What was the scope of their involvement?
Built by Blank came in as a technology advisor for our company providing assistance with how we could build our website as well as the entire technology stack including customer service and internal tools for project management and storing our own documentation.
A lot of standardization has happened since we started our business in 2012, but back then, mobile was a new field. Built by Blank played an instrumental part not only in advising us on what our technology stack should be, but also in building and implementing our website, and making sure everything was being managed properly.
The project started with us creating a design for the website. At that point, we were looking at some new, cool technologies so, instead of making it into a flat e-commerce site, we built a fully-customized Magento one. We had a dressing room with avatars on products that could be swiped, and there were many rollover features. When someone hovered their cursor over a particular garment, they would see different looks for it.
Built by Blank helped us build an engaging website without having too many internal resources. There were many items which held users’ attention and showed them how products looked. E-commerce has progressed tremendously since 2012, but all this stuff was new five years ago. People were wowed by the beautiful effects of the site and it didn’t look like a cheap page.
Design plays a part, but photography is an important part of the experience, and many people mention how good our site looks even today. Built by Blank was experienced in handling photography, specifically editorial and product photos. They did a lot of optimization making sure that the pictures looked high-definition and true to color standards but would also load quickly on the website. There was a lot of trial-and-error involved in making sure that the site would look good and also be secure and stable.
They also helped us build a truly responsive site that could reduce well on a 13-inch screen versus a larger one. It would dynamically resize all photos, and it was fully responsive to mobile, which was less ordinary five years ago. We saw mobile as an important channel.
We had some custom technologies in the beginning, including the dressing room feature. When there aren’t so many skews in place, we need to maintain points of engagement on the site, so there was a lot of custom coding involved. Usually, check-outs tend to be difficult and hard to maneuver. Many of the e-commerce software providers didn’t want us to customize or redesign the check-out process, and this can lead to a bad experience. There is a three click check-out on our site, instead of layers and layers of menus.
How much have you invested with Built by Blank?
They’ve provided us with $1 million’s worth of technology services, but I would estimate that an additional million was saved by not having to hire a developer who looks efficient on paper, but who can’t deliver goals.
Built by Blank basically built our technology solution and I’ve found them to be competitive in terms of pricing. Anyone who chooses them for the long term will save a lot of money. They can both make good decisions and there’s generally less back-and-forth and headaches, which cost a lot of money.
Cost is divided both into the base sum we’re paying the company and what the price of something going wrong will be. The second part is measured less often.
What is the status of this engagement?
We started working with Built by Blank in 2012 and continue to work together.