OMNICHANNEL-ENABLED CHAIN OF BOOKSTORES
Pegasas is the biggest and a well known chain of bookstores in Lithuania. The first Pegasas bookstore was opened in 2003 and today the network has expanded to 33 bookstores.
With changing business environment and growing consumer expectations, our client decided that it’s time to change his online store to keep up with worldwide eCommerce trends and to improve customers’ user experience. The old online store was based on the Oxid system. With everything the new Magento 2 can offer – both for store admins and customers – the platform choice was easy to make.
This project was not a regular Magento adaptation to an eCommerce business model. Pegasas team came with high expectations that included an omnichannel experience for their customers. This entailed the consistent experience across all physical bookstores and e-stores as well. One of the main aspects to be maintained between digital and physical locations was Pegasas’ custom loyalty program.
Another challenge was the full scope of integrations required. Product information management, accounting and marketing software all had to communicate automatically with the new eCommerce system. The goal was to have all crucial stock, accounting and product information to update without any or with minimal manual input.
Pegasas is well known for their clean and recognizable design that is a part of the brand’s image. Our mission here was to make sure that the brand’s visual strategy and content translates perfectly into the online environment too.
With all the brand specific, visual and technical cues aside, what’s the main bloodline that keeps an eCommerce business healthy? You’re absolutely right if you said it’s check out! In this case Pegasas was extremely particular about check out implementation for their e-store and it was clear that the default Magento functionality won’t cut it. Luckily, the client’s team came to use with loads of critical data to draw conclusions from – all we had to worry about was the technical implementations that translate their insights into reality.
Remember the loyalty program that I’ve mentioned? Well, we were able to take it up a notch. Pegasas membership cards now work both in physical stores and online stores too! To increase the popularity of the cards further, Pegasas store now shows two prices – a regular one and the one that you get if you’re the proud owner of Pegasas membership card. And to make sure you get the card you oh-so-desperately now want, one will be added to your checkout if you don’t already own one.
All discounts in Pegasas network of bookstores are now automatically imported from physical stores to the online environment too. This means that wherever you are and wherever you shop, you’re able to get the same discounts! That only sounds fair, right? A lot of custom functionality for discounts was also added. E-store administrators are now also able to set up and launch special offerings such as “3 for 2”, Pegasas collection specials, Birthday discounts and other special offerings easily.
Let me give you an example of how omnichannel experience with Pegasas works. If you couldn’t find the book you’re looking for online, you’re able to reserve the book in the physical book store of your choice. Not sure which book store is closest to you?
Here’s a map of your current location and the location of all Pegasas stores around you. Our client benefits from this setup too – Magento integration with their accounting software and warehouses, as well as bookstores means that all the critical data across all these platforms is now imported automatically. This means that the data needed to make those day-to-day business decisions will be served to them more accurately, faster and without any effort whatsoever.
One thing that Pegasas team was very particular about was the new checkout for their e-store. It was clear that the standard Magento functionality won’t cut it and that custom development will be needed. The client came to us with extensive data from various user testings and research done, so our job was to adapt to this data technically and develop the custom checkout based on the findings.
We do love data based decision, so the new 5 step checkout included:
- Reviewing products added to the cart
- Choosing between physical or legal address (in case you need an invoice too)
- Choosing shipping method
- Choosing payment method
As a commonly recurring theme in our work, clients wanted the system to reduce the workload of their employees. Any eCommerce store administrator will tell you – creating content and making sure it follows the brand’s and store’s guidelines are some of the most time-sensitive tasks. And HTML knowledge required in administration of some e-stores was not an option in this case. So we’ve adapted a solution that we know works well for such cases. We’ve developed custom widgets that allow administrators to add content and not worry about each individual visual or graphic to be the right size or to fit right layout.
What’s even better, eCommerce gurus can now use and re-use them to fit various needs. The customizable visual widgets can be used to control how the store looks and to manage content inside it:
- Add text
- Change images
- Control positioning
- Add banners
- Insert editable products and images
Pegasas is well known for their incredibly beautiful design and graphics. It was a crucial step to translate this well to the e-shop as well. Adding the fact that the visuals, templates, banners, discounts are rotating and changing often, we can see that these widgets will not only help the e-store to maintain the brand visual scheme, but will reduce the time spent on these tasks exponentially.
On the administrator’s side, there are quite a few significant updates over standard Magento functionality too. One of them is filtering – content can now be generated automatically by choosing predefined filters or pre-assigned attributes. This means that admins no longer need to manually select the full collection, filter, category or series of content, as it’s done automatically for them. This functionality also works with import too!
Shipping setup is another saving grace for the Pegasas e-store administators. Now each shipping method can have a custom number and types of fields assigned. They can also be marked as mandatory, so that the user couldn’t complete the order without filling in all the required fields.
The result – a visually pleasing e-store that’s consistent with the brand’s content strategy, which can be updated and changed with just a few clicks. Integrations with various accounting, product information management and marketing systems (such as newsletter functionality) enables the most efficient way to deal with stock control, communication and PIM – all without leaving the Magento admin interface. This not only improves efficiency and decision making in day-to-day operations, but also unlocks brand new business capabilities for Pegasas.
It’s worth noting that this is only an MVP and there is so much more to come – from gift cards (hint hint – omnichannel), to event registrations, additional analytics and many more integrations to be added. After all, it’s no secret – when it comes to Magento scalability and integrations – sky’s the limit.
- 1 project manager
- 1 front-end developer
- 2 back-end developer
- 2 UX/UI designers