For the first time the new Migros product catalogue offers customers complete online access to the retailer’s entire product range via a centralised system. As well as assisting Migros with the implementation of the API, Liip developed the user interface.
A centralised system manages all Migros product information. The content is search-enabled and can be accessed via Migros’s various online services. Migros therefore called on Liip to help it devise and develop a new product catalogue.
Two teams of Liipers simultaneously developed two components for the new product catalogue. A central REST API is the cornerstone of Migros’s multichannel strategy and supplies Migros applications with all product information. For example, the Migros App for mobile devices uses data directly taken from the API.
The second component is a stand-alone catalogue application, which features a user-friendly and user-centred interface for API products.
In order to exploit the synergies of the catalogue interface, a flexible system was developed to ensure that it could be easily adapted to other Migros applications. As a result, the Swiss retailer’s main communication platform, Migipedia, uses the catalogue interface, whose original design has been tweaked to fit in with that of the community portal.
Liip works hand-in-hand with Migros, and has developed the concept, wireframes and design of the user interfaces for the responsive product page at produkte.migros.ch. The product catalogue lets customers search, via a centralised system, the entire range of goods offered by Migros supermarkets and specialist stores. Filters allow users to refine their product search by brand, label and in-store availability.
The integration of some 10 Migros services like M-Go and Cumulus lets customers call up the last products they have purchased and view their favourites. Customers can also create shopping lists and share these with family and friends. In addition, there is information on in-store product availability, as well as user-generated content from Migipedia.
In partnership with Liip, Migros continues to pursue the agile development of the API process, implementing a new project iteration every fortnight. This means that the product is expanding all the time, adding new functions depending on what the priorities are at that point in time.
The system architecture is redundant and extremely scaleable, thus making it possible to simply add more servers, whenever necessary.
Liip uses only open-source software. Symfony 2 is used to import and process different sources, for REST-API and frontend development. RabbitMQ coordinates parallel import processes. ElasticSearch is the engine that drives the search and filter capabilities of produkte.migros.ch.
The high requirements and performance of both the catalogue interface and the API call for the use of additional standards: HHVM speeds up the PHP while retaining the benefits of the script language. The powerful web server nginx and the caching proxy Varnish boost speed and scaleability.
«Directly connecting user actions between the two platforms – Migipedia and the product pages of migros.ch – is completely in line with our multichannel strategy. Customers visit our various platforms for different reasons, depending on what their needs are at that moment in time. Because these platforms are all interconnected, customers benefit from the same high level of information, making their online Migros experience simple and effective.»