Suva - Relaunch

Case summary - A multi-vendor marketplace for safety equipment built with Drupal Commerce.

Case description is an online marketplace for safety equipment and services operated by the Swiss insurance company Suva. On the marketplace, the products are not offered by Suva as the operator but by over 60 independent vendors who sell around 50'000 articles in 3 languages. Therefore, all commerce-related processes on the platform need to be adapted to support multiple vendors and at the same time satisfy the high quality requirements related to safety equipment.

In 2017, it became apparent that the former custom implementation of was not future-proof any more. Therefore, a relaunch project was initiated. After the assessment of different vendors, Unic's solution based on Drupal 8 and Drupal Commerce 2 was chosen as the basis for the new marketplace.

Unic is responsible for the concept, UX design, implementation, SEO, digital analytics, and hosting of Visit also:

Case goals and results

With the web relaunch of, Suva wanted to enhance the experience of the marketplace's users, both vendors and sellers, on the platform. Additionally, the underlying custom implementation should be replaced with a modern framework and UI to enable efficient extension in the future.

As accurate product information is crucial to the marketplace's operator, a customized product creation workflow had to be designed and implemented on top of a multi-vendor capable commerce platform. Additionally, specific rules and the ability of commenting in an approval workflow needed to be implemented so that the operator has the final control over the product quality on the platform.

Targets of the project:
- Replacement of former custom implementation to increase adaptability by using a more flexible framework
- Creation of a multi-vendor capable marketplace
- Modern design
- Enhanced product management process with fewer faulty product information. This implied a step-by-step product creation process with simplified input forms, enhanced validation of fields and logical suggestion based on user's selection as well as a rule based approval process with commenting capabilities.
- Migration of old product and customer data

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Multi-vendor marketplace: is a multi-vendor marketplace where selected vendors sell products and services. As these vendors differ in size, knowledge about web technology, and product portfolio, all processes for the vendors (product admins) were optimized. Additionally, we created an appropriate permission and role concept to facilitate all activities on the platform.

Accurate product information is crucial:
As safety equipment is an important aspects of the work of the sapros' customers, accurate information to find the right product is at the center of the marketplace. To support the vendors in filling in the correct information, we designed a special product creation workflow where vendors are guided step by step towards a complete product description. Using different product states and transitions, the vendor as well as the marketplace operator (sapros admin) always have the correct actions for their next steps available. With a final preview of the product, the marketplace operator has final control over the product quality on the platform.
In the whole process, it is also possible to configure hints, warnings, and rules to guide the vendor further. If any mistakes where made and detected by the operator they can be marked and commented to give more information.
As this process is only available for authenticated users, the process is shown in the attached video.

Product filtering with additional information:
To also give the customers of the shop as accurate information as possible, we extended the faceted search on the product list (e.g. to include further information in tooltips.

Store-in-store concept:
Many vendors do not operate a proprietary web shop and use as their primary information and selling channel. To support vendors, we implemented a store-in-store concept where additional information about the vendors is presented. Additionally, when visiting the vendor store via a direct link, the whole platform is then limited to products of the specific vendor when browsing through the product catalog (e.g.,

Complex product types and migration:
The products sold on cover a wide variety of different sort of products and services. To allow that the specific information is filled and presented correctly, we created over 15 product types with specific fields and configurations. To nonetheless also allow as much efficiency when implementing and working with the platform, we implemented the product display and correspondent processes as generic as possible.
Additionally, all product data and most of the transaction data was migrated from the former custom implemented shop solution.

Community contributions

As part of developing, we created patches and contributed to modules such as Drupal Commerce, Migrate, Paragraphs, and Facets.

Additionally, we presented insights from the project on two local Drupal meet-ups of the Zurich Drupal User Group Meetup and we presented the case study at DrupalCon Amsterdam 2019 ( Also, we published a Drupal case study on


Hosted in Unic's private cloud hosting at Equinix data center in Zurich.

Why should this case win the splash awards?

- Complex processes with multiple product states used by a high number of vendors and the marketplace admins have been simplified.
- Different measures ensure and improve the product data's correctness and therefore follow the vision of Suva.
- Complex product types and data migration.
- Modern and functional design.

Therefore, this project is a remarkable show case for the flexibility of Drupal Commerce.

Case video