The Alinda webshop represents a relatively simple concept that works well: they offer seasonal, quality products with ongoing promotions and discounts, quick and customer-friendly service and next day delivery options. They are not only distributors, the majority of their product assortment is designed and manufactured by them as well. The base of their model isn’t complicated at all but there are only a handful of businesses in the market who can execute it well. They began their journey as a start-up with barely any resources and only in a few years’ time they became key figures within ecommerce with a turnover that’s now in the billions. All this was achieved on their own: they don’t have the backing of a financially strong multinational company, a media empire, an advertisement conglomerate or capacity for international manufacturing. They developed by means of caring and smart planning. Today they are not only a local, but a regional force in ecommerce and their website embarked on an international conquest in neighbouring countries.
The secret of their success lies in their commercial planning, their attention to market and customer demands that are supported heavily by customer satisfaction, great customer service and constant improvements. Their product offering is analysed in depth for marketability and they built loyalty with their customers. By means of these, the Alinda webshop can expand their customer acquisition and their sales way beyond the local ecommerce average. We are proud that OANDER has been the development partner of Alinda from the very beginning and that we’ve reached some milestones together along the way on a journey to success, that seems to be continuing.
The latest version of the webshop’s visual identity went live in 2018 and it was based on a Magento 2 engine. The business go live was preceded by a visual rebranding to change the identity of Alinda’s appearance, inherited from its start-up past. The rebranding started with thorough briefing during which we positioned the brand, we gathered best practice studies and we created the visuals for the brand image. We’ve only started developing the first logo ideas after this, followed by the planning of the brand visuals. The aim was to create a youthful, more dynamic and playful brand experience, that represents the diversity and the informal tone, represented by the product portfolio.
Colour harmonies were deliberately shifted from existing pastel shades towards the brighter tones of the new logo. Dynamics and a sense of freshness were enhanced using colour gradients and a more playful and prominent typography as part of Alinda’s new graphic appearance. We’ve created a lot of icons for the new identity: these UI components blend in with the airy arrangements seamlessly and they follow the new-found playfulness of the site. We’ve also produced numerous creative content alternatives for the new webshop as part of the process.
User experience planning
The ergonomic foundations for the new webshop were provided by the Oander Hodor template and the planning was based on Oander’s UX/UI methodology. The frontend development was based on the modelled behaviour of customers click by click. As part of workshopping with the client, we’ve created ergonomic plans first that then defined graphic concepts. After selecting the final concept, the designers started working on the layouts of different sites with a focus on responsiveness. As mobile purchases are on the rise, the responsive appearance of new user interfaces and the shopping experience should be free of compromises.
Besides rebranding Alinda’s identity, content marketing became another focal point of the project. The pages of the new site got a landing-page makeover with more focus on product descriptions, linking through within the site and offering clearer directions for visitors with their journey. We’ve also implemented OANDER’s own blog module on the site that supports the products by adding useful and important information, while inspiring the visitor at the same time.
Our work with the ergonomics didn’t stop with designing the base for the new webshop: Alinda is constantly tested and trialled for usability research and UX optimisation. We have a dedicated team working for this client, who understand that enhancing the user experience constantly is an important and beneficial task and that proactive participation is key. Applying this approach, we use tracking and heatmapping to analyse user behaviour (movements, scrolls, clicks), we uncover potential problems and we improve conversion. The UX optimisation of the site is carried out with an agile methodology, in which the client actively contributes by means of suggesting though-provoking ideas and demands.
Technological background and development
Alinda’s first webshop was already running on a Magento engine: a few years ago Magento 1 seemed to be an obvious choice for the platform development. By 2018 however, the webshop was ready for a full revival, with the ergonomic and design update accommodating for a technical upgrade as well. The new webshop was created in Magento 2 and the development project resulted in creating the most complex site both in the market and in the region that runs on this platform.
Agile methodology was used for the planning and for the development of the project as well. As a first step the site was handed over as complete base software that was then constantly updated based on the client’s demands. We’ve established a close relationship with the client, who visits us often in our office and who now works with a designated team. Together they have biweekly sprint plannings during which they hand over releases and receive briefs, while planning everything together. As part of the methodology, a close cooperation has been established between the client and the team for which transparency and quick reaction to changing demands are key.
The webshop is categorised by a rich and constantly expanding set of functionalities and modules, with integrations reaching out to several different systems. In the past year only, OANDERS’s team supported the implementation of Alinda’s functionality demands with nearly 3000 working hours of development. Product feeds, content marketing modules, payment and shipping methods and unique product management logics and admin functions are just a few of the things that were added to Magentos’ base functionalities.
As the webshop is expanding in Central-Europe, it was crucially important to implement the store-view functionality of Magento meaning that multiple country-specific sites can be reached and edited in the same admin system. Besides the Hungarian site, the Romanian one went live recently, and other languages are planned to follow.
Alinda is a real ecommerce start-up success. An idea became a corporation that’s turnover is now in the billions proving that a carefully built, self-manufactured product portfolio, the appropriate webshop technology, paying attention to the customers’ needs and an appropriate business point of view results in great success. Another great proof of this is that besides its dominance on the Hungarian market, the recently launched Romanian site also generated thousands of orders in the first few weeks.
Besides the financial success Alinda also gained professional recognition. In 2018 Alinda was the trader of the year in the SME category, and it was in the top ten in 2019 in the corporate category in the Ecommerce Trader of the Year competitions (alongside big brands such as Decathlon, eMag, Praktiker and Tchibo).
Anyone who’s looking for good-quality products available at great prices should visit this site every now and then. User experience and customer service – aspects often neglected in Hungary – will suerly comes as a nice and refreshing surprise.