What was the scope of their involvement?
I-systems built on top of their own engine, providing a custom solution. The site displays a bunch of available collections, like brand driven collections, or category-driven, for example: tops, flip-flops, and other groups of products categorized by brand, price point, type, or time of year. We try to mix it up, so flexibility is important. This gives us a creativity curve, and as a result, our customers are entertained in a way—they won’t get bored with our newsletters or offers.
Clicking on a collection brings the user to something more similar to a normal shop. There are filters on the left and clickable products in the main tile view. There are three to four photos for each product, descriptions, etc. I-systems helped with all of this.
We were working in the Russian market, which has its own specifics. For example, Google is not the market leader there, but the Russian equivalent, Yandex. We do use Google AdWords, but it’s a 50/50 split with Yandex.Direct. Courier companies are a little bit different as well. Some of the integration had to be done differently than what we would do in Poland or other European countries.
What is the team dynamic?
We have five people working on the project, but their hourly engagement has varied. I usually have one point of contact as the account manager, and there are also developers on the team. I was not involved in assigning time for our project. Our rep decides whether he needs more time with a frontend or backend developer.
I-systems has a large team, more than 100 people. I’ve been to their office a few times, and they have whole building of two floors all to themselves.
How did you come to work with i-systems?
I led the research process. We tried a few approaches, looking for companies in Russia and Poland, since we also had outlet centers there.
I believed i-systems was our best option, compared to all the other companies we analyzed. We narrowed it down to five options and took a few angled approaches. Price was important, but all of the finalists met our requirements. In the end, it came down to responsiveness and portfolio of customers. I-systems was definitely the best, and we enjoyed working with our account representatives. Our contact with the company has always been great.
What is the status of this engagement?
We started working with i-systems in October or November 2015. We launched in April 2016, after a six-month process. The service agreement is still ongoing. I-systems continues to fix bugs and make minor adjustments or major redevelopments.