Disaster are designers and manufacturers of an eclectic range of fashion and lifestyle accessories developed in house and then sold through selected retailers in the UK and overseas. They also produce exclusive licenced collections for The Beatles, Moomin Characters, and Jan Constantine. With a growing customer base spread across all continents Disaster required a web based sales order platform that allowed their retailers to place orders any time of the day and to eliminate the need to re-key the orders that can contain up to 250 lines to their Accounts system. The overall goal was to have a seamless web based sales ordering process that works 24 hours and reduce human errors.
B2B integrated e-Commerce
Kentico CMS, Red Transact TranSync Integration, Red Transact B2B Extensions
The core requirements entailed providing a characterful design which connected Disaster’s quirky character with their world-wide
customer base – and we do mean world-wide with outlets in the USA to New Zealand across all continents. Yet the site must be efficient and provide lots of information invaluable to resellers such as hi-resolution images by collection or product. A blog was also an important addition allowing Disaster to communicate effectively and regularly with their community. In addition there were three significant major challenges which needed to be overcome to meet Disaster Designs ‘s goals:
Site Design – with a history of the highest quality in house product design Disaster not unnaturally wanted significant input to the design requirements. But they fully appreciated that Web Design is a specialist arena and the requirements for a successful web site include usability above all else. So a partnership developed to ensure an effective solution could be delivered that strongly represents the brand whilst providing a high quality user experience.
Integration with Access Dimensions – this would enable that key information for sales ledger accounts, buyers, stock and pricing would be accurate and up to date as well as facilitating the direct integration of orders. Information includes credit limits, outstanding balance, on stop flag and other info.
Multiple categorisation and navigation for Disaster’s Collections – Customers can browse by collection, product category, view what’s new, what’s hot and what’s on sale. All of this to be driven dynamically from the product data stored within Access Dimensions.
Red Transact conducted a series of physical and online workshops with the client and other significant stakeholders to arrive at a clear and agreed set of requirements. These included all functionality as well as user experience considerations for the various user personas. The Technical Specification grew out of this as did the definition of all the required integration features. None of the necessary Information Architecture was in place so Red Transact provided advice and support on how to set up Dimensions to provide the complex, interrelated multiple navigation methods used for the site with minimal day to day interaction for Disaster thereafter. A combination of Kentico CMS, Red Transact’s B2B extensions and its TranSync integration software together with targeted small scale customisations ensured a speedy solution could be built to replace an aged and poorly supported predecessor. Once again we used a combination of two effective Project Management processes. In reality this is a combination of waterfall with Agile used for key areas.
Disaster sales platform users are not shopping for accessories for gifts but they are doing their day job. It is important that they find what they are looking for and come across products that they didn’t even know their customers would like. The catalogue is navigable in three ways; by collection, by category and search.
Direct integration enabled the key information for sales ledger accounts, buyers, stock and pricing would be accurate and up to date as well as automatic downloading of orders.
We managed to incorporate the best of Disaster product design in to the interface which enhances the creativity of their in-house product designers.
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