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8 week
tech implementation
12
languages
6 week
Content Creation

dm’s old setup consisted of a heavyweight all-in-one legacy CMS that was both expensive and overly complicated for the team of developers to use over time. As the license was to be renewed, it did not make sense for the team to continue with their daily struggles in their developmental and portal upkeep tasks. They decided to go for a headless CMS to have more control over the presentation of their B2B portal (with their own design system on their public-facing site).

  • It’s amazing to see how little effort we have to put into maintaining our setup with Storyblok. It continues to work for content editors to happily update their content and our developers to work with a stable API. This makes this a huge success compared to what we had before.

    Picture of Daniel Flassak
    Daniel Flassak
    Software Developer at dmTech

Building a B2B portal as one of Germany’s biggest retailers

dm (dm-drogerie markt) is one of the biggest retailers in Germany with a B2B portal where their suppliers can get informed about various products and store data that is fed directly from Storyblok. Such data includes product and store details (i.e., where a product is placed in a store) or the details where to find a product in a store, which are rolled out to around 800 suppliers. Among dm’s 50,000 employees, 1000 are on the IT side, and 200 developers within the IT department make up the product-based team that Daniel Flassak (Software Developer at dmTech) led through the technical efforts concerning Storyblok. 

After some research and consideration for 3 weeks, with a recommendation from a partner agency, diva-e, dm chose to go with Storyblok as their CMS of choice mainly for the content modeling feature that suited their needs (composability, reusability, and atomic design). Once Storyblok was chosen, the entire project to recreate and build the B2B portal was given to Daniel’s team. Having already known from the start the requirements that they needed to replace the legacy CMS that held them back, dmTech was able to get started instantly. The main reasons why dm chose to go with Storyblok mainly depended on: 

  • Avoiding unnecessary complexities at all costs that made Storyblok a great fit to dm’s content modeling plans

  • The easy-to-use Content API to adapt to their needs in a best-of-breed solution 

  • A SaaS solution that made it easier for dm to use as an out-of-the-box solution

  • Storyblok’s 99.9% uptime with SLA guarantee, backup, and restore solution

  • The flexibility in user roles/role management that could keep up with dm’s various roles its content visibilities for each countries’ setup. dm uses Storyblok’s role management only for editors, where for content visibility, they have built their own role management based on content attributes. 

  • Storyblok’s Visual Editor that could allow dm’s 40 to 50 content editors in various locations to roll out the same content structure in different languages and locales in a uniform manner 

  • A live preview that could help content editors visualize their content as they went along their content experience 

Overall, dm were able to build their new site and B2B portal in just 8 weeks for their technical implementation from their previous legacy CMS setup and an additional 6 weeks to recreate the localized content to their Storyblok setup. Each country’s site consisted of around 20 pages that had to be recreated in each locale’s language.

How does dm use Storyblok as a B2B portal

The setup that dm use amongst their content editors across Europe (12 countries and languages) acts as a B2B portal. Various suppliers within dm’s network access Storyblok to see how their goods and products are sold, what kind of advertisement is used on their products, and more. Within each country, three to four content editors work on a daily basis in their Storyblok Space to update product details, descriptions, and information. This includes both a public-facing site and a private-access site via a login. Such a private-access site made role management a vital part of dm’s decision to manage how content is shown to their audience in that respect.

dm’s public-facing B2B portal

dm’s public-facing B2B portal

Inside the private-access site, users can see any content and data analysis instructions provided to their supplier partners. Components on the private site are built through repurposing to ensure that the same UI and structure are kept intact across all tabs within the portal, and can be easily localized for multiple markets.

dm’s private-access site via login B2B portal

dm’s private-access site via login B2B portal

Hand-in-hand, dm uses both pages through their design system that was tailored to their online shop. Wanting to reuse the same design layout and UI there, the brand was able to use existing components and apply this to the B2B portal. This made it easy to model the same content across the various sites as components, and be easily used by their content editors. 

Localization in dm’s 12 markets 

Handling various languages throughout dm’s setup relies on a fixed and standardized path, such as the site’s header and footer. Beyond that, each country’s content editors can simply go and translate their content accordingly. Considering that there are different suppliers for each unique country, editors are able to quickly adjust content based on their locale and supplier information on the go as that information arrives to them. Within Storyblok, each country’s site is distinguished by folders to simply duplicate content and standardized components across dm’s sites evenly. 

Key Takeaways

Simplicity in easily managing content across multiple locales and user roles allowed dm to manage both a public-facing and private-access B2B portal. dm were able to build a multilingual B2B portal that is used by hundreds of suppliers across Europe, while continuously being updated by their content editors as the business grows and scales. As a CMS, Storyblok aided in dm’s implementation of just 8 weeks to a fully functioning management and information portal that’s used, managed, and edited on a daily basis. 

  • I’ve used content management systems before on the job and in private, and when I saw Storyblok’s configurable block-based model that enables composability and reusability, my first thoughts were ‘Finally!’. This is exactly what I’ve been looking for and wanted from a content management system for all these years!

    Picture of Daniel Flassak
    Daniel Flassak
    Software Developer at dmTech

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