will be explained even better in the future. An intuitive product finder that guides customers through the large product range is also being planned. The product configurator for personalizing markers will also be further optimized to give customers even more flexibility here.
Another future wish of Neuland is to exploit the POS possibilities of Shopify in order to be able to sell conveniently and easily at trade fairs, congresses or other events.
We would like to thank Guido Neuland and Bianca Hosenfeld for the interview and look forward to a continued good cooperation.
You also want to write your success story with Shopify? We will be happy to support you! Contact us and let's talk about your project.