We’re bringing you a stroll down the memory lane sharing some of the exciting things last year brought to Inchoo and our business partners. So, here are the highlights of 2012 – hope you’ll enjoy the ride!
You’ll see a nice mix of Inchoo team news and several of our project showcases below – just read on and pick your favorite highlight of the year – there’s something here for everyone to enjoy. Granted, it’s quite a read, but believe us – we’ve narrowed this down as much as possible 🙂
Inchoo up close and personal
In 2012 we grew in numbers across the board – team members, site visits, unique visitors, Twitter followers, you name it – even children (yes, there was another baby boy Inchooer born in 2012) – so here’s a quick facts and figures list:
- 31 employees
- 1.526.498 site visits
- 708.444 unique visitors
- over 5000 followers on Twitter
- over 2000 Facebook fans
- 7 kids 🙂
Magento Certified Developers x 12 – and counting…
As Magento kicked off with their certification program, we were quick to jump on the bandwagon and make this extra step towards clearly communicating to the community and our clients that we really mean business – in 2012 twelve of our senior developers got their official Magento Certified Developer badge, and there are already some more who are preparing for the exam and we’ll keep you posted on the progress here.
What this means for you as our potential clients is that you’ll be in safe hands if you decide to select us as your development partner. Magento now shows the number of certified developer on each of their Solution Partner listings, so you can quickly compare some of the partners from the list.
If you’d like to check who our certified developers are, visit our team page and click on “Magento Certified Developers” just above the pictures of all team members.
Great clients bring out the best in us – check out these not so hidden gems!
We’ve completed many new projects in 2012 ranging from small fixes, consulting and support tasks to full projects from scratch among which some included quite a lot of customization and stretching out Magento and its capabilities on both frontend and backend, but hey – that’s what we’re here for, right?
So, hidden among other highlights you’ll find some of the projects that stood out. We’re also proud to mention we’re still working with all of these clients as these projects have grown into very pleasant long-term relationships.
Project showcase – Sheeel.com
One of the latest projects from our portfolio and a great one for that matter – Sheeel.com is one of the largest daily deal sites in the Middle East based in Kuwait (also covering UAE, Saudi Arabia and the rest of GCC countries) – their tagline is “amazing deals everyday” so we had no choice but to follow suit and re-design their old solution (that was also running on Magento) to make sure it matches the tagline.
This project included a number of customizations, primarily behind the scenes where integrations with various payment gateways specific to countries they are offering their deals took place in addition to connecting everything with the overall business logic of this site and some of the other ones in the entire Tawseel General Trading company.
However, one of the special things about this project which brought great reactions from day one is the adaptive design approach (a single Magento theme) that allows the customers to get these amazing deals on their desktops, tablets and smartphones without losing on the overall shopping experience – just check out how site looks like on different screen sizes – and don’t forget to grab the next great sheeel, I mean, deal 🙂
A special shout-out here goes to Nasser Al-Sabah who runs the show in Kuwait and is one of the best clients we had the pleasure to work with in 2012 (and before) – we look forward to working on new things in the months to come.
Around the world and back again…
We’ve been to many places in 2012 and have also brought some of our clients to Osijek, which is something we’re really happy about. We’ve met so many great people in the ecommerce world and beyond and look forward to new opportunities.
Magento Developers Paradise in Ibiza – a traditional event for Inchooers to attend – our 3rd year in a row – this time again we had three people representing Inchoo and Croatia on this geekish event – check out the report from MDP12 (photos included).
Imagine eCommerce in Las Vegas – our CEO Tomislav Bilic attended the largest Magento event for merchants, developers, partners (solution, industry, hosting) and all kinds of ecommerce enthusiasts. Last year’s event featured the Who’s Who in Magento world so we had to be there (we also like to think of ourselves as a part of this list :)) – you can check out everything that happened (even though it was in Vegas) as you go through the video archive of the event – see you there in April 2013!
Inchoo Learning Days – in 2012 we organized two more of these traditional teambuilding events with local and international guests – we spent the days out in the open, talking Magento and having fun.
Check out the reports from both of the events that took place last year (again, quite a lot of photos to browse through):
Project showcase – Aescripts
Aescripts.com is an online store and tutorial website featuring a marketplace or an “app store” for 2D and 3D artists selling digital goods such as various plugins for Adobe AE, Photoshop and the likes. We worked on a full project, preparing new UI design and moving the solution from what was previously a WordPress site to Magento, stretching it out quite a bit in the process.
Some of the most interesting custom features developed over the course of this project were downloadable products re-work with version-upgrade auto-pricing system and an integration with client’s bespoke API for licensing, creating a custom author/seller dashboard integrated with the overall business workflows as one of the main marketplace functionalities, Vanilla forum integration from scratch etc.
You can check out more details on the project and see a video interview with Lloyd Alvarez, the man behind Aescripts.com here.
Inchoo Consulting Group established
We’ve kicked off a new team as an integral part of Inchoo that makes sure we deliver the best possible e-commerce solutions to our clients and ensures long-term success. ICG is composed of expert consultants with years of experience in the e-commerce industry.
In a fast moving world of technology, combining all the necessary ingredients to make the optimal integrated multi-channel digital marketing strategy is an impossible task for a single person to handle. The industry is moving too fast for anyone to be up to date with the latest innovations in all parts of the digital marketing landscape and this is exactly where ICG comes in. With collective experience of latest techniques from dozens of different niches we’ve had experience with, we deliver the best possible strategy to our clients, and we do that every day.
In addition to consulting services, our ICG team also have their own blog set up at http://icg.inchoo.net where they bring you the latest trends in SEO, SEM, CRO and overall ecommerce industry so make sure to check them out regularly!
Project showcase – Hunting GPS Maps
Hunting GPS Maps offers hunting maps that are uniquely different from any other products out there. What makes Hunting GPS Maps products unique is the fact that they have taken the time needed to find the best data from the most reliable sources.
This client came to us running their niche business on an old and outdated custom platform looking to help us get them to the next level. The process encompassed our work on the new site architecture taking into account many specific requirements of their business model, fresh UI design and the development of a bunch of custom features.
As the client sells (among other things) downloadable maps for various devices, an overhaul of Magento’s downloadable products default feature was in order, including programmatically created shopping cart price rules for maps updates purchases as well as integration with Amazon S3 storage for securing large files downloads.
We really enjoyed (and still do) working with Eric Siegfried and the rest of his team from Missoula, Montana.
Giving back to the community (and getting a beer or two in return)
We’ve kept our habit of writing blog posts on all things Magento, and we were pleasantly surprised with this message that came to us late in the year:
“Hi guys, I am writing this email to thank you for all the Magento tutorials you’ve written, they’ve been most helpful. I can honestly say that I’ve learned more from your website than from the official Magento community. Do you have some kind of an organizational PayPal account I can transfer a small contribution to, in order to buy you guys a beer as a “thank-you”? Again, thanks for all the help!”
So, we raised the glasses to celebrate a new way the community decided to give back to us 🙂
We’re also proud of kicking off, together with several other local software development companies, a new initiative to present software development as a promising career choice for young people in our local area (high schools and university students being the project target group). Feel free to check out more about Osijek Software City initiative.
After organizing many lectures, workshops and even a hackathon, we’ve received really positive feedback from everyone in the local community and, more importantly, we’ve seen some new software companies emerge lately – we’re continuing the efforts around helping Osijek truly become a software city.
The shape of things to come
So, what lies ahead in 2013?
We’ll definitely keep our focus on helping merchants around the world reach and awe their customers with amazing ecommerce solutions. You’ll be able to meet some of the Inchooers on main Magento events and we’ll be more than happy to shake hands.
And just as a small announcement, Inchoo will celebrate its 5th birthday this May, so there are some nice surprises being prepared for everyone following us – so make sure to stay tuned!
We’re welcoming new opportunities, challenges, good times and bad as all of them help us grow as an organization and, more importantly, as people – so, make sure you’re ready to embrace the new thrilling ride 2013 brings!
See you there!