The Spicery Box Switcher Web Application

Project overview

The Spicery produce and supply freshly prepared spice kits and spice boxes to customers across the globe and they initially approached me to take on a Magento project that a local web agency had failed to deliver due to various budgetary issues. It quickly became apparent that Magento was in fact the wrong software choice for their business and to move the company forward we needed to adopt a different digital strategy to maximize value.

Objectives

The project required a nimble approach to the development of a new service that would allow customers to switch subscription products within an existing subscription package so if they wanted to try another product from a differnt subscription package then they could easily swtich for either the currrent month or all subsequent months. The service would need to integrate was the clients back-office system - TrackVIA - and would also provide a base for future development.

What I did

To move the company forward and halt a slide in sales we decided to create a web application that worked in a similar way to the Graze.com by allowing customers to switch boxes and manage basic settings such as personal information. The project required a custom web application to be developed in a limited time frame as there was a pressing need to get the service live to the public so marketing campaigns could be launched.

I decided to create a simple PHP application featuring extensive use of JQuery and AJAX as this provided elegant user interactions that could be extended in future without having to rewrite large amounts of code. Twitter Bootstrap was chosen as the mobile responsive front-end framework as the application needed to be useable on a mixture of devices.

Paper prototype wire-frames were developed in tandem with the client and a basic layout was quickly defined and developed into a clickable static HTML protoype onto which I applied some basic interactive elements such as carousels and modal windows. The application was designed using colours and typography that made use of the existing brand so the service could easily slot in amongst the company's other online assets.

Results

The project worked well and was implemented quickly, this has helped with customer retention rates and additional sells of related products. The application integrates with The Spicery's back office systems and payment gateways and provides a seamless way to allow customers freedom of choice whilst providing the business with advertising and growth opportunities - customer retention rates are higher and product knowledge is greater.