At the leading edge of eCommerce

A decade of growth for Solutionists and our clients

12 Oct 2020

Solutionists have been in the eCommerce game since 2001. In the tech world, that’s a lifetime. Over almost 20 years in business, we’ve watched eCommerce evolve beyond recognition – and our solutions have adapted to match. As some of our long-term clients reach milestone anniversaries, we’re looking back at how the online shopping sphere has transformed since 2001.

The evolution of online shopping

eCommerce, as we know it today, has been around since 1991 – but the stepping stones that got us there came earlier. After computer-to-computer communication became possible in the late 1960s, the network that would become the internet started to grow. In 1979, the first electronic payment went through, using a modified TV connected to a computer by a telephone line. When the world wide web opened up to the public in the early 90s, it was finally possible for companies to sell their products online – although it took a few more years for retailers and consumers to get comfortable with the concept.

Now, almost 30 years later, most of us are more than comfortable with online shopping. In New Zealand, 44% of people shop online regularly, with 8.9% of all retail spending happening online. The way we shop online has changed significantly as well. Shopping on your mobile, click-and-collect, social media integration, live-chat support, afterpay, even simple things like stored credit card data and targeted purchase suggestions weren’t available 20 years ago.

Helping our clients keep up in a changing world

Solutionists have always been at the cutting edge of eCommerce in New Zealand. We’re continually adapting our offerings as new technology appears – that’s probably why our clients tend to stick around for so long. Three of our long-standing clients are great examples of evolution in eCommerce. As they approach anniversaries with Solutionists, it’s a good time to look back at how their needs – and our solutions – have changed.

K&K Fashions - from simple desktop to responsive mobile

K&K Fashions asked Solutionists to develop their first eCommerce site way back in 2010. Their first online store used an early version of our MaxCommerce sales platform and was designed for desktop users. 

The site had a simple, streamlined design and UI, making it easy for K&K’s customer base to use. The complexity came in at the back end – stock availability, branch-to-branch transfers, automated dispatch emails, plus automatic access to sales and product data. These features made life simpler for staff and management at K&K, automating many processes that had been manual and time-consuming. 

In 2015, we completed a major upgrade of the K&K site. Because online shopping on mobile had exploded in the intervening years, the updated platform was designed to be fully responsive, with a focus on mobile. 

Since then, we have continued to tweak the K&K site, adding features and fine-tuning the design as needed. In-store stock availability, courier integration, online vouchers, afterpay, and click-and-collect all offer K&K customers more options, making it easier for them to find – and purchase – what they want. The website is now integrated with email marketing platform Mailchimp, and we’ve helped the team set up an Instagram feed to promote offers and new styles. 

As eCommerce continues to evolve, we’ll keep the K&K site updated to match. 

Ecco Shoes - streamlined design and updated features

Ecco Shoes is a Danish company specialising in high-quality shoes and leather products. In 2015, they partnered with Solutionists to develop their New Zealand sales site, and we launched it the following year. Since then they’ve been through several changes, switching their site to a new ERP and updating design elements including product badges. 

Now, the site is streamlined and integrated with Ontempo, their point-of-sale software. Payment options like Laybuy give customers more choice, a “where in stock” feature allows customers to look up availability at physical stores and new features are in the pipeline coming soon.

Computer Food - High-tech site for tech consumables

Computer Food sells a huge range of tech products – from printer ink and toner to photo paper, printers, and ergonomic accessories. As more of their business was moving online, they approached Solutionists to help them develop a new eCommerce site in 2015.

Now, the Computer Food site is fully responsive, with a custom mega-menu layout that works to separate and define their wide range of products. Stock availability is visible to customers, there are related products making it easy for customers to buy compatible products for their tech products and there are a couple of shipping options available including express shipping. The site is integrated with their back-end system to streamline online orders, and new product listings plus relevant photos and stock levels are automatically imported to the site.

It’s about making a large, complicated product range simple and accessible for customers and staff.

The future of eCommerce

Customer demand, evolving software, and changing business needs means that change is inevitable in the eCommerce world. It’s no different for our clients. 

Since they started working with us, K&K Fashions and Ecco Shoes websites have been through a lot of changes. We’ve enjoyed supporting them with the latest eCommerce products and features, and helping them get the most out of their sites. And it’s not the end of the story – we’ll be there as they look for more options to offer customers, more ways to streamline business processes, and more high-tech features for their eCommerce sites. 

Want to upgrade your eCommerce site? Get in touch for a chat. 

author:

Solutionists

date published:

12 Oct 2020