eCommerce Movers & Shakers

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January 2017, MiaDonna, the global leader for Lab-Grown Diamonds & Conflict-Free Bridal Jewelry launched their new eCommerce website, miadonna.com, and in doing so unveiled a new online shopping experience.

The goal was to create a website that effectively communicated the company’s brand and mission, while leading the customer through the purchase process.

The website overhaul was a 12-month long project incorporating upgrades to the digital user experience (UX), photography, messaging, and back-end functionality. The end result was nothing short of creating a Shopify Plus gem that put the bling back into MiaDonna’s eCommerce presence.

Andrew Puddifoot, General Manager at MiaDonna, shared with Harlo Interactive his insights on why he chose Shopify Plus as an eCommerce platform for building the new site.

Why did you choose to build the MiaDonna website on a hosted eCommerce platform?
Building the latest iteration of MiaDonna.com on a hosted platform was a no brainer. I needed a solution that would allow me to scale the business at a rapid rate, with minimal effort and investment once live. Additionally, I wanted to find a hosted solution that was fully self-contained, allowing my team and I to focus on running/growing the business. We’re not IT people, so a SaaS model works for us.

Another factor in my decision to choose hosted over non-hosted was time-to-launch. We had an aggressive launch deadline that would not have been reachable had we opted to self-host a licensed eCommerce solution.

Hosted eCommerce is not for everyone, but it was and is the best choice for us.

Why did you choose Shopify over other hosted eCommerce platforms?
I spent weeks reviewing enterprise and hosted eCommerce solutions, and Shopify, in my opinion, provided the perfect blend of simplicity and function. It delivered a robust suite of marketing tools and functionality straight out of the box and provided us with high levels of flexibility for site customization without impacting core Shopify source.

And of course, there was the matter of price. Many of the enterprise level solutions I reviewed were upwards of $20K+ per month, plus a percentage of sales. Shopify, on the other hand, offers affordable plans and dedicated account managers.

How did using Shopify make your website project easier?
From a development perspective, I’m not sure it made the project “easier,” but it did make the process smoother, particularly from a content entry standpoint. The Shopify App Store allowed us to integrate functionality with ease throughout the build and continues to be a valuable resource post build.

What has your experience been working directly with Shopify customer service?
So far, so good. Prompt communication and excellent service.

What was one of your biggest challenges in building an eCommerce website?
The product configurator was by far the most challenging piece of functionality in this build. We have tens of thousands of possible product variations and combinations that we had to build logic around. It was a beast, but we're happy with the result.

Has Shopify's platform made managing the site easier?
Absolutely. We were using a licensed version of AspDotNetStorefront before Shopify, and it was a nightmare. Shopify allows my team and I to manage orders, products, collections, and marketing campaigns with ease.

What is one feature you wish Shopify offered?
Tough question, at this stage I’m yet to come across a piece of functionality Shopify’s platform has not thought of or implemented in some way. And if Shopify hasn't got the solution, there’s a good chance someone within the Shopify community has.

Harlo specializes in the following eCommerce platforms:

  • Magento
  • Shopify
  • BigCommerce
  • WooCommerce

Harlo Partners with:

  • Shopify
  • BigCommerce

If you want to know more about our eCommerce capabilities or creative digital services feel free to contact us here: winhearts@harlointeractive.com

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