Partnership and Mutual Interest
At the heart of the project's success was establishing a genuine partnership between SodaStream and BOA Ideas beyond being just a regular supplier. As an agency specializing in Shopify, we assumed the role of a strategic partner, leading to success. Our experts actively participated in discussions about the processes and offered insights on the technical aspects of the project as well as best practices in e-commerce. In some cases, we even advised against developments and programs that we thought would not be profitable for SodaStream's long-term success. This partnership built trust and fostered a mutually beneficial relationship.
Maximizing the Shopify Platform
With a deep familiarity with Shopify's robust infrastructure and vast knowledge and capabilities, we adopted an approach that seeks to leverage the platform's capabilities to benefit the SodaStream project (and every project we undertake). We sometimes questioned the need for developments that we were asked to perform if similar functions were already available on the platform. This approach ensured that SodaStream could benefit from Shopify's proven and advanced features. When specific business requirements arose that justified the development of customized solutions, we carefully considered all possible alternatives to ensure that SodaStream received the correct and best solution for its business plans.
In a large-scale project like SodaStream's initiative to sell directly to consumers in many countries worldwide, maintaining the flexibility and efficiency of code maintenance were essential issues on the agenda. Each solution we developed for SodaStream's unique business requirements was made while ensuring compatibility with the store-building process in Shopify and with SodaStream's existing infrastructures. Despite the project's complexity, we ensured that maintaining the code over time would be quick and straightforward. This approach involved managing complex development processes and many DevOps processes, but the advantages outweighed the disadvantages over time.
Challenges and Solutions:
Global Expansion Challenge
Supporting SodaStream's global activity, which includes many trading sites in many countries, was our first challenge. From the beginning, we made sure to develop all solutions in a way that allowed rapid deployment to more markets while maintaining the ability to maintain simple and fast code. When SodaStream decided to rebrand in 2021, we transferred 14 sites to the new look overnight. We extensively used advanced layout tools provided by Shopify Plus, such as Slate, Theme Kit, and CLI, which significantly streamlined the process. At the same time, we provided local teams with the ability to independently adjust and define the visibility and functionality of their responsible sites without affecting other sites or the base code.
Global Customer Service Challenge
As part of the project, SodaStream implemented a global customer service system with seamless interfaces against the Shopify platform. We developed a dedicated Zendesk application for SodaStream that allows service representatives to view orders placed on Shopify and customer details and perform various operations such as returns, cancellations, and changes - all from the customer service system without switching between different systems. The solution's highlight was service representatives' ability to create orders over the phone with customers from the Zendesk system itself based on the existing trade processes in Shopify without duplicating solutions between Shopify and Zendesk. This solution also provided control over permissions granted to each representative and offered a multilingual interface for global support teams.
SodaStream's successful transformation from a B2B-focused company to an organization that also focuses on direct sales to consumers in 16 markets worldwide serves as a testament to the power of Shopify's e-commerce platform. By adopting a partnership approach, maximizing Shopify's infrastructure, and thinking long-term, SodaStream and BOA Ideas have successfully created a global-scale project that reaches millions of private customers worldwide every month. We have learned many lessons from this collaboration that will help us make every customer's website accessible and advanced in the market. The conclusions learned emphasize the importance of adapting business goals to the platform's capabilities and adopting innovation and initiative for success in large-scale e-commerce projects that are constantly changing and advancing.