DEVELOPING OUR E-COMMERCE BUSINESS SHOULD ENTAIL OVERHAULING OUR WEBSITE
In 2013, in order to sustain its growth and meet high demand from the Swiss market, My-store.ch wanted to completely overhaul its website to improve performance and thus offer an improved user experience to its customers.
The platform now offers its customers more than 200 new sales per month and gets 10 million page views over the same period.
From developing the e-commerce website to creating the mobile app... Focus on this collaboration with Alexandre Branquart, the CTO of My-store.ch
Exponential growth which requires a powerful website
"When My-store.ch was set up in 2009, our objective was clearly to become the no. 1 in private sales in Switzerland. Once it was launched, there was a very positive response from the Swiss market, and growth has continued to increase as a result of the success of our offers," explains Alexandre Branquart.
"From the outset we chose to build our website using the Magento tool, as it is particularly well suited to online private sales websites.
As the company was in good health, we wanted to go further and have a new version of the e-commerce platform that could handle large volumes of products, a lot of traffic and handle the company's growth over the next few years," he says.
"To thrive, we had to start 'from scratch'"
"In 2013, we decided to get help from outside expertise. We wanted to work with a partner who could provide us with different resources and expertise to ours.
SQLI Switzerland's thorough knowledge and command of e-commerce software, including the Magento platform, convinced us.
Our objective: to offer our customers an optimal user experience, thus fostering a better commercial transformation.
One of the major technical challenges on this project was the migration of data. It was essential to retain all existing information on the old version (customer data, information on orders, etc.), while taking into account the fact that changes to customer data or orders could be made up until the switch to the new version and in a transparent way for our customers.
"The other major challenge was to display voluminous (several hundred to a few thousand) and dynamic (sorting by availability, filtering by size) product lists and without pagination or any notable progressive loading in accordance with our requirements.
To do this, the SQLI Switzerland consultants, in collaboration with the internal teams, implemented two technologies - Node.js and Elasticsearch - in addition to the Magento solution, which offer a high performance level on our website," says Alexandre Branquart.
"The My-store.ch e-commerce website goes beyond our initial requirements"
"Using agile methods, the SQLI Switzerland teams carried out functional and load tests throughout the project in order to analyse the reactions of the platform before officially going online. And since the new version of our e-commerce website has been in production, we have not seen any malfunctions.
Every day we offer 7 new sales, which represents approximately 2,000 new products. The system must be more efficient than ever to handle this volume. If we are just talking about live data, we ought to be able to have 1 million products available. In short, in terms of performance, flexibility and maintainability, the challenge has been met!" says the company's CTO.
"The mobile application that we are going to launch will enable us to communicate with our customers in a different way"
"The logical continuation for us after overhauling our website was to create a mobile application, and consequently open up a new channel of communication with our customers.
With the My-store.ch app, we will have the option to send push notifications to our users to inform them about our exclusive offers and thus boost traffic to our website.
The habits and requirements of our customers are evolving. Many want to be able to access our sales on their smartphones and at their fingertips. So we need to adapt to the new uses...
At the moment, the mobile application is a trial version and will be officially launched in the summer of 2016. SQLI Switzerland's consultants used React Native, which makes it possible to write a source code, which is compatible with both iOS and Android.
This will enable us to test the app with our customers and analyse whether or not there is a positive response to it. If this is the case, we will arrange to add more advanced features."
"We see our partnership with SQLI Switzerland as more than just providing services. It's a long-term alliance. This overhaul project was a team effort. We are delighted to be as successful as we are in our market, without having to bear the financial burdens of internal consultants," says Alexandre Branquart.
The recent opening of the SQLI agency in Zurich is a major asset for us. Wherever we want to develop our business, SQLI Switzerland will support us," says the CTO by way of conclusion.
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