They thought it would stop me? No matter how it is. So, the rope can be ordered only by a large bay, to refuse from my plans not in my rules, where to put the leftovers? The thought came, to combine a new hobby, to organize a microbusiness and to get a test site for its development team.
Our team has many years Makes online shopping and e-commerce platform, a lot is done, but even more want to be achieved. I have long blamed my clients on how slow they are: give them an idea, but months pass by its perception and approval. And so you want, as the idea came, immediately make the module for a new functionality and try it out in combat. It often happens that the vision in the submission of material is at odds with the client and a less optimal solution is implemented. Design is generally a separate pain. Well, to whom I tell you, you yourself know everything.
In general, they set themselves the task, from scratch to design the business itself and the online store to it. At the same time, there are no restrictions on creative thought. By the way, ropes are an ideal theme for a test online store. The nomenclature is small, raw materials are minimal, no special production conditions are needed. And the market is small, so as not to be distracted by the operational activities.
I will tell you how it is, however ridiculous it may seem from the outside.
April 21, 2016 came the idea. The next day he attracted a friend, he was just on a creative vacation and was very interested in inventing. And it was necessary to invent much, more precisely everything: product, marketing, production.
Initially, I had no doubt that I could create a more aesthetic and quality product than presented in the market. It was supposed to not limit itself in the price, tk. The high price for a premium product is normal. Nevertheless, some of our products turned out to be even cheaper than the market, well, excellent.
We naturally recovered from competitors because we used manual weaving as the main way of making rope simulators. Peeped at foreign colleagues, so sometimes do in the Czech Republic and America. It turned out beautifully and firmly.
For positioning yourself as professionals, we decided to cover the maximum range of all sports that can only be made from ropes: climbing ropes, rope ladders, climbing ropes, ropes for Tug-of-war, and various swings and trapeze.
Later, at the request of a foreign partner, they developed a unique rope for traction on triceps, such anywhere in the world does not produce. And a number of ideas are waiting for their time.
More-more: we decided to offer all products in two materials, cotton and jute, to the buyer’s choice. In addition, each product can be purchased with a ring and carabiner in order to be convenient to hang and remove. All this at times widened the range and added a headache when developing the interface of the online store.
Additional requirement: all our materials must be environmentally friendly. These are jute and cotton ropes, stainless steel, natural wood covered with natural oils, no varnishes and paints. The exception is the handles for cross-cable ropes, but there is no other way around.
For some reason it dawned on me that it was important to make people brackets, and then we would appear as angels descending from heaven, saying that we took care of you: and the rope to you and the bracket, hang and rejoice. But the practice showed their low demand. Thank God that we stopped on two- and three-anchor brackets made of stainless steel, although there was a thought of making a ceiling tire and even a wall bracket in the image of Zemskov’s bar.
Hence the moral for developers: your feature can be infinitely beautiful, but not in high demand, so make a minimally working prototype and let it into the world to receive regular feedback and finalize the product.
According to the technology brackets a lot of thought and decided not to engage in artisanal work, and make an adult, to order in production. Of course, no one took it. Laser cutting in the city was not, with the Moscow and St. Petersburg offices, an adequate dialogue was not remotely established, it was closer and much cheaper for us to order in Lithuania. The loops were made by themselves, the welding was entrusted to a good specialist. When testing was carried out, the hammer was able to break the bracket, so to ensure maximum reliability, loops were welded from both sides of the plate. This is a little more expensive, but we are calm for strength. And then the tiresome polishing process (while in manual mode) and here’s the result:
Ropes we buy directly from the manufacturer of large bays, so even with logistics goes out normally. Ropes were chosen from materials of good quality, albeit more expensive. Rings and carbines are chosen from stainless steel A2, so that you can safely hang items not only indoors, but also in nature. The galvanization is erased and then gives a rusty trace (well, it’s just not cool). A very long time looking for a supplier to make an acceptable price for finished products. With the workpieces for the ladder rails, too, there was an ambush. Ordered immediately in two companies. One sent with a big delay, the other did not send at all and then the site also stopped working. In general, there are enough pitfalls even in such micro-business.
The most interesting was to come up with the best way to create products, so that they were strong, beautiful, and eco-friendly. Which nodes to choose, how to fix, how to handle the tips. Even in a simple crossbar for the ladder, there is a know-how that allows you to maintain maximum strength and prevent scrolling.
Website design should be consistent with the level of products, so we attracted a proven designer. But the designer does not do the most important thing – good photos. Fortunately, my partner is not only a classy production worker, but also a fan of photography. This allowed us to save a significant amount.
I was an e-shop myself, without delegating work to content managers. To verify the system, it was important to personally perform all the steps, from the formation of the structure of the site, its filling, integration, ending with visualization in unity. At the end of the work, I still had to use a layout designer to bring the site closer to my design. On July 5th, 2016, the site finally filled up, and it began to look decent.
At the stage of creating an online store, I was waiting for a lot of unpleasant moments. When you create the entire site, you see all the flaws in the design of the system. It seems to work, but it’s inconvenient, it can be improved there to bring the test faster, in another place the form is not very beautiful, but somewhere in general the bugs pop up. I had to rework the import module from CSV, because The needs of my test project exceeded previous ones, but the stability of the system increased. Made a number of new modules, it’s all sorts of exports and auto-postings, spent time on the order on Yandex.Market (as later it turned out to be in vain for this project, but in other projects it works successfully). In general, I was amused as best I could. As a result, the following system was formed:
1. The price and calculation of the cost price is done in Google’s spreadsheets. If necessary, a pair of CSV files are saved and prices are updated on the site, new items are created automatically.
2. The site is structured and, if necessary, only content is edited or supplemented. News automaton fast in the social network, there is also the unloading of goods in Vkontakt. Previously, the content manager, no matter how sneemyasya, brought the entire assortment there manually! Emotions overflowed.
3. Purchase of goods is simple, through the basket. Registration is not required. Captcha hidden. Payment on the account or other options from Yandex.Money. With the delivery they decided not to bother, but to make people happy: the delivery is free of charge practically throughout Russia.
4. The store manager has access to the list of orders. Gets notifications about new orders and about payments. The buyer receives notifications of every change in the status of his order.
5. Analytics is built-in and simultaneously connected with extended analytics of Google.
6. The store manager schedules the advertising activity directly in the system and immediately monitors the effectiveness using the module Supervision, although for the time being we are checking with Google’s analytics for control. The system allows you to make discounts and conduct promotions, for example, distribute coupons and track the responses in the system.
Online store Kansport works, regularly accepts and ships orders. But it still has a large field for experiments and improvements, than we are quietly doing.
Someone will say why so bother, but I believe that to create an outstanding business product you need to put yourself in the client’s place and completely immerse yourself in the issues.
Managing the manufacturing business is not easy, although it’s easier in some ways than IT, because Here the control object is explicitly expressed. Once again I was convinced that the Internet is a wonderful thing that allows you to start your business not limited to the local region. Thanks to the Internet, many things can be sold directly from producer to consumer, although retail business still dominate the market. I hope that with the growth of incomes, people will develop a taste and they will often buy quality things directly from small producers.
While I was engaged in this project, I felt the problems and aspirations of small business, the psychology of people who deal with it. It is difficult for a person to work immediately on several fronts, and here also this incomprehensible Internet marketing. Again, not every business mancan immediately afford all the technologies that I have applied in this project. Therefore, the idea arose to change the concept of our platform and, first of all, to lay out the basic solution for open access, as well as to lower the prices for additional modules, so that every business could afford a functional online store. This experience has allowed to form a vision of the ideal platform for e-commerce, but this is another story and another article.