Could you describe the scope of the project in terms of components? Did it include custom design, development, training, or support?
Yes, it was two main aspects. The first one was actually putting together the store based on our specs. The project involved a lot of iterations and back and forth, but in essence, we were giving them designs, and they were implementing them, and making the store look and feel the way that we wanted, and also making it responsive, which was of great import to us. A huge amount of our traffic comes from iPads, and we wanted to make sure that the store looked good on mobile devices. We wanted their help with that. Secondarily, we hired them on a consulting basis, to be available to answer questions with things like capturing customer emails when a product is out of stock, so we can inform them later or, “What are the issues around foreign customers?” “If we want to display this message on this page, how do we do that?” They were more logistical. Actually, here’s a really good example. Integrating with other services, we asked them for help in just knowing what our options were and integrating with other services like Shipwire or MailChimp or third parties. They would also advise us if we had questions on how to do something.
Why did you select Shopify as your eCommerce solution over to some of its competitors?
We had heard good things about them. We knew that they were used heavily. Their customer support was fantastic. I was the one who started doing research, and I looked at some of the big platforms. I think three things impressed me. Number one, the customer support was immediate, responsive and knowledgeable, and that probably made the biggest difference. Second of all, they were well known, and we knew of other big companies that used them for their stores and were happy with them. Third, it seemed as if their interface and their setup was one of the easiest to use and get used to.
How did you end up selecting sineLABS as your solution partner?
We knew we needed someone to help us. I don’t remember how we found them. It may have been customer support that told us, but I don’t remember how I became aware of them. Once we found out there was a Shopify Experts directory, I went through it and I started looking through all the experts. I went by the top-rated ones, and I called a few of them. I ended up speaking to Joe at sineLABS, and he was just great to speak to. He wasn’t lying or shining us on or telling us what we wanted to hear. I could tell from the way he was answering my questions that he really could do it. It just felt like a really good fit.
What parts of the project did you contribute in-house expertise to?
Myself and one other person became very involved with the dashboard, configuring different options, setting up our shipping, payment, looking at orders and running tests. We weren’t involved in the actual implementation outside of our management and guidance roles. sineLABS handled the technical aspects, and we contributed to the design and administration.
Could you give me a sense of the size of this initiative in monetary terms?
It was a significant project. It stretched over the course of about three months, maybe three and a half. The entire project probably cost between $25,000 and $50,000.
When was this project completed?
To be honest, we’re still working on stuff with them. We’re so happy with them that we’ve got an ongoing relationship. We launched our site on November 19, 2013. That wasn’t like a cutoff point. We didn’t shake hands and say thanks. There’s some ongoing tweaks.