An Interview with Sean Pieres
In the ever competitive world of fast online fashion it can be hard to set yourself apart from other ecommerce stores.
Hello Molly is a shining example of a store that started as a small enterprise and with rapidly increasing demand has relaunched their website in 2014, just two years after the original website store was launched with the help of Mindarc in 2012.
In two years, the market dynamic and the business has changed to a point where a redesign was a must to stay ahead of the competition.
We met with Sean Pieres, Mindarc director and one of the original founders behind the ecommerce agency to ask
What are the top 3 online tools to build a successful ecommerce store?
- Enhanced Google Analytics (for eCommerce tracking)
- Any Performance related tools that make the page loads quicker (e.g Varnish, CDNs, etc)
- An A/B split testing tool (e.g Optimizely or Visual Website Optimiser)
Is it all about who you hire to do a good job?
The resource’s capability is half of the equation and they must be technically capable, but in our industry certification is an easier process from the client’s perspective to filter our risky agencies who may implement eCommerce infrastructure poorly or expensively. Magento has 2 tiers of certification (Gold + Silver) for it’s partners and this is an effective way to understand whether the agency is not only technically proficient, but also specialised in Magento. The other thing to consider is whether the resource is a local resource or an outsourced resource, which can be cheaper in most scenario’s but communication barriers make hinder progressing work efficiently and may end up costing the same, if not more than what the local resource would’ve charged, due to re-work or additional testing required due to poor implementation.
What’s one piece of advice for those thinking of starting an ecommerce store, especially in fashion?
When starting an eCommerce store, consider the costs for the infrastructure (web development, hosting, etc) but also keep in the kitty a decent marketing budget to give you run way to acquire new customers. If you build a beautiful eCommerce store but are unable to let new marketplaces know about it, it won’t generate any return on investment for you.
How is Magento enabling businesses to automate on all levels. (article on what platforms can do from a scaling/automation perspective)
In terms of Automation/Scaling, Magento have specifically designed their platform to be used at any business level (small > medium > enterprise) as features can be turned on and off depending on your backend workflow and internal business processes. Magento have a built in a SOAP Based API that can be communicated with any external platform or tool. This ensures a smooth automated workflow to Fufilment, Accounting, Marketing, Inventory Management systems. Orders, Products or Customers can be extracted via the API on a scheduled or real-time basis to ensure less manual handling of files to be exported and imported between systems so there is less risk of human error and mistakes. One comon scenario of this is integrating orders to flow out to your fufilment carrier, e.g Australia Post eParcel. Most customers in Australia will use Auspost eParcel service to cover the rural areas of Australia and the less clicks and human intervention you can have integration between Magento <> eParcel, the more efficient the picking/packing and manifesting process will be. This allows you to set the right foundations for scalability once the volume of orders reaches a high level and you are still required to have all orders ready for the same day pickup.