This document has been created for future reference incase we need to revisit something. It hopefully also provides some insight into our thought process but ultimately it hopes to determine if it was successful and could have been improved.
Sindy is back!
The much sought after and well remembered brand is due for a comeback. Sindy holds cult status among collectors and Hasbo have opened the door to a new line of dolls. Aimed largely at collectors, the products are produced to very high standard. The new line brings a modern take on the retro style of the original dolls from 1963.
- Full online marketing campaign and sales channel for new line of Sindy dolls.
- Global e-commerce store
- Internationally accessible
- Allow pre-payments
- Allow payment by instalments
- Maintain the branding and style
- Automate distribution, logistics channel
- Email marketing subscription and mailouts
Released in 1963 Sindy dolls had a unique look popular in the UK but when the doll was redesigned for the US market it fell out of favour and Barbie took the lead in the fashion doll market.
Originally giving Barbie a run for its money the Sindy brand has achieved a cult following with a familiar iconic pink style and its absence has only built anticipation among fans.
Given the popularity of retro fashion in todays market and the fond memories of the original doll, Sindy is primed for a successful comeback.
Initially the doll would need enough momentum to achieve viral sharing through collectors channels. Using a mailing list signup page and a coming soon teaser site, interested parties emails were collected via announcing and displaying at collector events such as Dollycon.
The site was updated periodically teasing new information as it became available to encourage organic spread of the new products.
The dolls were professionally designed true to the original style and listening to the fans. The fans were kept up to date with the development of the dolls through release of early design drawings.
Teaser site used static site generation, deployed from version control system which provided a performant site preferred by search engines. While site performance was good from a customer perspective, changes to the site were slow. On various occasions dynamic elements were requested with little notice and developing them as server less functions would be too time consuming. When the site was required to add commerce functionality it was decided we should move to a traditional platform with pre-built functions.
Mailing campaigns were performed via constant contact. Signup form embedded directly in the site and HTML emails could be coordinated with site releases.
When e-commerce was required the site style and structure was duplicated in Shopify relatively easily and connected to existing external services.
To encourage conversions, the customers were to be offered deferred payment broken into smaller instalments with zero interest.
In theory this increased the potential market by making products more affordable but with the unforeseen management difficulties. The process required customers to pay each instalment within the final delivery date requiring communication by the customer service department when customers did not complete their purchase for various reasons.
Support was limited in Shopify's checkout and client was advised on payment gateways, the eventual choice provided limited functionality and required a workaround.
Our client was new to e-commerce and required further training and support to maintain accurate records between after sales care and payment provider. Our team provided direct on-demand support to the customer service department, expertise of coordinating systems to make sure refunds were reflected in the orders before being sent to distributors.
E-commerce system was directly connected to logistic system to automate the entire process. An order management API was required to automate the distribution of orders to relevant distribution centres. The client required orders be processed by shipping location. Distribution centres were automatically selected by shipping zone, depending on stock levels.
Shopify’s order API provided a performant way to access sales information and provide it to distribution centres allowing us to limit access to only information required for shipping.
Distribution centres all have their own requirements. The Rococo team communicated directly with each centre to determine their specification for order processing.
Overall the project succeeded but had a few stumbling points. The JAMstack approach in hindsight was good and could have achieved the final result probably even better if Shopify's checkout can be bypassed to better integrate with the payment provider but would no doubt have knock on effects with order management. Ultimately its about deciding when a client can rely on external services and APIs and when they requires a complete e-commerce system.