Practical experience meets teaching: The Capstone Project by Kaufland e-commerce and the University of Cologne

How can business and science network more closely? Kaufland e-commerce and the University of Cologne have a simple answer to this question: with a joint project initiative that benefits both sides. The business informatics students at CIIS (Cologne Institute for Information Systems) can thereby gain practical experience once a semester in a Capstone Project in cooperation with our tech department. For more information on the project, check out our article.

This is the Capstone Project

The Capstone Project is required for many degree programmes towards the end of the course. It is a comprehensive final year project that gives students the opportunity to apply the content from their studies in the context of a practical project. The goal of the project is to implement practical work and present it during a final presentation.

The Capstone Project by Kaufland e-commerce and the University of Cologne is designed as one semester each. The task for the students: develop a software solution to a real-world e-commerce problem. Initial experience with common industry standards as well as practical insights into the workings of a modern tech department are guaranteed.

This hands-on experience is also often a first step towards the professional world for students. Felix Graf from our tech department completed the Capstone Project as a student, which is how he found his way to us:

I took part in the Capstone Project in the summer semester back in 2019 with e-commerce (at that time it was still called as a practice partner. It was one of the highlights of the whole course, because it was loads of fun! We worked in groups on an exciting project and got an interesting insight into the world of e-commerce. Subsequently, I started as a working student and have since become a permanent employee after completing my bachelor’s degree. (Felix, Tech & Product)

Are you looking for a job?
Perfect - we are always looking for new talents!
Our job offers
Welcome :)

The topic in WS 2021/22: Product Tester Programme

The Capstone Project took place for the sixth time in the winter semester of 2021/22. This semester was all about a key issue in e-commerce: How can the number and quality of product reviews on the online marketplace be increased?

This time, a group of six students participated in the project. Their task was to develop a proposal how this problem can be solved with the help of a software and finally present a working software product.

But from the beginning: Why are these product reviews, also called user-generated content, so important for companies?

User-generated content: explanation of term and significance for online trading

  • User-generated content is content on a website that is created by the users themselves.
  • It can be comments, ratings or pictures/videos.
  • In online stores, prospective customers can gain an authentic impression of an item through the product reviews of real users.
  • This information is not available on other platforms, which is why our online marketplace stands out from competitors.

Particularly with a large selection of similar items, authentic product reviews from real customers make it easier for prospective customers to make a purchase decision. The increased user activity and duration of stay also increases the visibility of the website on search engines such as Google.

Student solution approach: The development of a product tester programme is intended to improve the number of customer reviews as well as the quality of user contributions. This way, sellers have the opportunity to easily provide products for testing and receive ratings for them.

The Process

The Capstone Project began with a kick-off date in October 2021. The development process up until the presentation of the final software demo in February 2022 was divided into several sprints of ten days each.

  • At the beginning of the project, the tasks were recorded and prioritised.
  • After each sprint, the students talked to our project supervisors Andreas Michalski (Product Manager, Tech & Product) and Robin Thüs (Junior Product Manager, Tech & Product) about the current state of development and how best to proceed.
  • The students also received helpful tips from members of the tech department who had themselves participated in a Capstone Project when they were students.


Jonas Eisenreich from our tech department was also one along with Felix, so he knows both sides. From his point of view, the project offers great added value for the students and the company alike:

The Capstone Project offers students the opportunity to gain insights into software projects while applying agile working methods and collaborating with a practice partner. They can apply the skills they have gained practically, and learn a lot of new things at the same time. The practice partner also benefits from the project work, as they are given the opportunity to solve a real problem together with the students. So depending on the requirements, a prototype or even a finished product can be created that represents real added value for the company. (Jonas, Tech & Product)

The Result

At the end of the Capstone Project, students presented a working demo version of a product tester program. While the product proposal is not a deployable software solution, the demo version gives an impression of what a product tester program might look like. For our tech department, it therefore represents a good basis for further thoughts and self-developments. From our perspective, the result is therefore a complete success.

Students had the opportunity to demonstrate their skills in a hands-on assignment in a real business environment as part of the Capstone Project. In addition to the valuable practical experience, they were also able to make helpful contacts in the e-commerce industry. Again, the project was therefore of great benefit to both sides.


And so it continues!

In the current summer semester of 2022, a Capstone Project will again take place in cooperation with the University of Cologne. This time, the students face the challenge of developing a chatbot for our Seller Portal. You can find out about the solutions proposed by the students and other exciting insights into the project process here in the blog after the final presentation.