The startup set out to bring together the benefits of online and offline shopping.
When you shop online, you can access the whole range of a retailer’s items from your screen, but you get no personalized support: every time you connect with the operator, you talk to a new person — essentially a stranger.
On the other hand, whenever you go to a physical store, you can consult the same store associate. This person already knows what you like and will probably not ask awkward questions. However, they work only at the store and are unlikely to help you online.
The startup built an application that a retailer would use to set up personal profiles for its store associates on its website. To make those profiles look and feel very much like the retailer’s website, the company’s developers customized each of them by hand.
The service soon picked up steam, and the startup realized it could no longer support each new client on its own. The company reached out for help and chose Elinext out of all developers.
The client challenged Elinext from the get-go. They asked us to get going fast even though there was no project documentation for us to study. And we jumped right in, proving ourselves the right choice for the job and laying the groundwork for a long-term partnership.
We quickly adapted to the client’s development ways as their in-house team stuck to Agile, the methodology we had already mastered. Our team quickly caught up with their feverish pace and has kept at it since then.
Here is how this has worked. A retailer asks our client to create a store associate's profile. Our client's designers put together mockups and a style guide from the original website's design and send them to us.
Our layout designer and front-end developer craft the store associate’s profile on the client's platform using those mockups. This includes both the web version and the cross-platform mobile app. To make sure that everything works smoothly, our quality assurance engineer runs automated tests using Selenium.
The final profile looks a bit like an Instagram page in the retailer’s original design and with their URL. It features the associate’s photo and store items. Using the profile, the associate can chat with the consumer, guiding them through the entire product catalog. The two can also hop on a voice call for an even more personalized experience.
A retailer might have stores in different cities. If so, it can create location-based profiles of its store associates, featuring the products available in those locations. The system will automatically detect where a website visitor is from and link them with the right associate.
Our job also includes the development of the profile management system. It provides associates with many different tools and features. First of all, they can manage and further customize their profile. This includes changing the profile photo, organizing the product catalog, selecting which products to feature, and more.
There is also a set of CRM tools, such as contact lists, interaction logs, and analytics. An associate can email or phone a consumer, for example, to let them know that the item they wanted is available for purchase again. Another prominent feature is lookbooks or sets of products that associates can create for each consumer.
Elinext has helped fuel this client’s growth. So far we have helped them onboard 25 popular retail brands based in North America and Europe. A large conglomerate tried the platform with one of its brands, liked how it worked, and brought in its other businesses.
After around 50 sprints and 150 weeks of rapid, non-stop development, we look forward to more work. Our client has amazing ideas for how to further boost the service for retailers, such as virtual fitting rooms.
And, of course, they keep expanding the business, planning a major push into Japan and more European countries. We, in turn, are preparing to expand our team on the project.