Client

THE ROAD AHEAD OF US

THE CHALLENGE

Samsonite Bulgaria had a strong need for a new modern e-commerce website which would correspond to the growing requirements of customers and be up to date with the latest trends. The company turned to Whiz, after considering our experience and accomplishments in the field of e-commerce development. In front of us, we had the challenge of making the Bulgarian online store of the world’s leading luggage manufacturer and retailer more elegant, more functional and even more profitable.

Our aim was for the new e-commerce website to surpass the existing one by far and to perform perfectly in every respect. It had to provide excellent user experience (online shopping experience) and customer service and to have effective management. To give shoppers a great time, we had to create a beautiful and functional interface with fast loading web pages. To give them the best customer service while they are browsing through the products and making a purchase, it was necessary to build a reliable and easy-to-use management system covering the website content, order processing and customer relationships. We also had to integrate the online store with third-party software systems and more specifically, with an inventory management program and payment systems, which included a virtual POS terminal of Fibank Bulgaria for online debit and credit card payments, PayPal for online payments, ePay.bg for payments via a micro-account or card, B-Pay for ATM payments and EasyPay for cash payments. This new project was huge and presented both technical and creative challenges.
eCommerce Store

E-COMMERCE WEBSITE DEVELOPMENT

Samsonite

Our team renovated the online store of Samsonite in Bulgaria taking the global brand’s e-commerce business in the country to a whole new level.

Go to project

STRATEGIC GOALS

WHAT WE BUILT

OUR CREATION

The first step in a major endeavor like the development of an effectively working business unit for e-commerce was the building of a complete digital strategy. The strategy had to cover all online retail process from marketing to inventory management and customer relationship management. We established productive cooperation with Samsonite Bulgaria quite quickly. This enabled us to define the priorities, to prepare an action plan and to set the project deadlines and milestones without wasting time. The preparation for the rebuilding of the online store began right away.

Research and Analysis
Knowing the business and its target market well is fundamental for the development of a successful digital strategy. That is why we studied the business of Samsonite Bulgaria thoroughly, covering everything - from the product range to the customer service policies, product shipping and returns management. This gave us a clear idea of the existing problems, which required innovative solutions from us, and of how to optimize the work processes for achieving higher efficiency. With close attention to detail, we built the main concept for the development of the e-commerce website, which would incorporate a complete set of processes - marketing, sales, delivery, communication with customers, product availability tracking and content management. To ensure the long-term success of the online store, we planned the creation of an internal system which would provide user interaction and sales data.

At the preparation stage, we also studied other online stores of Samsonite servicing different countries around the world. This is how we gained in-depth understanding of the latest trends in the online sales of luggage, bags and travel accessories and got to know the brand identity better. Our team was ready to make the Bulgarian e-commerce website of the company a proud member of the global Samsonite family. We had a clear path to follow and the creative process could begin.

Effective Planning and Communication
There was a lot of mutual work awaiting the teams of Whiz and Samsonite Bulgaria. At the scheduled work meetings, we planned carefully the tasks to be done and set realistic deadlines. We also selected the project management team on our side and the person for contact on the side of the brand. This guaranteed us excellent communication and a smooth work process.

A Reliable Tactic
Our next step was to run full analysis of the previous e-commerce site’s content, focusing on the number and types of product categories, the total number of products and the information pages like About Us, Delivery and Returns. Our goal was to determine how the different web pages were indexed by Google so that we could keep them visible to the search engine and preserve their URLs. This was of great importance for the online marketing of the brand as Google is among the main channels for maintaining and increasing the traffic to the site.

By evaluating the available data, we determined what we had to add and what to create from scratch to make the e-commerce website the perfect place for online shopping which is also easy to manage. One of our most valuable assets at the time was the large number of product photos which the client had. When the product is attractively presented and people can view it from all sides, they get a better idea of what they will receive in terms of style, looks, functionality and overall quality. This boosts the chance of an online sale and helps to increase revenue and profit.

Description and Prototype
The creation of a masterpiece begins with a blueprint. To build a stable and effectively working e-commerce website, we described thoroughly all of its components - the sections and features and the integration with the payment systems and the inventory management program. We defined the user path through the different sections of the online store by arranging them in a logical way. This is the key to intuitive navigation. We explained the purpose of all buttons that shoppers would use while viewing a product - for adding the product to the shopping cart, to their wish list and to the comparison table.

We presented graphically all steps of the checkout process - adding the product to the shopping cart, filling out the shipping address, payment and overview. The process is short and simple for giving maximum convenience to customers. It takes seconds to fill out the required fields. Customers can select from a variety of payment options. As perfectionists, we described each detail meticulously.

With excellently described features, clearly defined website sections and well-planned content, we moved onto the creation of a prototype. Our designers prepared black and white wireframes of all web pages which included genuine written content and clearly labeled page buttons. When we presented the interactive model of the e-commerce website to Samsonite Bulgaria, they were utterly impressed with the design, the easy navigation and the rich content that visitors would receive. We knew exactly what to do next and how.

E-Commerce Website Design
With great motivation and creative spark, we began working on the website’s responsive design - a very enjoyable phase of this inspiring project. This type of design allows the site to adapt to the differently sized screens of the connected devices including desktop computers, laptops, tablets, phablets and smartphones and to work impeccably on them. Whether users click on the categories in the menu and on the products or touch and swipe the screen of their phone to find something at the online store, they receive the same kind of fulfilling experience, without obstacles or slowdowns.

By using bright and cheerful, but not overpowering colors, we gave the e-commerce website a stylish and lively appeal. The buttons and the icons with stylized symbols indicating the different features stand out and make shopping easy and quick. We used images to highlight all components of the website and the menu (card-based web design) for making them attractive and convenient to use. Each element stands out and creates a fun atmosphere no matter if it presents a product or a link to a subsection. Why have only clickable text when an attractive image makes users eager to see and learn more? The basic design elements work for marketing and promotion. We also created various “special effects” for enriching the user experience on the website even further. When the cursor is placed on a payment icon, for example, a pop-up with short instructions appears.

To make the e-commerce website design process highly productive, we created work groups with representatives of our team and that of Samsonite Bulgaria. We discussed the look and feel of the different sections and pages, shared ideas and made improvements, based on the valuable feedback. We wanted to make sure that everything would be crafted to perfection and it was - we achieved the ideal outcome.

E-Commerce Website Development
The next phase of the project involved programming. Our web developers received all design files and started to work their magic. HTML files were all over the place. A bit of JavaScript here, a bit of CSS there, the user interface was coming out perfect. The website’s front-end was ready. Our back-end programmers, who are remarkable specialists in the field, developed the software powering the online store and all processes on it, from the shopping and checkout to the management. Our choice of technologies included Symphony for the framework, PHP as the programming language, MySQL for the database, Linux environment and Apache for the web server. This is an excellent combination for the building of a functional and dependably performing online store which has the potential to grow in the future. Our client enjoys outstanding results - an ever higher number of visitors, conversions and sales.

We created an amazing user experience enabling the customers of Samsonite Bulgaria to derive genuine pleasure from online shopping. Each product of each collection is easy to find via the menu, through the navigable elements with images on each page and with the custom search engine which we built. Shoppers can use a wide variety of filters for specifying their preferences and requirements in order to find the ideal suitcase, bag or accessory super quickly. Those looking for cabin luggage can filter the products based on the maximum size allowed by the airlines which they fly with frequently.

One of our favorite features is the quick product view. When users select this option, the product details appear in a pop-up window over the main one. This saves time and makes shopping more pleasant. In addition to viewing each suitcase in different colors, users can check how it will look next to them given their height, thanks to the special module which we created - a useful and fun feature.

Product comparison is another important feature which we made for the Samsonite e-commerce website in Bulgaria. Shoppers simply have to add the products which they want to compare to the list and go to the comparison page, where they can find a table with all specs of the selected items arranged in categories such as size, make and so on. The table is detailed yet very easy to use. There is an option for highlighting only the differences between the products. Customers can make a choice within minutes.

Given the large product range of the brand, we added a wish list feature to the online store. Shoppers simply have to click on the designated button to add a product to their list of favorites. It’s not necessary for them to memorize all items which have made an impression on them. They simply need to mark them so that they become quickly accessible. This works exceptionally well for increasing the rate of conversion. We enriched the user experience even further by adding web pages with useful information including “Service” and “Technologies” plus a blog with the latest news and valuable tips.

Visitors to the Bulgarian online store of Samsonite naturally expect world-class customer service from the leading global luggage brand and we gave it to them by creating a convenient and easy-to-use shopping cart. What’s more, shoppers can have an online chat with a sales assistant. During the times of day when the staff is offline, visitors can leave a message with the option to connect via email, their Facebook account or Google+ account.

Users can create an account on the Samsonite e-commerce website easily. The registration form takes less than a minute to fill out. Having an account can save you a lot of time when placing orders - you don’t have to enter your address and phone number as they are already available. You can also edit them at any given time. We actually gave users the option to create a whole list of shipping addresses for maximum convenience. Order overview is another helpful feature accessible only via the user account. Customers can check the products which they have bought and the payments which they have made. They can also track orders and receive up-to-date information. This is how customers enjoy perfect peace of mind and an even better service. We also gave them a time-saving option - to link their online store account to their Facebook, Twitter, Google+ and/or LinkedIn account. This is beneficial for the company too as they can receive the allowed profile data which is invaluable for crafting personalized offers and for marketing as a whole.

We added a great selection of payment options to the e-commerce website to make purchases as easy as possible. One of our primary solutions was the integration of a virtual POS terminal of First Investment Bank Bulgaria enabling payments with MasterCard, Maestro and Visa cards. Customers can also pay using a physical POS terminal at any of the bank’s branches. Cash payments and bank account transfers can be made via any bank in the country. Buyers can also make online payments via PayPal or its local alternative ePay.bg. Another option is to use the B-pay system for payments via ATM. Alternatively, customers can pay cash upon receiving their purchase or at any EasyPay branch. With the provision of various payment options, we practically covered all segments of the brand’s target market, regardless of their demographics. This has proven to be an effective marketing tactic.

All processes taking place at the online store are managed via a convenient custom-made CMS panel. All tasks including arranging products and adding new ones, changing text, uploading new images and editing information take just a few clicks and a few seconds to complete. The panel has sections for sales, marketing and customer relationship management too. Order processing and the launching of new offers with a fixed term are other simplified tasks.

We also enabled the reliable communication between Samsonite Bulgaria and their customers. Everything necessary for the processing of enquiries, from organizing them to sending replies, is done via the panel. There is no need for the administrator “to jump” from one window to another all the time. This is how we helped the team save time and effort and improve productivity. By integrating inventory management software, we enabled the tracking of stocks in real time. This minimizes the risk of a product, which is in high demand, being out of stock for a long time.

Another one of the major features that we created as part of the management panel was the dashboard with e-commerce performance analytics. It enables the company’s staff to track sales and visitor traffic in real time and to compare data on a weekly basis, monthly basis and so on. There are graphics and charts which make data analysis faster and more effective. We also added a feature for making queries with specific parameters such as a query about the sales made from January 1 to February 1 to customers in Sofia, for example. This helps to make all work processes, from planning to exercising control, go smoothly. It is easy to export data to files like Excel spreadsheets (.xls, xlsx) so that it can be used effectively in all departments of the company.

We also made the management of the panel itself efficient. Each staff member involved in the running of the online store can be given a different access level. The website sections and features accessible at each level are determined in advance. Different functions can be assigned to each level. For example, a piece of information can be viewed by first-level users, changed by second-level users and approved by third-level users. The access-level system allows for higher productivity and more effective monitoring and control on the part of managers.

Testing and Making the E-Commerce Website Perfect
At the final stage of the project, we subjected the e-commerce website to rigorous testing - manual, automated and logical. We used functional tests including usability, performance, load and stress tests to find out how well the different features worked. With the help of nonfunctional tests such as storage, documentation and recovery tests, we evaluated the nonfunctional components of the website. We determined the utility of the user features considering their performance. We used the test data to optimize processes, remove program bugs and fix images. With adding elements and perfecting everything, we completed the web development phase. It is our commitment to make digital products of the highest quality for our customers. In this case, we had built a fabulous online store which offered an incredible user experience and was easy to manage at the same time. People appreciate our innovative solutions and this the biggest accolade for our work.

We were ready to configure the servers hosting the Samsonite e-commerce website for Bulgaria and did it with maximum precision. The next step was to include a system for automatic backup and say…GO!

The Samsonite online store was live. It is now accessible to everyone in Bulgaria and in the whole world. It works 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, without any glitches. This is something that we, at Whiz, guarantee. Our team maintains, optimizes and upgrades the e-commerce website continuously.

In case a functional problem arises, it is eliminated immediately. Our client can reach us at any time by calling us, using an online chat or sending an email. We rely on effective communication to provide for the long-term growth of the online store in line with the plans of the company. We optimize the user interface and the back-end functionality and add new features. By upgrading the online store regularly, we ensure that it is up to date with the latest trends in UX design, e-commerce management and technology in general. Our main goal is to make the website ever more competitive in the dynamic online environment.

Visit samsonitebg.com and enjoy an unforgettable journey - browse through the products, which are conveniently arranged in categories, and have fun while doing it. Shoppers can leave feedback, talk to a sales assistant of Samsonite Bulgaria using the online chat, and create an account. It is easy choose a suitcase and to make a purchase to get maximum satisfaction from this wonderful journey and appreciate our creation.

INTERESTING ASPECTS

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