Updating of Ukrainian Online Gun Store

Updated on:
March 27, 2023
Updating of Ukrainian Online Gun Store

No matter how famous a company is — if the website where it sells its products is visually and functionally outdated, this certainly does not improve its reputation. Below we will tell you how the WEZOM team optimized the online store using the example of a Ukrainian gun company STVOL.

Who Is Our Client?

Gun company STVOL exists in the local market of Ukraine for almost 30 years. Over these years, the company has managed to create a trading network of eight offline branded stores and get partner representatives in every major city in the country. Currently, the staff employs 150 people, and the company's logistics are organized according to the best world standards. Also, STVOL has its own e commerce platform software, which, however, needed to be improved and optimized. Actually, for this, the owners of STVOL turned to WEZOM experts.

The Client's Request: Improve User Flow, Update Website Design, and Boost Performance

Despite the alignment of work processes, STVOL had a weak point: an online store where all products were presented (about 28,000 items from thousands of brands). In particular, this website took a long time to load, and also had an inconvenient catalog and outdated design. Moreover, users had to perform a lot of actions to make a purchase.

The main reason for these problems was Bitrix CMS, which was not initially adapted for creating e-commerce solutions. That is why the first thing to start the workflow with was the choice (or, as it turned out later, the creation from scratch) of a new website engine. The fact is that the updated version of the website was supposed to be aimed not only at online sales but also at the presentation of the largest shooting complex in Europe.

In general, the task was global: to create the best online gun store in Ukraine: high-performance, user-friendly, and eye-catching. Even though the WEZOM web development team had never dealt with the gun business before, both the client and the project executors were satisfied with the result. Read below about what has been done to achieve this.

What Goals We Followed and What Services We Provided?

As part of web development services, the WEZOM team was given the following tasks:

  • create a modern web design, focusing on the company's brand book;
  • build a flexible product catalog with convenient functionality and a quick purchase process;
  • present through the website a unique STVOL shooting range, as well as a network of stores and a dealer program;
  • display on the website the current number of items in stock and each offline store;
  • integrate the website with the 1C base, payment systems, and delivery services;
  • adapt the resulting solution to any user device.

What Technologies Were Used?

To build a brand-new version of this online store, the WEZOM team used the next tools and technologies:

  • Laravel, a JavaScript framework for custom CMS development
  • Webpack, a module bundler for running scripts sequentially
  • CSS, a style sheet language
  • JavaScript (jQuery, Livewire, Alpine) for building dynamic user interfaces
  • ElasticSearch, a tool for introducing a distributed, multitenant-capable full-text search engine
Choose ElasticSearch, for index frequently changing data in less than 1 sec
Choose ElasticSearch, for index frequently changing data in less than 1 sec

Our Workflow and Top-3 Challenges 

The workflow of the WEZOM team began with the digitization of the client’s requirements. In particular, WEZOM experts transferred the client brief into the step-by-step structure of the future project and presented it in the form of a mind map. In the future, this map was finalized, and on the basis of this, a backlog (a list of current tasks) and use cases (scenarios for the possible use of a product) were formed. As a result, after the final approval of the development tools and scope of work, the WEZOM team provided the client with a financial assessment of the project.

As for the development approach, the WEZOM team chose Scrum. This approach gave two advantages: at each stage of development, the client understood what to pay for, and the team got the opportunity to move forward on the project in the right direction.

At the end of each sprint lasting 10-12 days, the client received detailed financial reports and a demonstration of the results of the work. Based on the feedback received, the further scope of work was optimized.

If we talk about top-3 challenges the WEZOM team faced, here they are:

  • the large scale of the project;
  • implementation of innovative solutions;
  • regular addition of new tasks.

As a result, the project's original timing estimate increased by 400 hours.

What Problems Did Our Team Face?

In addition to the constant expansion of the list of project requirements on the part of the client, at the testing stage, the WEZOM team encountered problems with the website's performance. WEZOM DevOps experts fixed this problem quickly by spreading the databases across several servers.

We also had to take into account the fact that some items in the catalog required a license to purchase, some were only available to 18+ buyers, and some had specific shipping restrictions. All these aspects carried additional requirements for the logic of purchases and the structure of the catalog.

What Solution Did the Client Need and What Was the Result?

For the new version of the e-commerce website, the WEZOM team created an engine from scratch, implementing a personalized admin panel and adding a number of unique features. We also simplified and improved the UI/UX design of the online store (now it consists of media blocks), making it more minimalistic and visually appealing.

The next key task of the project was the organization of a large STVOL product catalog, with flexible filtering settings, convenient search (including the voice search), and displaying the current balance of particular items in stock.

Our experts also implemented simplified navigation, providing website visitors with three ways to get to the product page: through the catalog, search, and brands module, as well as integrating popular shipping and payment services. In addition, the personal account was radically modernized and a flexible loyalty program was introduced. Also, the updated version of the website is compatible with any modern gadgets, including mobile ones.

A special place was given in the project to develop a presentation module for the shooting range STVOL, which should lead to a new landing page. For this, we have created a separate catalog with available types of weapons, instructor cards, schedules, and the possibility of buying a package shooting course.

With the launch of the new website, the store's life cycle has just begun. In the future, the WEZOM team is going to implement new original features: a 3D weapon designer and a bonus system. The purchase history, checkout process, and performance will also be improved.

However, already at this stage, this online gun store solution has high conversion rates and attracts new target audience segments successfully.

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