Minimani made the strategic decision to consider digital commerce a key business area, and chose Pinja, known for its ICT services and integration platform services, to drive its eCommerce business to new growth.

The cooperation in brief

The cooperation started with an integration platform

Pinja delivered to Minimani an integration platform solution to manage the ERP and legacy eCommerce interfaces. Pinja also provides Minimani with cloud capacity and consulting services, as well as cloud support, maintenance, and management services.

eCommerce at the strategic core

Pinja’s strong eCommerce expertise and knowledge of the retail industry were useful in redesigning Minimani’s eCommerce solution to meet its strategic objectives.

Product information management improves efficiency and customer focus

The product information management solution provided by Pinja helps Minimani improve the efficiency of adding products and promotions, as well as the customer experience in the online store.

We appreciate that Pinja shares with us the problems and challenges as they are, and dares to challenge us.

Tuomo Simojoki, Digital Commerce Director, Minimani

Pinja is a strategic partner for Minimani’s digital business

The family-owned Minimani is a modern hypermarket chain that invests in digital commerce and automation. For Minimani, localism and sustainability are important: the company’s product range and sourcing channels are sustainable, and it operates locally to strengthen and enrich local communities.  

In 2021, Minimani decided to put eCommerce at the strategic core of its business. The role of eCommerce in consumer sales is growing strongly, and the eCommerce is making Minimani known in places where it does not yet have a store. “With this decision, we started to work more professionally on the eCommerce, and invested time and resources in it. At the same time, it was natural to compete with other companies and find a partner we can rely on for growth” says Tuomo Simojoki, Digital Commerce Director at Minimani. 

It was important for Minimani to find a partner who sees it as a business of the right size and finds it interesting. In addition to the technological skills, Minimani’s requirement was that the partner had deep experience and understanding of the retail sector and a people-oriented approach to working with a family business. “When looking for a critical strategic partner, it’s important to have meetings face-to-face; it’s not spreadsheets that attend meetings, it’s people. The chemistry has to be there” Simojoki continues.

Pinja was familiar to Minimani from their previous collaboration in an integration platform solution. Later this solution has been extended with the IPa by Pinja integration service. “We had already worked with Pinja on a small scale project, which left a positive impression. Pinja’s competitive offer and way of going through things with us was pleasant. I got the feeling that they really understand what we are ordering.” 

Tero Kangas, Pinja’s Business Director, is pleased with the cooperation: “Pinja is the new home for Minimani’s eCommerce. We are spiritually very similar: we work together in an open, honest and fair way. We both want to commit to a long-term partnership, and we are not looking for quick profits. Minimani is at a stage in their growth path where we understand their situation, and can help them build growth. Minimani’s investments in staff and in growing the eCommerce will play a significant role.”

The new eCommerce solution provides tools to boosting sales

Minimani’s eCommerce project started with an audit of the old system: what worked, what didn’t, and what would be included in the new system? The audit resulted in a roadmap for how to develop the functionalities and which focus areas to prioritize. Modern user interface and architecture solutions were used to improve the usability of the site. Business objectives such as improving conversion and increasing average order sizes helped drive the work. The eCommerce was integrated with all Minimani back-end systems. 

Switching the eCommerce was a big effort for Minimani, made even more challenging by the fact that the old eCommerce solution had not evolved enough over the years. “Usually, eCommerce development is done in steps, but because we missed a few steps, we had to make a bigger leap at once”, says Tuomo Simojoki. Although the transition to the new system was not a painless project, Pinja’s experience and expertise helped us through the difficult steps. “With Pinja’s guidance, we had a clear picture of the situation at all times. We had to make some difficult decisions, but Pinja gave us a clear explanation of the risks, consequences and necessary measures of the different options” Simojoki continues.   

Minimani’s thoroughly redesigned eCommerce solution opened for customers in September 2022, but the development work continues. Tuomo Simojoki says: “We can already see that the site is faster, and easier to manage. Our next step is to invest in internal work; now we have the opportunity to implement all the things we have planned for the eCommerce, such as improving conversion and increasing sales and average order sizes.” 

More customer-oriented service through collaboration between product information management and eCommerce

The cooperation between Minimani and Pinja will not only continue on the development of the eCommerce, but also on the product information management (PIM) solution. The product information management solution serves both Minimani’s eCommerce and the network of stores. The PIM manages product-related data such as marketing texts, images and nutritional content and the use of these data in marketing materials, manuals and campaigns, for example, by delivering enriched data through integration with different systems. Product information management also works with external product information services, such as GS1’s Synkka product information service.

Once the product information management project is completed, managing and packaging the product range becomes much easier. Minimani has a range of tens of thousands of products. By automating the work involved in managing product information, the amount of manual work is reduced, and products can be sold faster. In addition, the product information visible to the customer is of higher quality, more varied, and easier to find. This also makes the customer’s path faster and easier, and improves the customer experience. The implementation allows Minimani to build its product range in a more customer-oriented way.

Pinja’s strengths as a eCommerce solution provider include solid technology expertise, long experience with Magento and Adobe Commerce platforms, and versatile knowledge of the retail industry. Pinja focuses on long-term client relationships, and wants to grow together with its clients. Tero Kangas describes Pinja’s way of working in the following way: “We speak the same language as the client, and understand the challenges, values and ideology of the retail sector. We can proactively guide our clients, and help them identify challenges, because we have learned them the hard way.”

Both parties feel that open and honest cooperation leads to good results. Tuomo Simojoki sums up, “We appreciate that Pinja shares the problems and challenges with us as they are, and dares to challenge us.” Kangas adds, “When cooperation works, we know we are on to something important. Minimani has a desire to develop and work together. It makes work easy, even when things are not.”

Images: Minimani

Minimani in a nutshell

400 employees

1986 founded in

7 stores

155 M€ turnover (2021)

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