Colruyt: Adaptable from the start

How webMethods helped retailer Colruyt’s Mobile Readiness app to thrive, with more efficient connections of new apps and devices, and runtime security.

Sabrina Bohr Sabrina Bohr

You might say Colruyt Group was “born ready.” In its nearly 100 years in business, retailer Colruyt has prospered by embracing change, from the birth of the supermarket, to the rise of the organic food movement, to the advent of e-commerce and mobile.

Continuous reinvention is one reason Colruyt has become a go-to name across Belgium, Luxembourg, and France. The company has proved it can constantly evolve and meet customer expectations. Its Mobile Readiness program launched in 2018 brought countless new apps to customers for online and mobile ordering. The program not only improved customer service, it streamlined how customer data is managed and shared across all Colruyt Group brands.

Core to making Mobile Readiness work was flexible integration using APIs to expose unique data and services in web apps, mobile apps and connected devices.

Building on what works

Luckily, Colruyt’s longstanding integration partner, Software AG, had the best dedicated API management solution: webMethods API Gateway. Colruyt began using Software AG’s webMethods in 2010 for application and B2B integration, as well as to automate processes and manage the lifecycle of services.

webMethods enables fast access to data related to sales, customer information and suppliers, improving how the group manages customer and vendor data and complies with external regulations.

“For years, webMethods has been the backbone of our integration,” explained Dries Vanmarcke, Technical Integration Architect at Colruyt, so when time came to evolve the company’s integration strategy, “we knew right where to look.”

webMethods API Gateway features powerful runtime governance, a dedicated webbased user interface, support for both SOAP- and REST-based APIs and offers DMZ-level protection from harmful attacks—all things important to Colruyt.

The company’s Mobile Readiness is thriving with simplified information sharing, more efficient connections of new apps and devices, and runtime security that helps IT staff sleep better at night.

Proof is in the numbers

Today Colruyt counts on webMethods API Gateway to process 10 million service transaction per day. Most of the transactions (90%) occur between 08:00 – 20.00. Colruyt provides up-to-the-minute product information to 12,000 in-store staff equipped with smartphones so they can answer customer questions on the spot.

Digital XTRA cards offering discounts enable 4.5 million customers to track rewards and make contact-free payments. This not only keeps customers safe; it helps them save money and encourages loyalty to the Colruyt Group brand.

Online ordering is flourishing too. More than a million customers have downloaded the MyColruyt app, where they can create speech-to-text-enabled shopping lists and view more than 9,000 recipes. Collect & Go, Colruyt’s online shopping platform, experienced a three-fold rise in traffic during the early months of the coronavirus pandemic with no problems.

Thanks to robust integration, Colruyt’s IT systems managed the surge without a hitch. We could never have pulled that off without webMethods and the API management tools.

Innovation for the future

Colruyt is ready to take APIs to the next level, beyond integrating apps internally. With the security offered by API Gateway, Colruyt is looking to add third-party apps for innovations like monitoring crowds in stores. By adopting webMethods API Portal, Colruyt expects to simplify integration with third-party developers and B2B partners and manage the full lifecycle of APIs.

Learn how Software AG’s webMethods can help your organization flourish in the mobile arena by using APIs here.

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