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Hirschmann Automotive is a newcomer in eCommerce and wants to accelerate the ordering process with the B2B online shop. Additionally, customers also have the opportunity to order free samples. Providing samples is especially important for the decision-making processes of engineers and developers in the industry because they want to be certain of quality in advance. Hirschmann hopes to obtain a competitive advantage by providing free samples. The online shop simplified internal processes and reduced the expenditure involved in ordering samples.
Melanie Strolz, marketing and communication manager at Hirschmann Automotive, highlights an additional function of the B2B shop: “In the web shop, potential customers can easily obtain the most important information about our products. That relieves the burden on our internal sales team.”
The Professional Plus Edition of the B2B online shop was realised by the Shopware Enterprise partner Portaltech Reply. Since Hirschmann is pursuing a strategic goal with the shop, integration into existing business processes and optimising internal processes were very important. All the steps were defined precisely in workshops to guarantee the lasting success of the online shop.
The company Hirschmann Automotive, founded in 1959, develops and manufactures special cable solutions, moulding technology, sensor and plug and connection systems, and high-voltage applications for the automotive sector.
Its customers include all well-known automotive manufacturers and suppliers.
With the new B2B online shop Hirschmann Automotive wants to enhance its customer service, develop new markets and simplify the ordering samples process.
Shopware connection to SAP and CRM
B2B shop with high security requirements
Shop functions in a clean design
Most of the business processes at Hirschmann Automotive are handled using SAP business software. The prerequisite for the B2B online shop was therefore error-free linking of the shop software to SAP.
Interfaces were added to the online shop that include both Microsoft Navision CRM and the SAP system used at Hirschmann Automotive. Articles are imported, orders are exported to SAP, and the order status is synchronised with SAP. The CRM interface is also bi-directional and synchronises the online shop and Microsoft Navision CRM on a regular basis.
Data is maintained completely in SAP and is loaded into the shop using in-house developed interfaces and the shopware API. The back end is currently only used to handle orders.
For Hirschmann, the B2B shop is also a lead generator and a data analysis tool: “The CRM connection was important for us because we assign shop data to products and customers in our existing structure and manage a system for evaluations and information procurement. Customers who register in the shop but do not place an order are managed and processed as leads in CRM,” explains Melanie Strolz.
With the help of several plug-ins and adjustments, the shop was geared towards the special needs of a B2B company. That means customers have only limited authorisations, for instance: users cannot make any changes to the billing address or other debtor-related fields.
The protected download function was especially important to prevent industrial espionage and keep product information safe from competitors. Certain confidential documents attached to each item can be seen by customers only after they have logged in and the documents have been released in the back end. The data security of the Shopware shop was therefore also a basic requirement for Hirschmann. Customers’ VAT ID numbers are queried during the registration process in order to validate them.
The simple design of the website carries over into the clean design of the web shop. In addition to ordering samples, customers can select various quantities of products at different graduated prices.
The standard functions contained in Shopware 5, such as the wish list and product comparison, are effectively realised in the Hirschmann shop. Detailed descriptions on the product detail pages allow customers to make quick and direct comparisons.
With its head office in Vorarlberg, Austria and additional plants in the Czech Republic, Romania, Morocco, China and Mexico, Hirschmann Automotive is an internationally active company.
Hirschmann wants to use the online shop to expand its international business and appeal to engineers and developers from the APAC region in particular in order to achieve growth and create a reputation there.
The online shop was enhanced so as to cover nearly all countries in the world, but it is currently available only in English. That allows the company to maintain data easily and react quickly. Because Hirschmann is focusing on the Asiatic region, the shop will also be available in Chinese in the future.