eCommerce website for a Scandinavian art shop.
Illux is a Danish company focused on custom art printing. They offer various art printing solutions to customers at home, professional photographers, and businesses, including:
printing your own photos;
buying a print of a famous painting by a Scandinavian artist;
designing and printing your own branded banners/flags.
Illux contacted us way back in 2007. What they needed was to have a webshop that would allow them to sell their products to home customers online and streamline their internal processes. Since then, we’ve helped them expand their business with additional functionalities.
What We Did
The key to meeting the customer's objectives was not just building a typical webshop, but understanding the products they sell, the choices the customer can make before ordering, and other business processes involved. This required a lot of workshops with the client and many iterations of wireframes/designs to reach the optimal result.
Key business solutions included:
A fast and responsive user interface, allowing customers to quickly configure the product as they want, upload any needed files, put together a custom design, and preview the results,
Illux webshop offers many different types of products that have their own specifics and this user interface handles many different selections that have to be made for each product,
the selections often interact with each other in complex ways (e.g. if you select to print on a canvas, you can select larger sizes and more varied framings than if you selected to print on a glass plate), and this user interface makes it way easier for the user to select the settings they want, while previewing the overall result;
Extensively customized pricing structure for those products;
A streamlined checkout process, minimizing distractions and making it easy to place orders;
An integration with the order production department, automatically supplying them with production instructions and files for faster processing;
An integration with the accounting system (SAP), sending customer and order information to the main database;
A method for customer support to efficiently put together orders for VIP customers (or customers with special requests), so the customer only needs to click a link and pay for the order.
The technical solutions mainly included Magento, TypeScript, and KnockoutJS.
Magento was selected because it was a very solid foundation for e-commerce at the time, with much better reputation than any alternatives. It was also quite extensible, which was crucial for Illux because their products and processes are complex and hard to get right. And it had multiple plugins already available, which made it easier to add generic e-commerce functionality later without reinventing the wheel.
TypeScript and KnockoutJS were selected purely for technical reasons, without business involvement. KnockoutJS allowed us to develop a fast and responsive custom interface for shop visitors, while TypeScript saved a lot of development time by preventing a whole class of problems.
Initially, we helped Illux create an online presence for their business. Later, the webshops helped grow the business. Significantly! When Illux acquired a competitor company and needed to sell their new products, we created a new webshop and integrated it with the existing ones. In 2015, a completely new version of the webshop was launched, and an additional webshop for business customers followed soon after. In 2018, a third webshop was launched specifically for photographers.
Over the years, Illux expanded and their vision for the webshops grew to cover more and more aspects of the business. Active collaboration and development of these webshops continues to this day.