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Case Study - Cymax Group

Cymax Group

Cymax Group uses Elastic Path’s flexibility and agility to merchandise massive B2B and B2C product catalogs with more than 500,000 product SKUs and 500 vendor partners.

Cymax Logo


    Specialty Retailers, Marketplace, Business Services, eCommerce, Technology

    Use Cases

    B2B Replatform, B2C Replatform, Multi-Brand


    Product Experience Manager, Composer


    Amazon Web Services (AWS)

Our catalog is huge, with 500,000 product SKUs from over 500 different vendor partners. When we think about flexibility, it’s about merchandising our massive catalog in engaging ways. Elastic Path Composable Commerce and Product Experience Manager allow us to drive results for our vendor partners while offering an exceptional customer experience to our end customers.

Cymax LogoGord Elder Vice President, Product

Struggles to maintain, improve, and scale commerce experiences

Throughout its 20 year existence, Cymax Group has operated furniture-selling websites. Over time, these homegrown marketplace websites became less able to support Cymax Group’s evolving needs, says Gord Elder, Vice President, Product at Cymax Group.

“The sites we had prior to switching to Elastic Path were no longer providing the best possible customer experience,” Elder says. “We were limited in our ability to improve our catalogs and merchandising.”

Legacy code, aging technology, clunky interfaces – all became barriers as Cymax Group grew and wanted to merchandise products in more creative ways.

“We have a really large catalog with 500,000 product SKUs and over 500 different vendor partners. And we wanted B2C and B2B capabilities – multi-quantity purchasing, different business paths, user-based experiences. Our legacy sites couldn’t handle those demands,” Elder says.

Adopting composable commerce to meet present – and future – business needs

As Cymax Group looked for a commerce solution that could meet its demands, it considered not just its current commerce needs, but also where it wanted its business to be in the future.

“We see opportunity in growing our own marketplaces,” says Elder. “A significant amount of eCommerce today happens on third-party marketplaces, but we think our furniture vendors can get more value and success by listing on our sites, Cymax Business and Homesquare. Over the next 5 to 10 years, we envision a greater share of our business taking place on our own marketplaces.”

Growing marketplace sites that support Cymax Group’s complex needs requires a flexible, adaptable, stable architecture. Gord says Cymax Group found it with composable commerce.

“We weighed our options carefully, and we did think about keeping a legacy commerce architecture” Gord says. “But composable commerce gives us optionality and flexibility that a legacy commerce site doesn’t.”

With composable commerce, we sometimes feel like a kid in the candy store. We have so many options about how to power our catalogs. Being able to choose our own third-party vendors gives us so much choice to build a solution that delivers on our business goals.

Cymax LogoGord Elder Vice President, Product

Gord says that the optionality and flexibility available only with composable commerce includes being able to select individual commerce components from various technology vendors. For Cymax Group, that also means being able to swap in new components or investigate new capabilities as its sites become more robust and heavily trafficked.

“Composable commerce sets a foundation for our commerce solution.” says Elder. “It’s a commerce architecture that gives us high-functioning sites now and allows us to evolve in the future.”

An Elastic Path commerce solution, featuring Product Experience Manager

To power its composable commerce solution, Cymax Group uses Elastic Path Composable Commerce, hosted on Amazon Web Services (AWS). At the heart of Cymax Group’s solution is Product Experience Manager, which empowers Cymax Group’s business users to perform merchandising, such as complex pricing and catalog configuration, that wasn’t possible in the past.

A composable commerce solution means having a lot to consider. You have to look at all potential partners and possible components within your tech stack. It’s easy to get excited about everything you could do, but it’s important to prioritize and build a roadmap for your business needs. By starting as simply as possible, we’re getting real impacts for our business and, in turn, our vendors. An example is supporting multi-quantity pricing and complex product variations. Now, we can launch revenue-generating commerce experiences fast.

Cymax LogoGord Elder Vice President, Product

Cymax Group completes its composable solution with other best-of-breed vendors – hand-selected for specific capabilities – that service various commerce components:

To reduce the cost and time spent managing its composable solution, Cymax Group uses Composer, Elastic Path’s commerce-intelligent integration platform-as-a-service (iPaaS).

Cymax Group launched its integration with Algolia using the instant-on, no-code integration available in Composer’s Integrations Hub. A broader library of integrations is available, so Cymax Group’s future integrations can also be fast, inexpensive, and code-free.

Cymax Group enjoys unified monitoring and peace of mind about the Algolia integration with Composer’s Monitor capability. By receiving proactive alerts about the Algolia integration, Cymax Group can be sure that its search component is working as intended.

Strong customer support from a “foundational” business partner

Gord says that an important part of Cymax Group’s commerce solution is the support and strategic guidance it receives from Elastic Path.

“We’ve had many calls with the Elastic Path team to ask questions, get educated, and understand how to achieve specific business goals,” Gord says. “To us, that’s so important. Any time you’re working with a partner – especially one as foundational to your business as Elastic Path is to ours – you need answers when you have questions. The level of responsiveness and support we get from Elastic Path is exceptional.”

To further reduce the risk of managing a multi-vendor solution, Cymax Group uses our premiere support offering, Composable Commerce Experience Assurance. With Composable Commerce Experience Assurance, Cymax Group receives holistic issue support. Elastic Path is Cymax Group’s single point of contact when commerce issues arise. Proprietary data integration means that Elastic Path can quickly identify the cause of issues and work with Cymax Group to contact the appropriate vendor.

Going composable is going to look different for every business. In our case, adopting composable commerce required being flexible and evolving in many areas. Elastic Path has been there to support us through every challenge and make implementation a reality.

Cymax LogoGord Elder Vice President, Product

Unlocked commerce innovation and involvement for business users

A composable commerce solution from Elastic Path has also meant that Cymax Group’s business users – merchandisers, marketers, and other non-technical staffers – have the ability to contribute directly to the evolution of the company’s commerce experiences.

The result is the ability to move fast and make changes and optimizations.

Gord says, “Elastic Path has unlocked the ability for our business users to perform content management. We’re much more agile and can seamlessly experiment with website content to see what is driving sales.”

While they are not doing it today, with Product Experience Manager now in place it will be easy for Cymax Group’s in-house merchandisers to manage multi-quantity, complex pricing for B2B customers and set pricing and configurations themselves. Category management, catalog tailoring, merchandising by variant, and launching sales are expedited, meaning that Cymax Group’s merchandisers have the ability to launch revenue-generating experiences fast.

Our merchandising and marketing teams feel more in control of their destiny and the company’s performance. We no longer have to rely on IT for many aspects of what we want to optimize and improve with our sites. It’s a huge leap forward for our commerce.

Cymax LogoGord Elder former Vice President, Product

What commerce success looks like to Cymax Group – and why Elastic Path is a lasting part of the solution

As Cymax Group builds on its composable commerce solution, Gord anticipates improvements to digital commerce indicators such as top-line sales, conversion rate, average order volume (AOV), and return customer rates. Already, Gord says, the sites’ page load speeds have become faster – and his team’s ability to execute on commerce goals is “in a much better place.”

Elastic Path has so many capabilities and so much depth. We keep asking, ‘can we do this?’ And every time, the Elastic Path team answers, ‘yes, absolutely.’ What’s exciting is that when it comes to commerce, we’re close to walking, and with Elastic Path’s help, we’re excited to run.

Cymax LogoGord Elder Vice President, Product

Cymax Group’s ultimate commerce goal is to facilitate a seamless customer experience in which furniture buyers can find products that match exactly what they’re looking for.

Elder says that Cymax Group also wants to expand its offerings to support more purchase options, streamlined checkout, and a stronger post-purchase experience. These aren’t small ambitions, but Cymax Group feels comfortable with Elastic Path at the center of its commerce solution – and may expand into other Elastic Path products.

Overall, Gord believes that Cymax Group’s composable commerce journey – and partnership with Elastic Path – is only beginning.

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