How difficult is MuleSoft
ASICS strengthens customer relationships through e-commerce
Focus on e-commerce
ASICS, a global athletic footwear and sportswear company, is committed to providing the best quality running shoes. ASICS specializes in improving runner performance, but the company has faced a challenge with its own digital performance. ASICS had decided on a new e-commerce platform, but was unable to connect the different systems - such as order management and product management - for the company's seven globally growing brands. The desired seamless and consistent customer experience could not be achieved, and ASICS generated only a small percentage of its revenue from e-commerce. The company needed a new approach to engaging customers directly through digital channels and competing with the online retail giants.
Establishment of a universal e-commerce platform
As part of a new digital strategy to promote e-commerce, ASICS needed to standardize various systems across all brands, geographic areas and channels. The following measures were required for this:
- Establishment of a universal e-commerce platform to manage the global ASICS brand portfolio
- Development of APIs for the integration of different order management systems (OMS), product management systems, payment providers, email service providers and legacy systems - to get access to all backend data
- Migration to the new e-commerce platform
Focus on the customer experience
“For the new e-commerce website, we had to network all of the back-end systems for each of our brands with the e-commerce shop,” explains Phil Connaughton, Director of Engineering at ASICS Digital. “And this is exactly where MuleSoft comes into play. We don't create point-to-point connections between all of these backend systems, but MuleSoft sits in the middle and processes communication in all directions. "
With the help of the MuleSoft Anypoint Platform, ASICS creates APIs to enable the new e-commerce platform to access customer information, order status, real-time inventory and price lists - all the data that was previously processed in isolation. In the first phase of the project, ASICS connected more than 10 business-critical product management systems to the e-commerce platform via MuleSoft.
“One of the toughest things to do in development is networking,” explains Connaughton. “Countless hours can pass over this. Instead, the Anypoint Platform connects all the different systems with one another and makes life easier for developers. "
“Our e-commerce shop should be compatible with all backend systems,” continues Connaughton. “MuleSoft is helping us advance our e-commerce strategy by eliminating point-to-point connections and numerous potential sources of error. Now we no longer have to test all the different backend product systems when we integrate them into the e-commerce platform. With MuleSoft, changes in the e-commerce shop can be carried out much faster, and this gives us more time to concentrate on what is really important - the customer experience. "
"MuleSoft has helped us build relationships with our customers by allowing us to focus on delivering a great customer experience."
Director of Engineering, ASICS Digital
In addition, every API-enabled connection developed via the Anypoint Platform is a reusable component. For example, the ASICS email API developed during the first project will be reused dozen of times when the e-commerce platform is rolled out globally.
“Thanks to MuleSoft, we were able to reuse a lot of our code,” confirms Connaughton. "We can shorten the development time because the individual components can be used again across multiple applications."
In addition, ASICS can use MuleSoft to simplify complex, time-consuming data transformations by importing data from various sources into the universal e-commerce platform.
2.5 times faster development time
The first phase of the e-commerce platform - which was scheduled for 2.5 months - was completed in just four weeks because ASICS was able to reuse APIs and transform data with the Anypoint Platform.
“In those four weeks we developed code that we can use again in many other applications,” explains Connaughton. “This not only saves us time on this first project, but also on many other projects. With the Anypoint Platform we are making progress two and a half times faster than if we had set up our e-commerce platform with Java. "
"With innovative technologies like DataWeave, MuleSoft has helped us get our new e-commerce platform to market faster," added Connaughton. “A big advantage of MuleSoft is the fast data transformation. Instead of having to write our data transformations in pure Java code - which is possible but tedious and difficult - we can use DataWeave. The first version of our application was created in about a week. If we had tried that in Java, it would have taken two or three weeks, with a lot more bugs. "
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