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Building a modern consumer webshop


Kekkilä Group is a manufacturer and marketer of high-quality growing substrates, fertilisers, and garden items for consumers, professional growers and landscapers.


Kekkilä had thought about going more digital with their products and services to get closer to their customers and build stronger relationships. After having done benchmarking, business objectives workshops, and road mapping previously in the year, Kekkilä Garden decided to go forward to build their first consumer webshop.

Key objectives

The key objective was to quickly launch an MVP (minimum viable product) webshop with a minimal budget to have a digital commerce platform ready for marketing experiments.

The aim was to build the webshop on top of the current WordPress site and systems, using WooCommerce and utilise existing technology and find suitable partners and suppliers that fit the business case and the organisation.

The goal was to have the webshop live in just a few months with a selection of just a few products and space to nurture the shop and prepare for the summer high season. This way, Kekkilä could learn about digital processes end-to-end while understanding how all functions run from when a customer places an order to payment, shipping, logistics, delivery and feedback.

It's been a pleasure working with Columbia Road, who made us believe there is potential in ecommerce for Kekkilä. We're still in the very beginning, but as we now have the capability of doing digital commerce, we're confident that Columbia Road can support us in all the challenges we'll face along the way. The culture of a company is the sum of the behaviours of all its people

Reetta Thurman, Ecommerce Manager, Kekkilä

Our approach

We took a very agile approach, setting a timeline of 2.5 months to make this possible. We collaborated with a few different partners covering different areas of expertise with a close project team of 12 people. We set up a project room where we met every week, sharing challenges and solutions and solving problems transparently – and helped each other move forward.

We started by gathering and identifying the key customer personas that Kekkilä had done earlier and came to a common understanding of what we were trying to build and which requirements should be included in this first phase. We then split the work in the team to run several work streams in parallel, applying pure lean methodologies such as Kanban.

Our role in the project was to consult Kekkilä, helping them to build and develop all areas needed for a webshop, facilitate the project and make sure everyone stayed on track for our common goal. We helped Kekkilä to pick the right logistics and payment partner that would suit their current needs for the webshop, as well as future needs.

We helped with scoping out and mapping the architecture of the backend flow and how it would fit into their current systems and identified what needed to be built to make it work. Having the right mindset and being able to react fast and change to the market and customer needs makes a good recipe for great digital success.


Together we managed to launch the webshop in November 2017 as planned. The MVP launch was a success, as was the multi-vendor collaboration.

We helped Kekkilä embrace the right mindset for operating in digital commerce, constantly learning whilst having fun. They now have a new sales channel, which they can further build upon to launch new products and services to serve their customers better.

Kekkilä now has the right mindset for digital transformation, combining great company culture and excellent products for the love of growing.

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