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The Co-operative Pharmacy specs new site

Monday June 20 2011

Maginus selected for new website developed using Microsoft Commerce Server technology

Maginus selected for new website developed using Microsoft Commerce Server technology


The Co-operative Pharmacy, the third largest pharmacy chain in the UK, has selected integrated multichannel retail and distribution companies software provider, Maginus, to design and build its new website.


The site, which went live on 9 May, is built using Microsoft Commerce Server technology to handle the complexity of The Co-operative Pharmacy’s requirements.


Integrating rich content sources


The main objective of the project was to develop a content rich site that would deliver an excellent experience for the end users with great images, video, information and articles. The rich content is also important in delivering good search engine optimisation (SEO), increasing traffic to the website and, in combination with the Maginus design, increased conversion rates and revenue.


The Co-operative Pharmacy needed to present information on the site that was gathered from a number of different sources and held in different formats. Basic product data is taken from the Co-operative Pharmacy system and enriched with product images and product specification data held in Brandbank. This data is then presented on the website, along with data from other systems including an NHS Direct symptom checker, the facility to book appointments for biometric health testing at Co-operative Pharmacy branches and an advanced video facility that allows customers to click a product in the video and add straight to the basket.


To enable The Co-operative Pharmacy to manage this complex data requirement efficiently, Maginus used Microsoft BizTalk as a means to transport data between the different sources and the website.


The new site also has advanced search and navigation capabilities, along with merchandising and product management. Data from the website will be used by The Co-operative Pharmacy to develop sophisticated promotions and merchandising.


Managing transactional complexity


Mandeep Mudhar, head of business development at The Co-operative Pharmacy, said: “We had a difficult task of presenting and sharing data from around 13 different sources. Microsoft Commerce Server and BizTalk are ideal for our business, as they allow us to manage the complexity of each individual transaction made within the business and process it efficiently.”


He continued: “Maginus were able to provide the additional services that we needed, including designing the site. We’re really pleased with the results as it’s a very clean, attractive design and very intuitive to use”.


The site also has a sophisticated content management systems (CMS) capability, provided by the integration of the Microsoft .Net-based CMS EPiServer solution, which will ensure The Co-operative Pharmacy can continue to develop the site itself in line with the needs of its customers and the business.


Mark Thornton, e-commerce director at Maginus, said, “Microsoft Commerce Server and Microsoft Biztalk is ideal for enterprises like The Co-operative Pharmacy, as they can handle large volumes of data from multiple sources to deploy a content rich experience for end users. Its scalability, fall over techniques and management tools are also crucial for large scale implementations.”