What was the scope of their involvement?
Neil [Director of Business Development, Inverse Paradox] recommended that we move from the old platform to Magento Enterprise. In 2014, Neil and his team designed the site, and then we deployed it right before the holidays. I came on board at that point with this company based on Neil’s recommendation. The company needed somebody with experience in graphic and web design, e-commerce, and online marketing. I came along to support that venture.
Neil and his team have also been helping us with the retail aspect of growing the brand by moving to Ebizmarts POS [point of sale] system. This system can plug into our Magento-based website and offer a seamless omnichannel shopping experience for our customers between online sales, retail, and in-store offerings. For example, they can redeem gift cards and loyalty points that were accrued online in the store and vice versa.
When Neil and his team originally designed the website, I wasn’t a part of the company, so I don’t have insight into that. I came on board as the site was already designed, but we were really trying to get the website connected to our ERP [enterprise resource planning] system, get all the inventory in check, and make sure all the data were accurate. I was the in-house resource as we deployed the live site.
Last year, we did a major overhaul of the website in terms of design. I designed Photoshop documents and wireframes, and we had internal conversations with marketing and sales departments about our consumer objectives. I put all that to Neil and his team. Then, Inverse Paradox built the website that we had designed, and we went back and forth with testing. The old website was still live, so we didn’t lose any revenue. We kept working that way until everything was approved and we all felt good about the site.
When we deployed the live site, we were expecting unforeseen issues, but we actually had a very seamless experience. We had minimal downtime, if any. Everything was planned in advance. Inverse Paradox has logical thinkers and a strategic approach. They don’t just do the job to get it done. They want to minimize any potential issues that could happen when launching a new website or upgrading.
What are some features that you asked for?
The previous version of the website only spanned about 1,200 pixels wide, so the header image couldn’t extend all the way across the window. Now, for different product pages, if the image is long enough, it’ll span the entire width of the window. We also wanted the pink banner to appear at the top where we can add specific promotions without using space on the landing page banner. The store locator and newsletter signup form were pretty much hidden at the bottom of the old website, so we moved that above the fold in order to build our email database and add more customers.
We now have a fully responsive site that stacks on top of the older version. All these modules are telling the brand’s story. In the previous iteration of the website, we had a hero image, a few new items, and a footer. We didn’t really have modules that we could swap out and include active visual links to tell the brand’s story. In the new version, we put more of an emphasis on creating an editorial feel. Then, we added pages about the lookbook and an Instagram aggregator at the bottom. If any consumers tag our company on that platform, it’ll show up at the bottom of the webpage.
How many resources have been assigned to your project?
Neil is our main point of contact. They had a project manager, Alicia, and then a few developers. More people may have been working behind the scenes, but I didn’t have contact with them. They had enough staff to get the job done without having to find additional resources. We interacted pretty regularly. I understood that they had other projects going on at the same time; they weren’t dedicated to me for 50 hours a week. However, whenever I reached out for an update, they were always quick to respond, even after business hours and on weekends.
How did you come to work with Inverse Paradox?
That decision was made before I joined the company. Inverse Paradox is local, so I think that had a lot to do it with their selection. I believe our owner just asked around or did some online research and found that they were located nearby and reputable.
How much have you invested with Inverse Paradox?
[I can email you that information.]
What is the status of this engagement?
We started working with them in 2014, and the work is ongoing. They continue to support our website, as we don’t have any in-house developers. I’m a graphic and web designer by trade, but I’m not a developer. We submit tickets to them if there’s an issue, and they’re always responsive.
Currently, they are installing an Avalara tax module on our site to calculate all the taxes for us seamlessly. Neil has also been helping us with POS for our physical stores by integrating that into Magento since the new year. It’s not perfect at this point. We’re figuring out some pain points that we’re trying to resolve.