Check your 6! Cool Babies on Radar.
We just launched a new, responsive, eCommerce site for the 4-year old brand Babiators. Since starting the business in 2010, Babiators has manufactured and sold high-quality, durable baby, toddler and child-sized sunglasses. They came to us looking to improve their brand and online marketing and sale capabilities. They’re distributed and sold in over 2000 locations around the world, as well as numerous online stores. They’ve been featured in Forbes, Vogue magazines, as well as on TV shows such as Ellen, E!, and the Today Show.
The key to their growing success has been providing safe, rubberized, COOL sunglasses for kids, with a unique Lost & Found Guarantee which allows you to replace any lost or broken sunglasses for free.
While they continue to distribute to more and more boutiques as well as larger department stores, they additionally recognized the need to re-develop their site to both provide a simple mobile-capable experience for visitors, but also automate some of their key needs thru online tools:
As we started with the crew at Babiators to determine their tech needs, it came down to the following CORE applications:
• eCommerce Store
• Lost & Found Guarantee
• Store Locator
Like most of the shopping cart systems that we build (when not a custom eCom need), our choice is starting with the Magento CE Platform, and customizing from there as needed. Babiators needed this store to be simple to use, especially since they currently offer just two lines of sunglasses (in a dozen colors/designs). It needed to be integrated with their new CRM/ERP system, NetSuite, for picking up orders, customers, and updating Product information and inventory regularly. And they needed to ship worldwide with accurate rates, by utilizing shipping APIs for UPS and USPS and their negotiated rates on account.
Beyond the normal functionality of an eCom store, where customer accounts can be created, save order history, save multiple addresses, view order status, shipping tracking, saved carts, etc, the real complication came with needing to sync with Netsuite, allowing for a more streamlined process within their fulfillment centers.
Lost & Found Guarantee
The L&F Guarantee is simple in concept from the customer’s standpoint… and had to be… to make it such a strong program. If you lose your Babiators sunglasses or they break, they will replace them for Free. No questions… well, aside from the question of where to send your replacement pair.
However, after uncovering the needs programmatically and rules of how they needed to tool to work to have the most control, it came with a lot of logic discussions and flowcharting with the client to arrive at both the front-end functionality, and backend control.
We chose to build this particular application in Ruby on Rails. It consists of 3 main components:
The Registration – when you buy your new Babiators from anywhere, you need to register them thru the website within 30 days. The system will generate a registration number and provide/email it to the customer. Holding on to that unique number matched with your email address, will allow the customer to redeem it at a later time.
The Redemption – If you do lose or break them, you can redeem them by entering this information. The Redemption, while simple to the customer, required us to consider many factors such as:
Is it within the redemption period of 1 year?
Does Babiators have the same model (UPC) of sunglasses still?
If not, provide an alternate product from the SAME product category, for the customer to choose from.
Is the Country they registered from, part of the automated shipping of the L&F product?
Or does the Country have a 3rd party redemption partner? And what is that contact info?
How much is the flat shipping fee (the only thing they pay for) for that particular Country?
And then, finally, process their Credit Card (securely thru a Payment Gateway) to accept the new “order.”
The Backend – Many of these configurations were developed in the backend for them to manage themselves. This also allows them to pull registrations and redemptions from the database.
Like many companies manufacturing and selling products, they need to maintain an ever-growing list of retail outlets they distribute to. By providing a method of importing a list of stores, with addresses, they can be geo-located and stored in the database. Searching the Store Locator by Country, State, or Zip will produce a list of retailers by proximity in miles.
Since we have developed similar tools, we built this part in Perl, and customized the tool based on the datasets they provided, and the simple display.
We enjoyed the challenge of working on the project and the tech components, and for something as light-hearted as kid sunglasses, it was also fun. We’re looking forward to improving and extending these applications as Babiators continues growing. Go buy a pair… and let us know how we did!