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This case study provides information relating to the design and build of the International, multi currency e-commerce app developed for use in salons across the world.
Ethical and cruelty-free salon professional brand, Organic Colour Systems, www.organiccoloursystems.com, includes a range of healthy and natural hair products that are sold by Herb UK, to salons and hair stylists around the world.
Almost 98% of sales are via online purchases. Multiple websites were handling transactions in different countries and currencies. The off-the-shelf ecommerce buying sites were outdated, causing frustration for customers and limiting the team’s global sales potential.
Organic Colour Systems’ customer base comprises hair stylists and salon teams whose work is hands-on and on the go. They are not regularly near a computer and often have to do things on the hop when there is time between clients. The existing websites offered limited mobile functionality and were proving difficult for customers to search, find and order the right products. It was also restrictive for the Organic Colour Systems’ sales teams as there was little opportunity to engage with customers.
The system was also complex when trying to offer discounts, deals or product bundles and it offered no simple way for capturing customer data or reporting on sales patterns or trends.
After an initial briefing, CodeHub 200 decided on a mobile ecommerce app with an integrated cloud management system and dynamic reporting, making it easier for salon owners to order products to be delivered anywhere in the world via a mobile device. This approach would provide a bespoke, yet simple to use, digital solution that put the customer experience at the heart of its design and functionality.
CodeHub 200 researched the capabilities of the existing Word Press sites to fully understand the needs of Organic Colour Systems sales and management teams, as well getting a feel for the day-to-day activities of the hair professionals needing to order the products.
The target audience were not particularly tech savvy but were very knowledgeable about digital apps and needed a solution that was portable and straightforward. The design needed to be completely intuitive and extremely simple to navigate without the need for training or a user guide.
The app had to be visual, driven by imagery and display products simply by type, category and product code. It also needed to identify bundles or offers and give users flexibility on delivery addresses and process payments in five different currencies in GB pounds, US, Canadian, Australian and New Zealand dollars.
Initial app designs were created and tested among salon teams over a four-week period to provide feedback and refine the user experience. As a result, the final version has a lot of self-awareness built in such as remembering orders, pre-selecting a previous delivery address and only displaying minimal options if only one or two products were available in a particular range.
Intelligent data capture, virtual basket options and multiple payment gateway functions gave the Organic Colour Systems sales and customer service teams a simplified order-taking and despatch process, with the option to offer customers bespoke deals, discounts and product bundles.
To support the app, the CodeHub 200 team also developed an online cloud-based product management system to provide analytics and real-time reporting on product sales at a per product, category and country level. The intelligent system collects data over time to give the Organic Colour Systems’ team essential insights into product sales and generate additional revenue through outbound marketing and customer promotions. The team can now also analyse product sales data by multiple categories and communicate customer offers using with push notifications.
The client also had an in-house CRM system, Syspro, which managed customer data and stock management. There was limited flexibility managing bundles or grouping products into sub-categories via the CMS, so the CodeHub 200 team developed software and carried out a full product data import to integrate the internal systems with the app data.
In addition, multinational payment integrations have been implanted to seamlessly handle orders and payments in five different currencies.
The UK customer login email was released in early June 2021 and was rolled out to the rest of the world following testing. The existing site will continue to run concurrently with the app for a period to ensure full testing has been carried out, then it will be taken down to run directly from the app and online management system. The project is already expected to deliver return on investment within two years of implementation and offers potential for further innovation and investment.
“We came to the project from a communication point of view. We had hundreds of salon customers coming through a single touchpoint which was around seven years old. It had served us well but the functionality wasn’t flexible enough from a customer perspective and we were not able to use this platform to communicate effectively with our customers.
“The existing system was very difficult to code and implement individual customers changes. The new CMS has revolutionised how we interact with customers and manage client accounts, makes it easier to have a conversation with clients and make things happen straight away.
“Our aim was to drastically improve the user experience and the team CodeHub 200 team has done just that. The app is now significantly easier and better for the customers to find information on products and ingredients, which is vitally important, as well as place orders while they are working.
“As a business we had different processes for each country, the app and the management system has helped simplify processes, create efficiencies, streamline our customer communications. We’ve been able to breakdown barriers to purchase and remove obstacles from the customer experience. By helping us help our customers to innovate and be more successful is the essence of our customer success values – everyone is healthier all round.”
“We like working with CodeHub 200 as they are upfront, you know what you are getting, they are transparent and will talk you through all the options. You can have a conversation, come up with ideas. They have been very flexible and will be up front about what options will cost.”
“We’ve designed and built an ecommerce app supported by an online, cloud-based data management system that gives Organic Colour Systems and its salon customers a slicker, quicker, better all-round experience. It is now much easier for people to order products with the introduction of dynamic searching of products and categories.
“The real time dashboard offers management information with customised date selection, showing product sales, country sales, sales conversions, top performing products, running totals, order value, virtual basket conversions. It gives a good snapshot of sales and popular products.”
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