Salmon selected by Jacques Vert Group to develop multi-channel eCommerce platform

Jacques Vert Brand Banner


Salmon is delighted to announce that it’s been selected to design, deliver and manage the
implementation of a new multi-channel eCommerce platform by Jacques Vert Group.Salmon will be developing new websites for all the Jacques Vert Group brands namely Jacques Vert, Planet, Precis Petite and Windsmoor.

Discussing the deal, Ian Johnson, Finance Director at Jacques Vert said;

“We needed to replace our existing system as it was becoming difficult to manage and unable to cope with our plans to provide a more personalised and relevant customer experience. We chose Salmon and the IBM WebSphere Commerce platform as we were looking for a mature and highly scalable eCommerce platform to support our future growth and drive continued success.”

Ian added;

“One of the reasons we selected Salmon’s solution was because it can be delivered quickly and at relatively low risk and cost, providing us with around 80% of the standard retail eCommerce functionality we need, and allowing us to focus investment on those areas that differentiate our brand.
You can read the full press release here.

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“eCommerce is dead. Long live commerce”

On the 10th of March 2010, Sue Pratt (An account Director at Salmon) presented at Internet Retailing‘s eCommerce Platforms Jumpstart.

The Internet Retailing Jumpstart programme is a series of short, sharp half day events that take an intense look at some key procurement issues – focusing on identifying and presenting the key questions merchants should ask, rather than presuming to advance some generic, one-size-fits-all maxims.

Sue’s presentation started with a bang. “eCommerce is dead – long live commerceshe said.

You can view the presentation below.

I asked her why she used that phrase, and why its important.

As a phrase, eCommerce was invented to distinguish it from other kinds of commerce, for example, high street, markets, retail parks, mail order and party based shopping.  However, everything is ‘e’ nowadays. ‘E’ is just a part of normal life and therefore redundant – the way we shop, interact with friends, music, photos, the way we consume media – they’re all ‘e’.

“To quote Douglas Adams – ‘Anything that is in the world when you’re born is normal and ordinary and is just a natural part of the way the world works. Anything that’s invented between when you’re fifteen and thirty-five is new and exciting and revolutionary and you can probably get a career in it.

This means that for the current teenage generation the internet and particularly mobile and smart phones are just a normal part of the world so we should stop referring to eCommerce as if it were something new or different. All commerce is now ‘e’ in some way or another so let’s just call it commerce.

On the video above, Sue goes on to present on a further three areas;

  • Three trends influencing the eCommerce platform decision
  • New Business Models and Technologies
  • Four factors to consider when choosing a new eCommerce platform

I’ll author additional posts on these later this week.

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E-commerce Platforms Buyer’s Guide

Econsultancy’s newest Buyer’s guide has been released and is aimed at companies who are investigating the e-commerce platforms market. There are profiles of 30 leading UK vendors, including Salmon.

The report also provides details on the various issues and trends affecting this sector, as well as advice about how to select the right platform.

If you are about to conduct an eCommerce Platform replacement project – this really is a must read.  Unless you are a member of Econsultancy it is a paid for report (£150 get you the report, £195 annual membership and access to ALL their reports) but a sample is available (625.8 KB PDF)

Separate to the report, you can also view Salmon’s company profile on the Econsultancy website for a better idea of who we are and what we do.

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Multi Channel eCommerce: A video Case study

As many of you know, Halfords have been a Salmon customer since 2005. We have worked with the brand and their in-house teams on establishing a strategic eCommerce platform, and subsequently on helping them execute against their sophisticated multi-channel strategies.

In light of all this activity, we finally created a couple of video’s to capture what a successful client / supplier partnership this has been. Enjoy.

Short Video

Long Video

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A new intelligent eCommerce website for Endsleigh Insurance

Endsleigh Homepage
Today we are delighted to announce the complete implementation of a new intelligent eCommerce website for Endsleigh, the number one student insurance provider.

Salmon delivered the new eCommerce platform on-time and on-budget, and engaged with Endsleigh after winning a competitive tender.

Salmon were chosen to ensure that Endsleigh’s customers benefit from a truly exceptional online experience that includes the ability to purchase insurance & financial products and services directly via the internet.

Endsleigh Quote & Buy

Ian Passmore, Managing Director of Endsleigh said:

“Endsleigh prides itself on understanding its customers and their insurance needs. The solution has, therefore, been designed to allow us to display more relevant and targeted propositions. It can also be used by our underwriters to develop more competitive propositions and offers. Customers will benefit from a website which is streamlined and easier to navigate and also from specifically tailored products and advice designed to suit each individual. Salmon demonstrated a high level of technical expertise and a comprehensive understanding of the insurance market and their passion and skills have helped us meet our vision to make an eCommerce website which can exceed customer expectation and help us lead the market when it comes to purchasing insurance online.”

Early online analytics demonstrate that the solution is already delivering promising results, supporting Endsleigh’s eCommerce strategy. Bounce rates have been reduced by up to 36% and there has been a 12.5% uplift in web page visitors. SERP rankings have improved by up to 6 places for key motor, home and student products whilst clients have been logging into accounts more often (logon rate up 8.5%).

Salmon have developed Endsleigh’s new eCommerce platform leveraging Microsoft Office SharePoint Server. Using Microsoft’s Web Content Management capability, Endsleigh’s diverse customer content, including documents, web pages, video, photos and reviews are now managed via a central repository. This ensures better knowledge sharing, improved customer communications and increased process efficiency.

Read the full announcement here.

To find out more about Salmon’s Microsoft partnership read the press release announcing our Gold Partnership [Oct 2008]

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We were delighted to announce recently the successful implementation of “Free Delivery To Store” functionality on  This innovative new service means customers can order any item available on the Halfords website, then pick the item up from their local store, free of delivery charge.

Halfords Free to Store Example

This type of eCommerce offering dramatically extends the breadth of range that customers can access, and saves them the cost of delivery.  It can also make it easier and more enjoyable for customers to shop online.

Building on the success of Halfords’ “Reserve and Collect” offer, the service complements Halfords’ fitting services because for many, it is often more convenient than waiting in for a delivery.

Altogether, customers can choose between 4 different delivery services  (a UK eCommerce first);

  1. Free Delivery to Store
  2. Reserve and Collect [More about this here - Halfords surpassed 1M Reserve and Collect Transactions in September 2009]
  3. Text and Reserve [More about this here - Halfords reported 90% growth in multi-channel revenues in July 2009]
  4. Home Delivery

Halfords are able to offer this complex but unique offering due to their combination of best in breed IT solutions including IBM WebSphere Commerce, DataCash, SAP, PKMS and BTE Store6, which make it possible for them to keep track of orders and most importantly keep customers up to date with the progress of their order.  Customers can also track their purchases online and will be updated by text and email as orders are dispatched and arrive in store.

To deliver “Free Delivery To Store” Salmon have leveraged Halfords existing architecture that supports “Reserve and Collect”, “Home/Work Delivery” and more recently “Text and Reserve” services.

Salmon’s integration skills have enabled the Halfords eCommerce platform (IBM WebSphere Commerce) to determine the delivery times from the distribution centres to the stores, take payment using DataCash, pass the order information to SAP which then forwards the information to the store system (Store6).  To complete the circle, status updates “ready for collect” are sent from the stores, via Store6 and SAP to WebSphere Commerce, which then sends text alerts and emails to the customers.

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Pets At Home choose Salmon for eCommerce project

This week we announced the delivery of the first phase of an eCommerce project we have been working on with the team at Pets At Home.

K9 magazine were first to take the opportunity to review the site and their thoughts are very positive, together with a glowing video review.  In it, Ryan O’Meara [K9 Media's CEO] says “other online pets retailers probably have the Pets At Home website as the benchmark by which they’ll be compared”

…..we like that a lot.

But let us know what you think of the site.

The rationale for the site is captured in Matt Stead’s [he's the Director of Multi-Channel at Pets at home] comment.  He said, “It’s important we offer the convenient and enjoyable web experience that our customers demand.  Combining our online and offline services is going to be a contributing factor to our success over the next few years. In the coming months we will look to trial additional functionality to meet our customers’ expectations.”

We sure are excited to be working with them.

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Salmon = Rackspace EMEA Partner of the Year [again]

Wow.  For the 2nd year in-a-row Salmon have been named Rackspace EMEAs [Europe, Middle East and Africa] Partner of the Year.

The EMEA region sure is big, and to get the accolade for a second time is simply great news.  But to be fair, we do feel we are achieving great things.  Rackspace’s ‘fanatical support’ for hosting solutions, combined with our insatiable desire to continue building the very best eCommerce sites in the World, combines beautifully to provide merchants of all kinds with a unique opportunity to forget about infrastructure and not have their focus or attentions diverted by eCommerce technology issues.

Instead they get to focus on what they do best: retailing & merchandising.  And to use a horrendous, but appropriate, phrase – that’s a win-win-win.

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Salmon helps Halfords extend their multi-channel strategy to mobile phone users

Today we announced the development of a “Text and Reserve” service for Halfords that extends their multi-channel strategy to mobile phone users.
The unique service allows customers to look up products, locate their nearest store with the recommended product in stock and reserve & collect the product; all using their mobile phone’s SMS text messaging service.

Here is how it works.  I am sure you can imagine usage scenarios:

  1. Customer texts an appropriate keyword, followed by their vehicle registration number (e.g. “bulb, vfo3yjc”) to Halfords, where the vehicle make, model, engine size and body type of vehicle are established using registration lookup services.
  2. An SMS message is returned to the customer saying: “Halfords recommends Halfords Super Brilliance Blue Bulb Single HBU4775BBH7, 802561, £22.99 for your AUDI. Check stock in your nearest store by replying with your postcode.”
  3. Upon receipt of a customer reply message the system searches for the nearest store with the required product in stock, and forwards this information to the customer. “From Halfords. Your nearest store with product in stock is Redditch, 2.04 miles away. To reserve the item reply YES to this message.”
  4. Having replied ‘yes’ the system processes the request and sends a reservation message to the customer and to the store warehouse systems. e.g. “Halfords reservation ref 8601043751 – Order reserved at Redditch B98 0DE 01527 584488. Check for store opening hours.”

Halfords SMS Trim

As I have no idea what bulbs, oil or wiper blades any of my two cars need, I’ll definitely be using this service.  And I doubt I am alone even in our household!  Hey presto, no more having to worry, and no more wasted trips to a store that doesn’t have the items I need in stock!

To give you a little more insight into the solution, the service has been specifically tailored by Salmon to integrate with Halfords existing back-end IT systems that hold vital information on products, vehicles and stock inventory.   The solution benefits from the following integration:

  • Itim Zygon Product Information Management System – for identifying vehicles from their registration plate and recommending the right product for each car
  • SAP – to provide product and pricing information
  • Multimap – to establish the stores nearest to the customer
  • BT Expedite Store 6 – to check store stock availability and ultimately accept the customers reservation

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……a well deserved shortlisting for “IT Team of the Year”


Hat tip to the eCommerce delivery teams at Salmon – they have just received a well deserved shortlisting for “IT Team of the Year” at the Retail Systems Awards.

Now in their fourth year the Retail Systems Awards look to recognise excellence and innovation in the field of information technology within the UK retail sector. The primary criteria for judging are the delivery of definable and significant business benefits, innovation and originality of application, ROI and project management issues such as delivery on time and within budget.

Salmon’s entry demonstrated excellent technical expertise and foresight in delivering eCommerce solutions for retailers.

In the last 12 months Salmon has successfully implemented and supported the launch of 25 branded eCommerce websites for leading brands including:  Barratts Priceless Limited, Ben Sherman, Boots, Hotter Comfort Concept Shoes, Scotts & Co, Sleepy’s and the Regatta Group.

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