Why Switzerland's largest retailer chose Magnolia for its digital presence

With Magnolia, Switzerland’s largest retailer, Migros, saves over 50% on annual IT infrastructure costs.










Easier and faster to find goods and services

Migros is not just Switzerland's largest retail company, supermarket chain and employer. It is also one of the 40 largest retailers in the world, with over 87,000 employees and revenues in excess of 20 billion EUR (25 billion CHF).

Migros needed a more cohesive architecture for its web properties, as well as a bullet-proof and simple way to migrate away from the old system. As a first step, Magnolia partner Aperto migrated its main corporate site to Magnolia within six months. After the success of this pilot, Migros decided to use Magnolia much more extensively. Editors love that they can get new content published as fast as possible, thanks to a customized editing process within Magnolia. Migros customers also benefit from the new site: www.migros.ch has become a lot more user-friendly.


The Challenge


A unified architecture

In order to increase business agility and react faster to market trends, Migros was looking to migrate its existing distributed web infrastructure onto a common Ecommerce CMS platform. This move was also expected to reduce hardware and administration costs across the enterprise.

Migros' top five requirements were:

  • User-friendly, web-based content editing with a live preview function
  • System support for multiple languages in both content and in the user interface
  • Multisite functionality: publishing and editing of multiple websites from a single system, in order to simplify administration and the reuse of content
  • Ease of integration with external systems (XML, Webservices, etc.)
  • Single point of management control for all content, multimedia and page templates

Easy migration

As an additional criterion, Migros was also looking for a CMS that would make migration to the new system as fast and as painless as possible. This was important to:

  • Eliminate any need for further investment into infrastructure to keep the legacy web system running
  • Achieve a faster time-to-market, allowing Migros to market new products and services ahead of the competition

The Solution

Finding out if Magnolia is a good fit

Working together with its Swiss web agency, Migros undertook a detailed four-stage evaluation process. The company put together a long-list of potential vendors, based on a checklist of functionality along with a basic user-value analysis.

The resulting shortlist was based on a more extended set of criteria, which looked beyond CMS functionality, and into broader categories:

  • Product Architecture – the fit of the product within Migros’ existing IT environment
  • Costs – license, support, implementation and customization
  • Product vision - clear vision and product roadmap
  • Market penetration/position – popularity and number of user in similar business scenarios

From the shortlist, two systems remained in the final evaluation stage. After a further round of more detailed usability tests, Magnolia emerged as the system of choice.

Aperto delivers rapid migration

As a pilot project, Migros migrated the main www.migros.ch website to the Magnolia platform within a six-month timeframe. This initial project was carried out together with Aperto, a Berlin-based, long-term Magnolia partner.

Work was divided up: Aperto worked on the technical concept and development, while Migros’ in-house team concentrated on the design, content migration, hardware infrastructure and training. In addition, Aperto also worked with Migros to train up its own internal training team.

One of the key contributors to this smooth system migration was Magnolia’s Standard Templating Kit (STK). Aperto was able to adapt these ready-made page templates quickly and easily to Migros’ required design. The STK also allowed Aperto to re-use functionality throughout the site, resulting in a fast, highly-professional end-result.

The Result

Customized content editing and increased customer value

In order to get new content published as fast as possible, Migros customized the editing process within Magnolia, adding extensive new functionality. One example was the management of marketing teasers on the new site. Migros was able to develop a dedicated interface for managing the thousands of campaign and new product teasers across the site. This made it easier for administrators to maintain an overview of what was available, allowing this time-sensitive marketing content to be found and used faster and more effectively.

The Migros team also simplified working with images on the new site, allowing images and even groups of images to be uploaded with a single click. This one simple feature saved a significant amount of time in everyday site administration.

Automated features to save time

A number of helpful automated features were also developed for content relating to weekly special offers. This information was automatically uploaded and updated on the live product pages, with the system even taking regional differences in what was on offer into account. Relevant information regarding new offers can also be exported to other systems using XML, ensuring that all customer communication channels are kept in sync and up-to-date.

Migros customers also benefit from the new site: www.migros.ch has become a lot more user-friendly. The site’s navigation and layout have been realigned and the search functionality has been improved.

Our final choice of CMS was determined by a combination of each system’s overall ability to address our business needs, together with its price-performance ratio. During our evaluation, there were only a few individual areas where Magnolia was the first-placed system. However, as a complete solution, it provided by far the best overall coverage of our requirements. From our tests, Magnolia promised the most consistently high levels of functionality and performance, and, up to now, it has delivered on this promise.
Philippe Stuker

Philippe Stuker

Head of Digital Marketing, Migros


Whether you plan to replace your ecommerce CMS or compose your own ecommerce platform - Magnolia’s got you covered.