Case Study: GraphCMS and Prym

One of Germany's oldest companies modernizes its approach to agile eCommerce with a Headless CMS.

Prym Case Study with GraphCMS - Headless CMS for Agile eCommerce with Spryker and Dynamic Yield

GraphCMS is what we need for the future.

Michael Urban
Michael UrbanDirector of eCommerce and Digital Solutions

Reduction in time to market


Increase in content velocity

About Prym

Prym is one of the oldest family-run companies in Germany, founded in 1530, selling products made from brass and copper, as well as haberdashery. Since its founding, Prym has become a global player in haberdashery accessories and sewing tools. Prym is divided into three different independent subsidiaries, Prym Consumer, Prym Fashion, and Inovan. Prym Consumer specializes in sewing and needlework accessories while Prym Fashion produces fastening systems and accessories. Prymtec creates contact and electronic components.

Traditionally, Prym has sold its products through third-party retailers such as craft stores and home goods stores. Their first online presence followed this indirect shop model, with a website that showed their product offerings and links to where you could buy them online or which crafting stores sold the specific product. However, with eCommerce steadily on the rise, Prym knew that it was time to throw their hat in the ring to create an eCommerce system. It quickly became clear that they needed a tech stack that would be able to support their high volume of product offerings and specialized user journeys. Because it was an entirely new project, the team at Prym needed to familiarize themselves with the content management landscape and possible combinations of tech stacks.

The Evaluation Process

Initially, the team considered both traditional and Headless CMSs to manage the content for their online shop. After evaluating several traditional CMS, the team was faced with the difficult quandary of sacrificing flexibility or marketing features.

For the marketing team, the most important considerations were that the tool is easy to use with a clean UI and a powerful WSYWIG editor.

The technical team, however, needed the flexibility to create a robust site in this format, but also wanted a future-proof solution that could store the content and potentially distribute it to a variety of channels without needing to perform cost and time-intensive processes, such as data imports, multiple times.

The technical team felt that in many ways they were catching up with the competition in building an online store and insisted that they needed to position themselves as industry leaders with the next technological shift rather than following trends.

The team began the evaluation process to strike the balance between the traditional marketing features that the team already knew and loved, and the flexibility the technical team wanted to have using a headless system. Detaching the frontend from the backend was critical for Prym because they wanted to be able to customize the entire tech stack to their use case and adopt the API first mindset. Headless content management offered the possibility to connect the services that were relevant to that particular project and create a central content hub within the headless CMS for a variety of projects.

In evaluating the headless market, there were several key factors that were important to the Prym team. The chosen system had to be built with a truly headless mindset that would allow for the traditional page builder approach but also much more than that become a central content repository. As new projects were experimented with or new channels discovered, the technical team hoped to connect the headless CMS via the API and have speedy access to the content stored in GraphCMS. The system needed to be enterprise-ready. Being a long-established company in Germany and abroad needed a system that could handle the strain of an eCommerce website of a market leader. The marketing team expected some of the functionality that was present in traditional systems, such as a powerful WYSIWYG editor, straightforward relations between content, and speedy customer support for the occasional time in need. After evaluating the headless market, Prym saw that GraphCMS ticked all of the boxes and would be a great fit for their team.

Moving to GraphCMS

Prym chose to integrate GraphCMS into their new microservices-led tech stack for a wide variety of reasons. The sheer flexibility of GraphCMS was an important opportunity for the Prym team. As soon as the team decided to shift their mindset from traditional content management to content modeling in a future-proof headless system, with the help of the GraphCMS team they were able to create a powerful content hub that aims to host nearly 100,000 unique products.

Now that they have seen the power of structured content, creating a well-executed content hub where new projects can pull from a centralized pool of content, they plan to implement GraphCMS in future projects as well.

“GraphCMS is what we need for the future.”

Michael Urban, Director of eCommerce and Digital Solutions

GraphCMS offers the power and flexibility that the technical team needed to justify the transition away from a traditional approach to content. It does so without sacrificing the marketing and content editor features that are necessary to the success of the project. With the API first approach, it is easy for the teams to add in functionality by connecting another microservice via the API without being bogged down by rarely used functionality that can slow the system and workflows.

The new tech stack combines Frontastic to manage the frontend, GraphCMS to handle the content and backend, Medici as a PIM, and Spryker for the shop capabilities. Other tools that focus on user experience include Dynamic Yield which delivers individualized experiences and allows the team to easily implement A/B Testing. The Prym team is able to customize their tech stack to suit their use case and can work with microservices and systems the team was already familiar with.

Prym is working to create individualized user journeys that allow customers to be inspired by the creations of other customers and purchase the materials needed for these projects seamlessly. The ability to easily test these individualized journeys without needing to do significant manual double work is possible thanks to the new microservice approach led by GraphCMS. The team has been able to power their primary eCommerce site with this new tech stack and speed up many workflows. If Prym is experiencing unforeseen changes, such as long shipping times due at the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, the team is able to work to update messaging on their website quickly. The team is able to adapt to changes in the market or circumstances quickly in order to ensure that they are always a reliable partner operating ahead of the curve rather than lagging behind. As their current project expands the team at Prym is already looking forward to furthering this microservice approach with GraphCMS to more projects in the future.

Why GraphCMS

  • The flexibility offered by GraphCMS is unmatched by other systems
  • GraphCMS has the enterprise-ready features for content editors without sacrificing flexibility
  • GraphCMS enabled the team to be more agile and experimental
  • GraphQL offers a very flexible and highly performant API
  • API first approach makes it easy to integrate with other microservices

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