More control on customer journey with integrated commerce platform

ThiemeMeulenhoff is the market leader in educational materials for exam preparation. The existing Examenbundel website has been quickly and smoothly transformed into a D2C ordering site using Propeller’s headless and API-first commerce platform.

Propeller's VUE storefront plugin allowed us to quickly add e-commerce to the existing website. Propeller's GraphQL APIs made this very easy. Marijn Hurkens Lead Developer bij Oberon

The Challenge

Visitors to the Examenbundel website – owned by educational publisher ThiemeMeulenhoff – could previously only find information on the site.

You could only place orders on partner websites. As a result, ThiemeMeulenhoff had no control over the entire customer journey, because data on the last part of the purchase process in particular was missing.

Research among users off the site – especially students in the final exam year and their parents/guardians – also showed that they did expect to be able to order directly from

To this end, ThiemeMeulenhoff decided to set up a direct sales channel in addition to the indirect channel.

The approach

From mid-March 2022, customers can also order exam bundles directly on A web shop has been added to the existing website, developed by Oberon, using innovative architecture. With Propeller’s APIs, Oberon was able to easily add the functionality to the technical infrastructure. We used the following tools and technologies:

  • The headless CMS Contentful as a data source connects seamlessly to Propeller’s Headless platform, without disruption or changes to the existing site
  • On the front-end of the site (developed with VUE framework Nuxt), Propeller’s commerce functionalities are easily added with VUE Storefront and VUE SF plug-in

GraphQL API’s

Propeller uses GraphQL APIs instead of REST APIs. This not only ensures faster implementation, but also the retrieval of data from the back-end runs more smoothly. Developers can compose requests to retrieve data from Propeller in a single API call. In addition, GraphQL API administrators can add or remove fields without affecting existing queries.

I like working with Contentful because it is stable and intuitive. With Propeller I can continue to work with this CMS, even if I want to show products and prices in any desired place on the website. Sjanne de Haan Product Owner at

Why Propeller

Propeller fits with the headless commerce concept in the IT vision of ThiemeMeulenhoff and thus In addition, the educational publisher has previously worked successfully with Propeller in setting up a B2B ordering platform for schools.

The advantages of Propeller at a glance

  • Due to the headless commerce architecture, you disconnect the front-end from the back-end, so that there is maximum freedom of choice. Choose your favorite CMS (Contentful in this case) and all desired sales channels
  • Propeller technology offers maximum flexibility and is future proof
  • Maintaining powerful B2B functionalities, such as Self-service Portals, Sales Portal and modules such as Pricing
  • Easy integration between the commerce platform and core systems, such as ERP and CRM, but also externally with the systems of logistics service provider Centraal Boekhuis (CB) using GraphQL APIs


The collaboration

Oberon was involved in the preliminary research, concept, UX and visual design for this project. In addition, the implementation partner advised on a technical level. Propeller not only provided the platform, the VUE SF plugin and GraphQL APIs, but also actively contributed to a seamless integration.

" has experienced the project as very pleasant. If several parties work together on a single solution, this often results in a complicated process. But here the communication was very direct and professional, so that the deliveries were on time and of good quality. And that too. once remotely, without having met each other physically." Sjanne de Haan Product Owner at

The result

Now that customers can order directly on the Examenbundel website, ThiemeMeulenhoff has more control over the customer journey. The new D2C channel offers the publisher the following benefits.

Promotions and tests

Test what works best with promotions and benefit packages. For example, there is now a promotion with a stack discount: 5% discount for two books, 10% for three books and 15% for more than four books.

Cross-sell options

More cross-sell possibilities, by easily compiling bundles (which is also advantageous for authors who can sell multiple titles in this way). By selling directly to consumers, the margin on products increases.

Control on the purchasing process

Total control over the purchasing process; Examenbundel now makes personalized offers based on previous orders. In addition, there is full insight into sales per product (category).

Consumer insight

Examenbundel learns from commerce what students expect and can respond to it.

"At Contentful, we are happy with this project. It shows how easy it is to seamlessly integrate robust commerce functionality with our headless content platform. It offers the added value of quickly launching beautiful digital commerce experiences." Micha Boas SAAS Enterprise Partnership & Account Management leader


The first Examenbundel dates from 1979 and was compiled by Jack Wiebenga, who was then an economics teacher at the Montessori Lyceum in Amsterdam. He noticed that his students needed examples of old exams to practice for their own exams. Other subject teachers soon joined his initiative and exam bundles were created for every subject at every school level.

Examenbundels are now a household name in secondary schools. Thousands of students owe their diplomas to it. Examenbundel is published by ThiemeMeulenhoff. The educational publisher has expanded exam preparation with Summary, Surely Success! and Exam idiom.

About Oberon

Oberon has been the online agency with a focus on digital platform development for over 25 years.

They build unique platforms. In the long run. They do this with their own professionals. They do not do this for the customer, but with the customer. Their productions take the form of (responsive) web applications, websites and mobile apps.

About Contentful

Contentful, the leading content platform for digital-first business, helps over 30% of the Fortune 500 and thousands of brands around the world create and manage digital experiences for their customers across any channel. It enables greater speed and scale than traditional CMS solutions. Contentful unifies content in a single hub, structures it for use in any digital channel, and integrates seamlessly with hundreds of other tools through open APIs. Companies such as Siemens, Plaid, Goodrx, Intercom, Notion, Staples and many others rely on Contentful’s platform.


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