MuleSoft, Salesforce’s platform provider for building application networks, has announced that Decathlon, one of the world’s largest sporting retailers, is using MuleSoft’s Anypoint Platform to deliver connected customer experiences and broaden its reach into new regional markets. The Anypoint Platform has enabled Decathlon to build a foundation of reusable APIs. These makes it easier to plug in new services and drive seamless customer experiences at scale — both online and in stores.
“At Decathlon, our work starts and stops with delivering amazing experiences for our customers, and MuleSoft makes this easy,” said Tony Leon, CIO and CTO, Decathlon USA.
“Anypoint Platform’s combination of API and integration capabilities lets us reimagine and deliver new in-store experiences almost instantly.”
Decathlon and MuleSoft
Operating over 1,600 sporting goods stores in 52 countries, Decathlon’s objective is to make sports accessible to all by offering high quality products at the lowest possible prices. As part of its expansion, Decathlon recently established both a bricks-and-mortar and an e-commerce presence in the United States.
To support this, it chose the MuleSoft Anypoint Platform because this enables Decathlon to establish its own application network. MuleSoft’s Anypoint Platform is a unified iPaaS solution. It includes full lifecycle API management and runs both on-prem and in the cloud.
By unlocking data across its business with application networks, Decathlon can:
- deliver new revenue channels
- increase operational efficiency
- promote differentiated customer experiences.
By using APIs to connect systems and processes — such as point of sale software, order management, and inventory data — in such an application network, Decathlon can also access and reuse applications and data. The effect for Decathlon is to improve customer experience with:
- cashless payments
- in-store robots
- and more
One example: Decathlon USA’s Emeryville, California location integrated its cloud-based order management system with mobile point-of-sale and cashless payment systems. This eliminates the need for consumers to go through a traditional checkout lane.
Digital transformation via API-led connectivity
Decathlon is using API-led connectivity to merge its physical stores and digital capabilities. This is driving new omnichannel experiences for its customers. Beginning in the United States and extending to other locations around the world, the company is leveraging its growing number of reusable APIs to iterate on brand new customer experiences. Pulling data from the same order management system, Decathlon store associates can use their iPhones to share real-time aisle inventory information with shoppers and order non-stocked items for home delivery or in-store pickup.
Decathlon has also rolled out autonomous inventory robots in its Bay Area stores. Connecting to Decathlon’s backend systems, each bot:
- conducts precise daily inventory counts
- provides specific location information for products.
Re-usable APIs and new projects
In order to deliver the omnichannel experience that customers expect, Decathlon USA realised it had to create a foundation of technology building blocks. Decathlon began by designing a cloud-based order management platform with reusable APIs — including product prices, order reconciliation, inventory and fulfillment.
Using the Anypoint Platform, Decathlon first built and then deployed a core set of 11 re-usable APIs to:
- provide abstractions away from legacy systems
- make hard-to-reach data more accessible.
With this modernised order management foundation, Decathlon e-commerce orders sync up with real-time inventory data. The effect is customers experience a seamless checkout process.
New projects continue to add nodes to the application network. These open up new opportunities for re-use by stakeholders across the business. They can:
- build connected customer experiences
- increase operational efficiencies
- create new products and services.
“At Decathlon, innovation is in our DNA, and MuleSoft has been a critical driver for us to invent new customer experiences at speed,” continued Leon.
“With Anypoint Platform, we are turning our most valuable technology assets into reusable building blocks, accessible through a repository of secure APIs. Developer teams across the entire business can access and reconfigure these building blocks, unlocking endless potential for innovation and expansion. For example, our order management project would have taken a year without MuleSoft, but we completed it in four months, tripling the delivery speed.”
Enterprise Times: What does this mean
Headquartered in France, Decathlon is a sporting goods vendor. It designs, innovates, produces and sells its own products, via stores and online. Such vertical integration means Decathlon can aim for the best price points – with the goal of increasing access to sports for people of all levels and ability.
MuleSoft’s Anypoint Platform offers organisations the ability to create composite applications which connect apps, data and devices through API-led connectivity. This ‘forms’ a flexible application network. By using the AnyPoint Platform, Decathlon obtains a decoupled architecture. In turn this means Decathlon should be able to add technologies, for example, a new shipping solution, in a third of the time that would be conventionally necessary. In a fast moving retail environment, such speed to change matters.