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Serving success online – Operating a unified development team at Kotipizza


Kotipizza is the largest pizza chain in the Nordics, with over 290 restaurants all around Finland.


Finland’s favourite pizza chain, Kotipizza, stands out with their phenomenal ecommerce that serves customers delightful customer experiences online. We’ve had the privilege of supporting Kotipizza’s digital sales for four years – and counting.

"Our 4-year collaboration with Columbia Road has not only resulted in successfully implemented projects and numerous impactful ecommerce improvements but has also helped the team to find efficient processes and best practices for teamwork.”

Rasmus Back, Director, Technology & IT

Kotipizza is known as the forerunner in the Finnish restaurant ecommerce sector. For them, ecommerce plays an integral part in the company’s strategy. While their online sales were well-established even before the pandemic, during Covid-19, digital sales soared. Ever since, the digital sales share has consistently stayed well over 50 %. The success of Kotipizza’s digital sales channels can be attributed to many things, including their strong brand, uncompromised focus on customer experience and long-term vision in developing the ecommerce.

We’ve had the privilege of supporting Kotipizza in their ecommerce for four years. Together with them, we’ve built a unified business-minded and customer-centric development team that works to make the visions for become reality.

Key Achievements

  • Forming a unified development team
  • Building an order-tracking app
  • Building new ecommerce features and optimising existing ones
  • Implementing the Kotijoukot loyalty program
  • Migrating the site from Angular to React in a gradual manner

Forming a unified development team

Four years of continuous improvements and increasing impact in Kotipizza’s digital sales have been made possible with one unified development team. With Kotipizza, we’ve been able to break down vendor silos and work in close collaboration to develop Together the DevOps team has formed effective ways of working together and found best practices for the development process.

The team’s approach to developing digital sales is both product-centric and growth-focused. New building projects and improvements to existing features are researched actively and always evaluated from a business impact perspective.

The team’s ability to quickly respond to the demands of the fast-growing sales channel was realised, especially in the first phases of the pandemic. In just a few weeks after restaurants were hit with restrictions, Kotipizza was able to provide home deliveries and online ordering even for areas where buying online wasn’t yet an option. The development team made the fast expansion of the ecommerce possible by quickly developing the required features and capabilities for restaurants to offer online ordering.

Building and improving features for

Columbia Road’s and Kotipizza’s collaboration got its kickstart with building order tracking for end-users buying their pizzas online. The team designed and built a fun and straightforward interface for Kotipizza customers to track their order progress online while also utilising this to gather feedback and, over time, increase loyalty. 

The tracking view connects to the rest of the webshop and email messaging. It became a pivotal link to Kotipizza’s loyalty program and was done with microservice architecture for quick time-to-market.

After the launch of the order tracking application, our collaboration has continued in the form of further development of the Kotipizza ecommerce platform, ranging from improving existing features to building new ones.


Implementing the Kotijoukot loyalty program

Kotipizza’s loyalty program, Kotijoukot, was launched in 2021. Our team supported Kotipizza in implementing the new loyalty program to offer loyal customers even more delightful customer experiences. 

The program was implemented in three pilot stages, a soft launch and a full launch. The objective of the three-phase launch was to collect feedback and do testing to minimise bugs and improve the service before the full launch.

Migrating from Angular to React

One of the greatest successes of the team was migrating the site from Angular to React. As Angular was reaching the end of its life cycle, the front-end technology needed to be renewed.

Instead of a traditional approach, where the team builds the new technology on the side and switches over at one point, our team started the renewal process from the inside out. In essence, the technology was renewed bit-by-bit inside Angluar and gradually converted to React. The approach minimised the risks of a grande renewal and allowed us to continue the development in the old system while simultaneously building the new one. Ultimately React took over, and Kotipizza was able to leave Angular to the past.

Enabling future growth

Our four-year cooperation with Kotipizza has been delightful, and it’s only the beginning. Together with Kotipizza, we’ve been able to build a unified team that can improve and grow ecommerce, navigate through turbulent times and support Kotipizza in their vision for their digital sales.

Much of the work over at Kotipizza has been about building a strong foundation for future digital sales – the migration from Angular to React being one. On top of that, we’ve been able to deliver and implement fun customer-facing features such as the order-tracking app as well as implementing the Kotijoukot loyalty program. 

We’re grateful to have been in a supporting role in Kotipizza’s ecommerce success story and are looking forward to seeing where their journey continues next. 

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