AHLENS: Moving From Instore to Online

Shoppers in the country of Sweden have always relied on Åhléns to o er a wide-range of goods—from clothing to beauty products to housewares. And the store is a landmark in nearly every city in Sweden, with 70 locations throughout the country. Eighteen of them are in the Stockholm area alone.

But as more and more customers gravitated toward online shopping, favoring it over instore experiences, the retailer knew it had to change. In 2014 they turned to Brightstep, now part of Accenture Interactive, to create an omnichannel presence, one that was seamless and consistent regardless of the point of entry. With an approach that adapts to tablets, mobile and desktop. Although Åhléns had a website,, it was mainly used for marketing purposes and not as an ecommerce channel.



By the time Brightstep entered the project with Åhléns, the retailer had conducted a number of studies to scope the extent of their omnichannel vision. Based on that information, Brightstep conducted a series of workshops to determine the best course for creating an omnichannel experience that was compelling and consistent—from initial consideration to purchase and loyalty.

Next, the Brightstep team reviewed the platforms available to build the digital channel. Based on the amount of functionality the retailer needed, Intershop was selected. The Intershop Commerce Suite is an enterprise e-commerce solution that features all of the out-of-the-box functionalities Åhléns wanted. What’s more, Intershop allowed for easier integration of the retailer’s legacy system into the new architecture.


One year after its launch, Åhléns has been able to enhance its customer service—online and instore— thanks to the new omnichannel capabilities. Whether shoppers are virtual or in an Åhléns location, their shopping experience is consistent and seamless. Customers earn loyalty points for any purchase made at Åhléns.

For customers that don’t want merchandize delivered to their homes, they can order online and use the “Click and Collect” feature to pick up items in store quickly and easily. Buyers online also enjoy personalization features that suggest items based on past buying patterns. And they can use functionality that lets them see if a particular item is available at any store in the country. In the future, the new system will also support instore sales, helping associates better serve shoppers.

Thanks to the new approach, Åhléns’ website has enjoyed a steady sales increase since launch and Åhléns expect more of it in the future. Best of all, the project was delivered on budget. According to Nina Junehed, IT manager, Åhléns: “The work we did with Brightstep on omnichannel was one of the most successful projects in the company’s history.”


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