Ample | Into the realm of Imagine Store Online
“I think the experience has been really good so far. The tech team is always prepared with a quick resolution for problems. Despite the SOPs and processes, the team is quite accommodating towards our asks and requests as well.” says Ravi Shrivas, Manager - Ecommerce, Ample. (Imagine Online Store)
Apple is undoubtedly one of the most prestigious tech companies in the world today, and when the opportunity presented itself to work with Ample (Imagine Store’s Website) we jumped at the sight of it!
Finding the perfect match
For a brand that’s built its legacy on innovation and cultivating imagination, what they sought in a Shopify Plus Partner was nothing short of their slogan “Think Different”.
The former website for the Imagine Store was built on Spree and the team was looking for a robust and scalable new platform that would cater to their current and future needs.
The total development timeframe and the go-to-market timeline were two of their major concerns in the process.
“Since we’re mostly a retail organization, with less tech background we knew early on that we wanted a website that was easy to maintain post-development and would require minimal technical intervention for further developments. Since we were already working with the Omuni team, we shared these requirements with them, and based on their recommendation we first explored Shopify.” says Ravi.
“While Shopify undoubtedly had good reviews we doubted if it’s THE platform that could support all our critical integrations, especially the ones that are required primarily within the Apple Ecosystem,” he added.
Challenges such as custom payment gateways, CRM vendors and other service providers needed to be integrated with Shopify. For an organization that is not a typical e-commerce player but is more omnichannel in nature, these integrations form a critical aspect.
Marmeto to the rescue
“Our initial discussion with Saurav itself helped us understand the different possibilities in the Shopify ecosystem and once we had clarity on that, we went ahead!” says Ravi.
When asked about what sealed the deal for Marmeto, he added that “Pinelabs is one of the major integrations that we have on our website. Apple to date works only with Pinelabs but unfortunately, Pinelabs doesn’t have a ready integration with Shopify. Hence getting an affirmative response on the possibility of this solution became critical for us before taking the leap to Shopify. The way the Marmeto team approached this challenge and reverted with sure shot YES on this integration, we went ahead!”
Design & Development
Apple’s strong and cohesive brand identity system has been at the core of Apple’s success. It has always come across as an innovative brand but with a profound humanistic touch intact. Although we had other Imagine Store websites & the Apple websites to refer to for design and elements of UI, this wasn’t the easiest of tasks. Shedding light on the process, our Co-founder Saurav adds that “This was a slightly different journey. We generally finalize and freeze design beforehand for seamless development sprints. However, this time we worked on the design and functionality of the website parallelly. We had multiple reference points owing to Apple’s massive presence and strong and cohesive branding. This was a unique and a very thrilling experience for us!”
Ravi added that “ Only one page came from an external agency. However, all other pages were designed by the marmeto team putting functionality first. It was a very synchronized effort where we covered both grounds.”
So far, the most challenging aspect of this project is the multiple integrations that we’ve looked into. Even as we document this experience we’re working on more than one integration parallelly for newer functionalities on the website. The fact that everything we deliver needs to match a certain standard that’s at par with Apple’s execution makes this a daunting task!
Commenting on the efforts specific to integrations, Ravi adds that “Whether providing solutions for CRM or integration with Capillary or solving the integration issue with Pine Labs or looking at the smaller nitty-gritty with Omuni, it’s all been executed well by the Marmeto team. Most of the project was handled by Prabhat & Saurav directly. The duo along with the team managed to pull off multiple things at the right time”
We’re closing in on 8 months since the journey started with Ample and it’s been filled with some unexpected adventures. “We’re pretty happy with the way things have gone so far. We’ve definitely faced challenges from a business perspective and a technology perspective. Some of them because of the dynamic nature of business. But at every point, we got good support from Marmeto,” says Ravi.
Talking about the team dynamic he adds “ I feel that as a team you’ll are young and still evolving. Despite the SOPs and processes, the team is quite accommodating towards our asks and requests as well. This is quite a positive trait.”
Between Marmeto & Ample, we just delivered the 1st phase. As we look forward to the next phase of development, Ravi sums up our synergies by saying that “We have a lot more coming up, specifically with tech brands inclining a lot more towards digital in the next couple of years. That’s what we’re looking ahead to. You guys have made a good start and its an awesome team to work with!”