Premier Farnell is a high-service distributor of technology products and solutions for electronic system design, maintenance and repair. Operating across Europe, the Americas and Asia Pacific, multichannel sales is at the heart of its global strategy.

The company wanted a new global web platform to enhance customer experience and improve functionality across its transactional sites. For VML Commerce, this was an opportunity to deliver a multichannel B2B replatform at an unprecedented scale.


Like most multinational B2B operators, Premier Farnell’s global digital environment had previously been fragmented, with different commerce platforms serving different regional markets. In order to provide better consistency and really be able to focus on driving better value and CX across all transactional sites, the company now wanted more centralised control.

Given the number of local sites and commerce systems Premier Farnell was running, integrating them all into a single, cohesive, centrally managed unit was a gargantuan task that would create the single biggest B2B commerce platform yet built. That was all the inspiration we needed to throw ourselves into the project.


Over the course of two years, VML Commerce completed the re-platform of 46 online stores for 5 brands, representing 70% of Premier Farnell’s revenue. This involved:

  • Authoring 30k pages of content with +5m SKUs in 36 languages.
  • Applying system integration for 23 interfaces and 21 data feeds.
  • Introducing a centralised codebase, faster, more accurate search and frequent content updates to improve the customer experience.
  • Working with technologies including WebSphere Commerce, Endeca, Oracle Middleware, Custom CMS, Stibo (PIM).

Overall, we delivered extended functionality across all Premier Farnell transactional sites and delivered rapid innovation. We redesigned all transactional sites, customer journeys and CX, data management and analytics, and the end-to-end architecture including front-end, middle-tier and back-end integration. In addition, we created a custom-built CMS and migrated legacy data to ensure a seamless transition for customers.

New website features we introduced included express checkout and ‘favourites’ functions; the ability to compare and contrast products across ranges; an electronic quotation facility giving customers specially agreed prices; and the ability for clients to customise and control authorisation levels, limits, budgets and more for individual users on the site. These improved merchandising tools make it easy for Premier Farnell staff to manage promotional activity throughout the world.


Across the entire Premier Farnell digital estate, web speeds increased by 50% following the re-platform. This and other improvements to functionality and CX have helped the online business to contribute half of total group revenue (70% in terms of number of transactions), and a record high customer count of 2.1 million, with 10%+ new customers YoY.

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. VML 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.

Kevin Yapp

Chief Marketing and Strategy Officer, Premier Farnell

Please provide your contact information to continue.

Before submitting your information, please read our Privacy Policy as it contains detailed information on the processing of your personal data and how we use it.