Press Release - Neil Stewart, Feb 20 2014

Premier Farnell announce their new global web platform

Premier Farnell announce their new global web platform

Wunderman Thompson Commerce, the eCommerce digital agency, is pleased to announce that it has helped Premier Farnell, the world-leading distributor of electronic components and equipment, to implement a new global web platform serving Europe, the Americas and Asia Pacific.

With multichannel sales at the heart of its global strategy, Premier Farnell has launched the new platform to enhance the customer experience and provide improved functionality across its transactional sites.

The new platform, built on IBM WebSphere Commerce, launched in North America in November 2013, including US, Canada and Mexico. Plans are now in place to rollout the new platform to its Europe and Asia Pacific businesses during 2014.

As a market-leading provider of multichannel digital services and complete ecommerce solutions, Salmon was the natural partner for Premier Farnell. With the largest WebSphere Commerce practice in Europe and their track record of large-scale integrations, Wunderman Thompson Commerce were able to rapidly deploy a team to begin this significant programme of work.

Kevin Yapp, Premier Farnell's Chief Marketing and Strategy Officer, commented: "As a multichannel business it is essential that we have a web platform that is fit for customer demands and as a result it was critical that we found the right partner to support our development and subsequent rollout. Wunderman Thompson Commerce quickly understood our business and added huge value throughout the programme, working well to overcome significant challenges and deliver a fantastic end result we can all be proud of."

Over the two year delivery, Wunderman Thompson Commerce worked with Premier Farnell on a range of services including design and the customer experience, analysis, the end-to-end architecture including front-end, middle tier and backend integration. In addition the team supported by creating a customer built Content Management System (CMS) and migrating legacy data to ensure a seamless transition for customers.

Key new features of the website include:

  • Express checkout – which lets customers quickly get what they need for hassle free purchases.
  • Favorites – keeps a note of customers’ favorite or most frequently bought products.
  • Compare and contrast products – allows customers to make more informed buying decisions by comparing across a number of ranges.
  • New “Hover Over” feature – lets customers view the last 10 items added to their cart.
  • iBuy - allows customers to customise and control what individual users can do on the site – for example, managing authorisation levels, limits and budgets, catalogue restrictions, payment and delivery options.
  • Electronic quotation - allows customers to buy products at specially agreed prices or that aren’t in the online catalogue.

Better merchandising tools - makes it easy for Premier Farnell staff to manage promotional activity throughout the world.

Premier Farnell’s Global Head of Information Systems, Steve Johnson, said: “These types of programmes are always tough and supplier relationships can be difficult, particularly in the latter stages. However, we’ve been really impressed with Wunderman Thompson Commerce's approach and determination to do the right thing and get the job done. They have been a great partner to us and we are pleased with the results.”

Wunderman Thompson Commerce's CEO, Neil Stewart said: “It’s very rewarding to see Premier Farnell achieving higher sales through the new platform. Our teams worked well together to deliver a sophisticated and flexible platform that will help Premier Farnell continue to grow their ecommerce business in the coming years.”

The new websites can be found at:, and

About Premier Farnell

Premier Farnell plc (LSE:pfl) is a global leader in high service distribution of technology products and solutions for electronic system design, maintenance and repair. Its differentiated proposition includes 29 local language transactional websites, and the critically important element14 Community for design engineers – an industry first ( With sales last year of £952m the Group distributes its comprehensive portfolio of products and services throughout Europe, North America and Asia Pacific, supported by a global supply chain of over 3,500 suppliers and an inventory profile developed to anticipate and meet its customers’ needs.

While global in scope, Premier Farnell recognises the individual needs of each market and has continued to internationalise its model accordingly. It trades locally as Farnell element14 in Europe.