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Eldum Rétt - complex e-commerce system

Industry
Retail
Solution
E-commerce solution
Technology
Drupal, React, React Native, Apache Solr, Design system, Web components

CHALLENGE

Eldum Rétt faced the challenge of scaling their digital infrastructure to meet the evolving demands of their growing business. The existing Drupal 7 website fell short in handling the complexities of their food delivery service. They required a solution capable of accommodating diverse customer preferences and offering advanced customization options.

SOLUTION

A new system was built with Drupal 9, providing a modern framework with improved flexibility and scalability. It features advanced functionalities like subscription management, flexible meal kit configurations, and customer engagement mechanisms. Integration of Decoupled Drupal Commerce with React Native App, APIs, and Solr Search enhanced the platform's capabilities.

HIGHLIGHTS

The collaboration resulted in significant growth for Eldum Rétt, with double-digit growth rates over five years, along with an increase in revenue per meal. Their customer base increased by 30%. The average order size per customer by 50%. The solution not only met the immediate needs of the company but also positioned them for continued success.

THE CLIENT

Eldum Rétt

Eldum Rétt is the market leader in Iceland, offering a subscription service delivering food boxes with cooking instructions for home cooking. The concept is to provide flexible and varied options for customers of all family sizes that can be ordered and managed completely online.

Founded in 2013, they were the first company in Iceland to offer this service and the first ones to provide the highest level of flexibility in terms of subscriptions, food preferences and delivery to their customers.

Through the website or mobile app, customers choose their favourite dishes and get the corresponding amount of ingredients together with the recipes delivered in one box. Thanks to the large selection of recipes, there is something for every occasion, from a simple family meal to an elaborate New Years Eve menu. This service saves customers from the stress of shopping and as they are sent the ingredients for specific meals it also saves on food waste.

Today they distribute about 400.000 meals to Icelandic households every year. The online business employs 35 people. After only 10 years, Eldum Rétt was able to reach a yearly turnover of EUR 10.000.000 in 2022 (or ISK 1 544 000 000).

Screenshot of the Eldum Rétt website homepage
THE PROJECT

Highly flexible and scalable e-commerce system

The original website was built in 2014 using Drupal 7 with Drupal Commerce. As their business grew, they needed to upgrade their digital infrastructure to meet new requirements and accommodate increased demand. Their daily operations rely heavily on data from the system to serve their customers effectively.

Aiming to maintain its position as a pioneer in Iceland's food service delivery by providing innovative and customer-centric solutions, Eldum Rétt wanted to offer customizable options for subscriptions, food preferences, and delivery, including features such as flexible scheduling, portion sizes, delivery locations, price limits, cooking instructions, and personalised taste profiles.

Eldum Rétt sought to modernise their digital landscape to leverage data from the system, optimising internal processes while maintaining a strong focus on customer satisfaction and flexibility. The algorithm in the backend is one of the most complex in e-commerce as Eldum Rétt offers a huge variety of flexible meal kits and provides state of the art customer engagement mechanisms through push messages, SMS and emails.

The complexity of their requirements required a robust and advanced technology stack to support their operations effectively. Our role as a reliable digital partner is to help Eldum Rétt to accommodate the evolving requirements, that's why, since 2018 we have continuously updated and upgraded the solution.

Screenshot showing Eldum Rétt meal options

Complex migration and advanced technologies

In the first stage of development, most of the available data from the old system had to be migrated into Eldum Rétt’s new environment. Migrating the data was a time consuming task due to the complex data structures, which required many on-the-fly mappings and resolution of dependencies. The process was further complicated by the sheer volume of data, with over a quarter of a million customer orders and a total of 1.2 million data sets to migrate. This migration had to happen seamlessly so that customers would get delivered an order which they had placed just a few hours earlier in the previous system.

Drupal Commerce and React 

A highly flexible e-commerce solution was built on Decoupled Drupal Commerce with a React Native application. A robust Drupal backend combined with a React based frontend allowed Eldum Rétt to optimise VM resource usage by minimising backend calls through React, simplifying the selection process of meal packages. Previously, each action triggered multiple server calls, but now, actions are handled React-side, reducing VM usage by 30-40% and improving system stability.

 

API / OAuth

Eldum Rétt has vast API capabilities including APIs to existing backends, such as Social Media and the mobile app. OAuth ensures secure authentication and authorization on the platform (as well as on Facebook and the like). Furthermore, Eldum Rétt has GraphQL and a JSON:API built in, which allows literally any information to be extracted from the system. This is used by the app, which is running on React Native, and the headless commerce, but also allows any third party system to access the data in a flexible and secure way.

SOLR Search

Customer search data is only available to the manager and employees of the company. This is an important feature in the webshop as the whole order management takes place in the backend of the system. There are many different search pages in the system that use different facettes depending on the use case. For these extensive and complex scenarios in the backend modular API Solr order index search was used. 

Scalable hosting

1xINTERNET has built an extremely resilient and scalable hosting infrastructure on Google Cloud Platform. The nature of Eldum Rétt’s business requires that the infrastructure scales by a factor of 10 in an instant.

Customer notification system

The system can send notifications regarding relevant events such as purchases, status changes, payments, pick-up reminders and more. For these reminders the messaging stack system was used, which allows flexible and multichannel notifications, such as push messages, SMS and email. Notifications are also presented to the customer in an activity log on the website and in the app. 

Advanced Queue

Advanced queue is used wherever batch operations need to be performed and is particularly relevant for subscription related tasks.

FROM THE CLIENT

"1xINTERNET has consistently demonstrated excellence and reliability..."

“Eldum Rétt relies exclusively on selling products online. Therefore, user experience and reliability of the online store are paramount. We have full confidence in 1xINTERNET’s pragmatic problem solving abilities in every facet of web technology - ranging from hosting infrastructure, UI designing, backend- and frontend programming, all delivered with highly organized project management. 1xINTERNET has consistently demonstrated excellence and reliability in the aforementioned areas throughout the 5 years we’ve worked with them".

Róbert Karl Lárusson, CTO at Eldum Rétt

Photo of Róbert Karl Lárusson
THE HIGHLIGHTS

Advanced features for a unique customer experience

Subscription service 

The subscription capabilities of Eldum Rétt go way beyond the standard (from Amazon or the like). Any available product can be purchased and for each subscription the user can skip certain deliveries or pause them completely. The customer can also reactivate any subscription and the system will make sure that it picks up again at the correct intervals. Furthermore, all meals in a subscription will get packaged and delivered together.

Flexible places of delivery

Configuring the place of delivery is a popular option among customers. It is possible to arrange to have food delivered to a different address, for example when spending time in a summer house.

Flexible schedules

Eldum Rétt offers flexible scheduling options, including conventional week-to-week schedules (refreshed every Thursday with delivery the following week), same-week or same-day schedules, and schedules with extended buying periods of two weeks or longer with flexible delivery options. The system will automatically display available products and corresponding delivery options for the client.

Screenshot showing Eldum Rétt “Veldu rétt” feature
Screenshot showing Eldum Rétt meal personalization process

Taste profiles

The choices available for the customers of Eldum Rétt are extensive. One of the recent features is the possibility of entering your own taste profile. Not only can customers choose “vegetarian” or “vegan” but they can opt-out depending on their personal taste. An intelligent algorithm will preselect recipes based on the customer’s specific taste profile.

Flexible meal kits and menus

Eldum Rétt allows the flexible configuration of meal kits. Not only are the amount of meals and people served flexible within configured constraints, but the system architecture in the backend is also flexible. It allows customers to rearrange ingredients within an established meal. These scenarios are quite complex, as pricing is subject to change on a per-order basis. 

Eldum Rétt is constantly evolving with the needs of its customers, recently launching a new feature that offers customers unparalleled flexibility in terms of customisable meal packages. Customers can now choose the dishes they like the most every week, regardless of the meal package they belong to.

More about Veldu rétt

Screenshot showing Eldum Rétt cooking instructions

Step-by-step cooking instructions

Cooking instructions are delivered in a dynamically generated PDF included in the box. Customers can also access the instructions from the website or follow them step-by-step in the app. The instructions have undergone significant improvements compared to the previous system. They now contain detailed and structured information:

Cooking instructions with timers: The instructions are separated into steps, which feature exceptions depending on the serving size. Additionally, the calculation of the amount of ingredients required is fully dynamic, ensuring the instructions are correct for any serving size.

Nutrition facts and calories: All ingredients are stored with the declared amount of calories and nutritional information. This information is then dynamically calculated to provide the per-serving nutritional information, as well as to identify any existing allergens.

Other: Information about difficulty, user ratings and cooking time are also available to the user.

Screenshot showing Eldum Rétt smart packaging

Optimised packaging

Eldum Rétt uses a smart packing algorithm. The physical dimensions (width, height, depth, weight) of every product is stored in the system. The system also stores the available boxes "package sizes", and will dynamically calculate the optimal packing of a delivery and its shipping costs.

Customers also have the option to bundle orders in the cart into as few deliveries as possible or the greater flexibility of choosing different deliveries for each product. This takes into account the shipping availability of the products, such as whether home delivery is available. This may also vary based on the customer's postal code. Optimised packaging helps to preserve the environment and save money on shipping costs.

Screenshot showing Eldum Rétt gift vouchers
Screenshot showing Eldum Rétt ancillary products

Flexible pricing

Many people, particularly the younger generation, worry that subscription based services delivering fresh food boxes are expensive. At Eldum Rétt, customers can choose not to be shown premium priced meals.

Gift vouchers

Eldum Rétt has a growing customer base who want to share their culinary joy with friends and colleagues. To accommodate this, "gift vouchers" have been launched, allowing customers to choose a monetary amount and have the voucher issued. The backend takes into account the different tax rates on food and beverages.

 

Ancillary products

Eldum Rétt offers a great variety of ancillary products at the checkout, like desserts or food that fit a dedicated occasion.

 

"We really appreciate the way 1xINTERNET’s world class Drupal developers expertly adapted and implemented the Drupal Commerce module family to our unconventional use case in a way we can still leverage its full potential, especially subscriptions. Also the scalable/clustered web hosting infrastructure elegantly and cost-effectively handles the sudden and intense traffic spikes we face on a weekly basis".

Róbert Karl Lárusson, CTO at Eldum Rétt

Awarded for flexibility and sustainable growth

As one of the most complex and, at the same time, flexible projects, “Eldum Rétt - Food delivery service built on Decoupled Drupal Commerce with React Native App” won an award at the Splash Awards Germany / Austria 2019.

More about the Winners of the Splash Awards 2019

WHY DRUPAL?

A world-class CMS and a flexible e-commerce system

When Eldum Rétt contacted us in 2017, their system ran on Drupal 7. Today, Eldum Rétt runs on Drupal 9, which is a modern software framework that brings a lot of functionality out-of-the-box (world class CMS features and a very flexible commerce suite with Drupal Commerce). To accommodate the most demanding requests, we designed specialised functionality for this e-commerce solution. Thanks to Drupal being open source it was possible to develop the necessary additional functionalities. Drupal’s extendability through its APIs enabled Eldum Rétt to use Drupal as the main data store for all of its products, user data and order information. These can then be accessed through various customer interaction channels.

“Our company has experienced continuous growth each year by most metrics. Drupal has proven itself a solid foundation to grow and adapt with our business needs".

Róbert Karl Lárusson, CTO at Eldum Rétt

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