In 2016, the Co-operative Group introduced a refreshed membership proposition. As delivery partner to Co-op Digital, we helped to refine the organisation’s delivery flexibility, adaptability and responsiveness.

    Publicly declaring Co-op Membership to be the “biggest thing to happen to our Co-op for 25 years,” the organisation rewards members with a 5% rebate whenever they visit a Co-op store, funeral home, or legal services business and make an own-brand purchase. The Co-op invests a further 1% towards social causes that benefit the member’s local community.

    Refining approaches 

    BJSS worked with Co-op Digital on refining delivery flexibility, adaptability and responsiveness. The Co-op integrated aspects of the Queen’s Award-winning Enterprise Agile® approach with other delivery methods to create its own framework, deliver Co-op Membership and several JavaScript microservices.

    Deploying meaningful change 

    With shorter development cycles, key components and new features are delivered iteratively and often. In addition, it has also become easy to deploy meaningful change. When the membership team detected that 34% of all new members abandoned their registrations during signup, for example, user journey improvements were quickly implemented. This rapidly raised the completion rate to above 50%.

    Release management has become self-service, allowing teams to make improvements autonomously and frequently (every week over 30 releases are deployed). This same level of responsiveness would be difficult to achieve with a legacy membership platform in a governance-led IT organisation.

    Other technical innovations to support the growth of Co-op Membership were implemented 

    Public cloud hosting, based on AWS, and which was adopted based on BJSS’ cloud expertise, allows the Co-op to quickly ramp the service up during busier times (such as in-store promotions, or during the Christmas retailing period). Cloud is also cost-effective, reliable, and enables the Co-op Digital team to focus entirely on product improvement.

    With Co-op Membership, the organisation has reported a significant jump in transactions, turnover and frequency of visits 

    The effectiveness of Co-op Digital’s agile framework is also acknowledged internally and is being implemented in other, non-technical parts of the organisation, such as Group HR. Cloud and continuous delivery processes have been significantly expanded to include cover other external member and customer-facing products.

    This engagement won Loyalty Initiative of the Year in the 2017 Retail Week Tech Awards.

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