From group meetings to the digital community, from Weight Watchers to
WW – this company regularly reinvents itself while remaining true to its vision: helping people change their nutrition to feel better. We have been supporting the WW team in this mission since 2015.
Digitisation of the business model
The company WW, formerly known as Weight Watchers, is internationally known for its concept of dietary change and weight loss. The original concept is based on regular meetings that provide mutual encouragement and external feedback to help maintain motivation in the often difficult process of achieving weight loss goals. This is linked to a point system which assigns a certain number of points to each food. Participants in the programme are allowed to eat the equivalent of a fixed number of points per day, depending on their current weight and individual goals.
A trend of the entire society is also evident in WW: the online community and e-commerce sales are growing and are becoming a competition for the classic group meetings. With its online program, WW has responded to this trend so that the idea of the company remains tangible and relevant even with new lifestyles. We are working together to further expand WW’s online success.
A well-coordinated team
We have been working with WW since 2015 and have been able to implement many successful projects in the past years. After an initial phase, during which we worked together with another agency on the e-commerce development, we have been exclusively responsible for the technical implementation of the WW online shop since 2016. With trust and open communication, we work together with WW’s internal e-commerce teams to implement a wide range of new functions to optimise the sale of innovative solutions online as well.
The WW brand is present in many countries and the online shop is accordingly international: Based on Magento 1 Enterprise Edition, different shops for eight countries are united in one instance, accessible in a total of four languages to over 500,000 registered customers.
Great performance visible upfront, much more behind it
An interface transfers the data of the online shop to the merchandise management system. Large parts of the shop are covered with unit tests, so that adjustments to the interface cause the desired changes – and only these – in the merchandise management system. If a new feature happens to show unexpected consequences, the unit tests notice this before the changes arrive in the production system.
The continuous development of the shop is supported by an agile approach. In accordance with such a globally operating company, WW’s internal e-commerce team is large: we coordinate the tasks together with e-commerce managers from four country teams and additional contacts on WW’s side. It is important to us that everyone involved in the project has an overview of what adjustments are currently being implemented, what obstacles there are and how we solve them together.
In addition to the implementation of optimisations, it is also important to us to keep the shop in good condition at all times, especially with regard to the security of sensitive customer data. Therefore, updates of the software basis as well as the installed modules are in our opinion a fundamental and important part of the technical support of the shop in order to maintain the usability and performance.
We much appreciate having a central project manager at integer_net who makes sure information is spread cross-country with our European team and country-specific with the respective e-commerce managers.”
Michael Taylor, Global eCommerce Programme Manager of WW
Our projects with WW
- Integration of Smartpoints on product detail pages: Depending on the particular diet, the customer can see directly, highlighted in colour, how many Smartpoints the food available in the online shop has.
- Cooking boxes for German customers: We have created a subscription function for WW’s cooking boxes, each with three dishes and their ingredients to cook it yourself. This allows customers to order boxes on a specific date, adjust the quantity, pause or cancel the subscription and pay conveniently by credit card or Paypal.
- Subscription model for “At Home” programme in Switzerland: The famous WW programme is also available for use at home. With the integrated subscription function in Magento, an order is automatically placed every month, sent to the customer and debited from the credit card without the need to re-enter payment data.
- Interface connection to Oracle 12 Business: Product master data, stock levels and order confirmations are transferred from Oracle to Magento through a data interface implemented by us.
- Move to another hosting provider: To ensure the stability of the website and to minimize loading times, we have moved the online shop to maxcluster. The challenge here was to minimize downtime, because the move took place in the most important season for WW. With the move, we achieved an increase in turnover, especially due to the significantly reduced page load times.
- Integration of the TYPO3 website: To increase visibility, content of the TYPO3 site was integrated into Magento. Only selected content was transferred in order to avoid impairing load times.
- Interface to Oracle: Data entered in Magento, such as customer data or order information, is automatically transferred to Oracle using an interface we have created.
- Redesign of the shop: According to the specifications of the main page of WW, it was up to us to transfer the corporate design to the shop. Since this initial redesign, the shop has been adapted annually to meet the current design trends and company requirements. In particular, great importance is attached to user-friendliness on mobile devices.
Further joint projects with WW are planned and already now exciting projects are in full swing.
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Management & Project Management