Inter Cars Paves Way into New Markets with Ion
Distributor rounds out digital transformation for successful expansion
Modernizing the purchase process experience
Dilyan Atanasov faced a significant challenge. As the e-Catalog Product Owner for Inter Cars, he was tasked with modernizing the company’s online ordering process. According to Atanasov, it was essential to create a state-of-the-art, universal digital commerce platform to handle the complex order process across countries and a skyrocketing volume of customer orders.
Since its founding in 1990 as a family-owned business, Inter Cars has grown to be the largest importer and distributor of spare parts for passenger cars and commercial vehicles in Central and Eastern Europe. Distributing goods from about 500 suppliers to approximately 21,000 registered customers in more than 100,000 repair shops, Inter Cars recorded revenues of nearly PLN 7 billion (almost US$2 billion) in 2017. Foreign expansion has been key to the company’s growth: 40% of its sales come from within the 17 international markets in which Inter Cars specifically operates and from many other countries worldwide. Updating the company’s digital commerce platform was critical to continuing that growth trajectory.
The need to optimize every step of the buying experience
To succeed, Atanasov needed to replace several ordering systems – customized by country – with a single digital commerce platform. As Atanasov explains, Inter Cars doesn’t run a typical digital commerce operation. In many countries, customers are visiting the site multiple times a day to order parts. The goal was to provide an intuitive, user-friendly catalog of more than 2 million car parts. “We want our customers to quickly and accurately identify and purchase the part they need. Optimizing the ordering process can further strengthen our relationships with them and our competitive advantage in the European market and beyond,” he explains.
In addition to standardizing on a new, robust digital commerce platform, Inter Cars needed to address the last-mile content delivery issue. “Since we host our site in Germany, we must ensure our pages render quickly and transactions occur seamlessly even for customers in countries with poor connectivity,” Atanasov continues.
Akamai’s network and expertise stand out
After evaluating his options, Atanasov felt Akamai Ion was the best solution. One key reason was because Akamai offered a platform that easily scaled and extended to support new markets and new business needs. In addition to Akamai’s extensive network presence in Europe, Atanasov knew Akamai could address one of the company’s biggest online issues: improving the load time of product pages. Atanasov was equally impressed by the expertise and competence of Akamai’s integration engineers. They enabled a fast and smooth go live, in spite of the technical complexities of Inter Cars’s architecture.
Akamai Ion is an enterprise-ready solution that will allow us to realize continued growth as we transform into a multinational business.Dilyan Atanasov, e-Catalog Product Owner, Inter Cars
Pursuing market expansion with confidence
Inter Cars saw an immediate impact upon going live with Akamai Ion. The Akamai network offloaded 50% of the traffic on average from Inter Cars’s data center. Plus, 50% of site visitors experienced page load times of less than 2 seconds on average. In fact, Inter Cars was able to deliver pages 9x faster in Greece and more than 10x faster in Bulgaria with Akamai Ion. Almost 25% of customers across 13 countries were able to complete a 7-step transaction in less than 9 seconds, and another 20% finished in just over 12 seconds. “By significantly improving our page load and transaction times, we ensure smoother order processing and deliver a better customer experience,” Atanasov explains.
“When you operate in multiple markets, you need to address multiple issues. Akamai helps us minimize the problems related to site performance so we can focus more on our business,” he concludes.
About Inter Cars SA
Inter Cars SA is the biggest importer and distributor of automotive spare parts for passenger cars and commercial vehicles. Our product range also includes garage equipment, especially tools for servicing, repairing and maintaining cars and also motorcycle spare parts and tuning parts. Inter Cars is a public limited company, listed on Warsaw Stock Exchange. IPO was done on 26th May 2004. For more information, visit http://www.intercars.eu.