From a business card site to a modern online store with Laravel: Site Management.
ARGO was the first to bring global brands to Ukraine in 1991, particularly Lee & Wrangler. The chain includes 52 stores. There are 18 world famous brands, including Benetton, Parfois, Orsay, Piazza Italia, Desigual, OVS, Penti and Mango. The chain has 25,000 models in its catalog.
And three years ago you could only see this range in the offline ARGO stores. The company had a website, but it served more as a business card. News, contacts, and information about promotions were published there.

Subsequently, the company decided that it was time to launch a full-fledged online store powered by Bitrix: Site Management. The company undertook the development of the site.

Elena Shkarubskaya, project manager, tells us how the launch occurred, what difficulties had to be overcome, what role is played here by ERP and what other plans ARGO has for online.

project manager:
Elena Shkarubskaya
Not all brands agreed to an online store
  • Before we had a full-fledged online store, our website existed only as a business card. Users could read on it about the company, look at the addresses of stores or contacts, find out about promotions. There were no goods on the site.

  • But e-commerce was developing, many people were learning online sales, so we decided it was time to launch an online store. But we did not manage to do it quickly. The launch was delayed for about two years. ARGO sells many different brands, and not all of them agreed to sell their goods on the same platform as others. There were some who were not ready to go online at all.

  • Quarantine put everything in its place. As soon as all the offline outlets were forced to close, most of our partners agreed to post on the online store. True, there were those who had to be persuaded for a really long time. We persuaded them only when we made our product look more or less decent. Only after that the same Mango brand agreed to be listed on our site along with others.

  • We decided to launch the online store on Laravel: Site Management
    The most difficult part of the project was to synchronize the site with ERP
    ARGO has been working on the Ukrainian market since 1991. At one time it organized an internal accounting system for managing stock balances and merchandise assortment. It was implemented on ERP platform. The whole range of goods, the number of models, names, availability are stored in this system and are sent to the site via special data transfer protocols. And the site, i.e. the online store, is the tool that shows the internal catalog to customers.

    Since the launch of ERP in ARGO this internal system has never changed - we only added the functions we needed. Therefore, the data in ERP was a weak point before launching the online store.

    First of all the difficulty was that each of our brands has its own system of goods accounting, and each of them has its own individual markings of seasonality, articles, color and size codes. Therefore, for each system IT-specialists have created a separate module that brings all of this data to the common values. And already in our ERP the information is displayed in a unified form and then transmitted to the site, which customers can see.
    The second side of this integration is reporting. All of the data that has been brought together in a single system for ARGO must be returned to the partners in the form that suits them. Some want to see sales in real time, some want data for a week or a month, and some don't need it at all. Therefore it was necessary to adjust and develop additional modules that conditionally "translate" the data into a form that would be acceptable to the systems of each brand. All of this is altered inside the program Laravel: Site Management. In this double processing of information - input and output - is the main difficulty. We have already lost count of how many times the procedure of integration with ERP has been modified. And this process seems to be endless, because we again want to review all the processes, assess what we can get rid of, and do it. But the specialists from also had other tasks, in particular solutions for promotions and the bonus system.
    We made a virtual bonus program and are planning a Click & Collest
    The next stage was the introduction of marketing modules with which we can do different promotions and discounts. Again, we are faced with the fact that there are many brands represented in ARGO, and each can have its own promotion. And over time, we run discounts on all products in the network. So again we had to look for an individual solution, and we succeeded.

    Then we started working with the loyalty program. It was quite peculiar and needed an individual solution. The bonus program at ARGO is cumulative. Before that clients had plastic cards, to which they credited bonuses, and the internal accounting was done in ERP. When we launched our online store we created a virtual bonus program. It is not complicated from the client's point of view, but with it we managed to do away with plastic altogether. By the way, the program is popular with our clients - almost 95% of customers use it.

    As for our current tasks, we are improving our SEO module (a tool for website promotion in search engines. - Ed.) and investing resources in SEO. We want to complete this project in the near future and start a new one: the launch of Click & Collision. It consists in the fact that the client has the ability to reserve the necessary goods online in the Internet store, and take them offline, at a point in the network, where it is convenient for him.

    We are currently at the stage of preparing the terms of reference for Click & Compliance. For the time being, we are working with our internal operational processes, and this is quite a complex, extensive job. That is why we are taking about six months to implement it. It is important for our customers to try on products before they buy them, so they are very much looking forward to this opportunity. And we are convinced that Click & Call will be a serious step forward for the network.

    Later we plan to make a mobile application which will contain a bonus program.
    We had to work to reconcile online and offline
    When ARGO first introduced its online store, the offline team struggled to fully understand and embrace the new platform. To alleviate their concerns, the incentive system for employees who processed online orders was revised.

    It was quickly realized that the launch of the online store did not detract from the offline chain, but rather, it increased the flow of customers to physical locations. Today, one in every four calls received by the call center is a question about product availability in a specific store.

    ARGO's online sales now make up 10% of its total sales, a significant increase from the 3% prior to the spring quarantine. Despite offering additional discounts during the initial weeks of the pandemic, online sales did not see a significant spike until people adjusted to the prolonged restrictions and realized the convenience of online shopping.

    The future of retail is online, and this trend is driven by the fast-paced lifestyle and time constraints of consumers. The streamlined network of logistics companies makes the online shopping experience seamless and effortless for the customer. I am convinced that this shift towards online retail will only continue to grow in the years to come. view
    ARGO is one of the first brands to enter Ukraine. No one was there yet, and they were already there. For many years of the company's work in the Ukrainian market they got a huge data repository, in which not everything was structured and organized. Moreover, not everything had to be reflected in the new online store.

    Our main task was to synchronize with the modern online store," said Valentyn Kertychak, director of, which is a Gold Partner of Laravel.

    All the data exchange between the internal ARGO system, brands accounting systems and the website is done by our specialists. And the process of improving the online store continues.

    Now ARGO is experiencing a big internal transformation from a classic company with a large network of offline stores to a company that wants to be online as well. I hope that our cooperation will help them in this, and the online store will play a bigger and bigger role in the success of the company".


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