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Case Study - Konica Minolta

Konica Minolta

B2B commerce solution for multinational manufacturer of business and industrial imaging products.

Konica Minolta Logo



    Use Case

    B2B Replatform, Multi-Geo


    Elastic Path Product Experience Manager, Elastic Path Payments

We want to give customers digital experiences they didn’t expect and delight them in ways they didn’t expect to be delighted. In order to do that, we need flexibility, we need good partnership, and we need the technology infrastructure to constantly evolve. We get that with Elastic Path.

Konica company logoVelinda Cox Senior Vice President, eCommerce

Identifying composable as the best commerce option

The business of selling printers, copiers, and office technology was once as traditional as any. Ordering office supplies meant in-person visits and one-to-one communication between a Konica Minolta sales representative and a client. Demands of the market have changed, and customers want options for how they interact with their vendors. Konica Minolta aims to deliver options – both physical and virtual – to meet the needs of its clients and allow them to do business with them anytime, anywhere.

All industries are now required to deliver digital options for purchasing, driving the growth of digital commerce and creating the directive for all manufacturers to incorporate digital buying capabilities. Konica Minolta is building omnichannel experiences fueled with the MACH architecture approach of Elastic Path.

In fact, Konica Minolta has entirely transformed its B2B commerce experience. In the past, the company didn’t have a B2B digital commerce solution. But in the midst and aftermath of the COVID pandemic, buyers came to expect the ability to do business online. To serve its customers, Konica Minolta needed to provide strong online buying experiences to meet the transformed requirements of the business buying audience of today.

Velinda Cox, senior vice president of eCommerce at Konica Minolta, said that launching a digital B2B commerce solution at Konica Minolta came with challenges. In particular, Konica Minolta’s digital needs are made more complex by the large, global, multi-industry nature of its offerings.

“Konica Minolta has grown over time in different geographies with different architectures,” Velinda said. “As a global organization, we have the same objectives, but different ways of supporting it with our commerce technology.”

For Konica Minolta, an effective digital commerce approach doesn’t just mean delivering one single experience. It means delivering unique experiences for what specific markets demand, across geographies and industries and business cultures.

Velinda said that she and her team decided that meeting these business requirements would entail a commerce architecture that:

  • Uses MACH technology to provide flexibility on the frontend and backend
  • Leverages best-of-breed technologies to provide exceptional commerce experiences

Konica Minolta only had to ask: What commerce architecture supports these requirements? The answer: composable commerce.

“Going composable gives us the ability to plug-and-play solutions into the commerce platform – and give customers in different places and parts of the buyer’s journey the experiences they deserve,” Velinda said.

Building internal support for a composable approach

For Konica Minolta, adoption and understanding were critical for change management to enable transformation success.

After all, Konica Minolta is a massive, diversified business, with customers and employees and business lines across the globe. Adopting a new technology meant making a strong case that it would benefit the company and its customers.

Velinda said that as she and her team proposed composable commerce to executives and leaders across the organization, they highlighted three points:

  1. Understanding the technological differences between a composable commerce architecture and a monolith. In particular, they emphasized the difference between a rigid monolithic architecture, with a tightly-bound frontend and backend, and the flexible, alterable architecture of a composable approach. They also took care to explain that composable commerce meant having the freedom to select best-of-breed vendors to power digital commerce.
  2. Demonstrating the specific actions Konica Minolta’s business team could take with a composable approach, such as selecting and quickly integrating preferred vendors for tax, search, and other functions.
  3. Illustrating the ways that composable commerce would unlock the ability to create exceptional buying experiences for Konica Minolta’s customers.

“Ultimately, it was about showing how composable commerce would provide a tangibly better experience for customers,” Velinda said.

Choosing Elastic Path to power a composable solution

With the company behind a composable commerce approach, Konica Minolta needed to determine who to partner with to power their commerce solution.

Any partner of Konica Minolta needed to deliver on specific priorities:

  • Product experiences: Konica Minolta wanted to compose a commerce solution that elevates its products and delivers exceptional experiences that grow digital revenue.
  • Payments and checkout: Konica Minolta desired a seamless checkout experience that would improve conversion rates and ease expansion into new regions.
  • Support on complex, multi-vendor approach: Konica Minolta needed support implementing and managing a multi-vendor approach with complex product merchandising, hundreds of B2B accounts, and global requirements such as GDPR compliance. Not every commerce vendor could guarantee the ability to ensure secure, high-performing sites and digital experiences. This was a non-negotiable for Konica Minolta.

Konica Minolta’s requirements and priorities led them to one eCommerce partner: Elastic Path.

When it came to choosing a composable commerce partner, Elastic Path stood out. It felt like Elastic Path wanted to walk the journey with us to create experiences that delight our customers and drive revenue.

Konica company logoVelinda Cox Senior Vice President, eCommerce

Elastic Path’s offerings meant that Konica Minolta’s digital commerce priorities could be brought to life:

  • Elastic Path Product Experience Manager provides the flexibility to power account-specific catalogs and dynamic bundles in a single instance, elevating Konica Minolta’s extensive product line.
  • Elastic Path Payments empowers Konica Minolta to facilitate checkouts with concierge-level service and complete security, a must for a global brand processing high-dollar orders.
  • Elastic Path is able to manage and implement a complex, multi-vendor approach. Responsiveness, experience, involved leadership, optimization, ability to deliver GDPR compliance and security, commitment to commerce vision – Elastic Path stood out to Konica Minolta, and seemed the partner most determined to help delight customers and drive revenue.

So far, Konica Minolta’s decision to go with Elastic Path has reaped benefits.

For one, Konica Minolta’s buyers now have a digital storefront that meets their needs. A buyer shopping for computer accessories, for example, can filter by category, brand name, color, material type, screen size, number of USB ports, and other differentiators so that they make a selection that works for their business.

A B2B buyer searching for a specific Konica Minolta product, such as a printer, now experiences an elevated digital product merchandising experience. Products are listed with key features, related services, product materials, and the ability to request a quote and be connected to a Konica Minolta representative.

In this way, Konica Minolta’s digital storefronts are a reflection – and extension – of the best aspects of its premium, white-glove customer experience. Buyers are shown complete, accurate information and can begin bundling additional, related services before confirming their selections with a sales representative. The buying process is streamlined, efficient, and still personal to the buyer’s needs.

A composable commerce solution in action

Composable commerce means using best-of-breed vendors to power best-in-class commerce experiences. The bedrock of composability, then, is about selecting strong vendors – across tax, search, CRM, CMS, and more – that together bring a digital commerce vision to life.

We know that a composable solution is only as strong as the vendors that comprise it. So, when Velinda and her team partnered with Elastic Path, they gained access to a holistic commerce solution that integrates and partners with Konica Minolta’s preferred vendors.

Konica Minolta’s digital commerce solution comprises the following vendors, all of which integrate or partner with Elastic Path:

  • Payments are powered by Elastic Path Payments.
  • Search is powered by Algolia, which can handle the catalog updates and multiple catalogs inherent to Konica Minolta’s digital business. Plus, Algolia’s low-code, instant-on integration is available on Elastic Path’s Integrations Hub.
  • Tax compliance is powered by Avalara AvaTax, an instant-on integration also available on Integrations Hub.
  • As a system integrator, Konica Minolta uses Accenture Digital, an Elastic Path Solution Partner.

In short, Konica Minolta is fulfilling the promise of composable commerce by using multiple vendors for their commerce solution. Elastic Path serves as the connective tissue that powers this approach, ensures a holistic commerce solution, helps the vendors communicate, and keeps efforts pointed toward meeting Konica Minolta’s unique business objectives and needs.

Going composable as a start to commerce innovation

Selecting composable commerce and partnering with Elastic Path are not the end of Konica Minolta’s commerce journey.

In fact, Konica Minolta went composable – and chose Elastic Path – precisely because they consider composable commerce a springboard to continued commerce innovation.

Konica Minolta opted for composable commerce because its customers’ needs had evolved. There’s no reason to think this won’t continue. Fortunately, composable commerce’s adaptability enables future-proofing. When customer needs and expectations change, Konica Minolta’s commerce offerings can, too. Even as digital revenue grows, composable commerce offers the flexibility to continually optimize and refine customer experiences, leading to better and better commerce performance, and a lasting, cost-efficient solution.

Revenue is important. So are bounce rates, page progressions, time spent on our site. Customer experience is the key to everything. We have to prioritize capacity. Where are we going to put the effort to create those experiences? Composable commerce gives us the flexibility and feedback to make those choices.

Konica company logoVelinda Cox Senior Vice President, eCommerce

Konica Minolta has opted for composable commerce and for Elastic Path in order to offer industry-leading experiences across a customer’s lifecycle.

“It’s not just commerce,” Velinda said. “It’s a virtual infinity loop of experiences we want to bring to customers. It’s more than customers saying, ‘I found something I like, I’m putting it in a shopping cart, and I’m paying for it.’ Our commerce vision is reaching for a place where customers have unique, valuable experiences before, during, and after making a purchase.”

Ready to join the brands pushing the boundaries of commerce innovation?

Connect with us today to see how our family of composable products will help you deliver unique commerce experiences.