Being in Magento development world from its very beginning, we can say we are one of the most experienced teams you can find. We are passionate about sharing our experiences with the development community via our blog. This was recognized throughout the community and we’re happy to see over 200.000 visitors come back each month and leave their comments on the website.
Our expertise with Magento has been further tested and proven as we are actively involved in the official Magento certification programs.
Every business has a special story. When we close a deal, first step for the team is to get familiar with your business model, customers, target audience and channels. The more we know about your aspirations and restraints, the more successful we will be in the creative process. We call this process a discovery phase.
At this moment, you will be introduced to a project manager and a team that will work on a project. Team can consist of developers, designers, consultants, testers or content creators.
In addition to iteration kick-off meeting, you will be introduced to our Collaboration tool – activeCollab. This tool facilitates communication, milestone tracking, tickets assignment and so forth. It plays a key role in our process making it transparent, easy to manage and enable progress tracking in real-time.
If you haven not used activeCollab yet, please take the tour on their website to learn more about it. In special cases, we are open to consider using another project management tool that your team is more familiar with.
Building starts with planning phase – where we conceptualise the information and ideas we collected in discovery phase and set a plan for creative process. It includes the wireframe and functionality outlines.
This is the best moment to assess and make decisions in regards to design, feature flow, content planning and development. By planning the website features prior to design, it gives the team a bigger picture of the system that is coming on the scene. It also helps to spot potential problems and prevent scope creeps.
- Timeline and Project Evaluation
The project timeline gets divided into high-level milestones, which usually represent larger components being finished or product release dates. Within each of these milestones are short-term iterations, which usually last 2-4 weeks, depending on the project size. Each iteration begins with a kick-off meeting, during which the features from the last iteration are tested and evaluated, and a certain number of new features are chosen for development in the upcoming iteration.
These iteration kick-off meetings are ideal times for evaluating the progress of the project and making sure that development is proceeding according to expectations. If setbacks or delays in development have occurred, they can be discussed, analyzed and learned from. The status of the project budget can also be verified. If the developers have important questions for you, they can ask them, and they can inform you of important discoveries.
- Research and planning in design
Successful design process starts with comprehensive research and planning phase. This step separates solutions that serve user needs compared to the websites that look nice but come up short when it comes to verifying user needs are being met.
To create a seamless user experience, we need to see, analyze and understand how your users interact with your website. We use data from Google Analytics to indicate weaknesses and Hotjar to understand how the customers behind those numbers really use the website. Hotjar is a powerful tool that combines a variety of features such as heatmaps, visitor recordings, polls, surveys and more, which help us get a solid understanding of user behaviour. Based on the information gathered during research phase, we are ready to start with wireframing.
Wireframes are low fidelity layouts that outline the placement and rough size of specific page elements. Wireframing with simple gray boxes and plain black text allows us to focus on the main groups of content, the site structure and user flows. Wireframes should contain a representation of every important piece of the final product.
Static wireframe is not as useful in communicating dynamic user flows, for that reason we use InVision to create interactive prototypes that can easily be shared with our team and clients.
Time to bring prototypes to life. By following your visual identity, designers are creating a visual appearance of your future website. Design at Inchoo is not perceived as a common use of graphic design centered only around visual aspect. In the heart of our practice of user-centered design lies heavy crunching of numbers and data, researching users and understanding how they interact with the web to provide them with the information they want or need.
We pay special attention to details following industry best practices. It is much easier to change a part of the design in this phase than to go back after development and fixing it later. Once the design phase is complete, frontend part of development can begin. During the full project lifecycle, designers are providing quality assurance for the visuals.
- Looking from users’ point of view
By looking from users’ point of view and placing ourselves in their shoes, we are achieving user-centered design which is necessary for the success of any eCommerce store.
With a highly contextual design mentality we are building user experiences which are easy to use, so the end result are cohesive and predictable effects on site visitors whose needs and desires are met.
- Responsive design? How can it help growing my business?
With the huge rise of the number of mobile devices and their accessibility to larger groups of people, smartphones, tablets and other mobile devices are becoming the dominant way of accessing the internet today.
Many of those visitors are browsing on the go, while commuting, waiting in lines or doing some other activity. Their research on mobile devices can lead to decisions on buying products or services they want from you – that is, if you support their devices and if they can browse through your store efficiently and without a hassle regardless of the device they are browsing on.
The bottom line is that customers are often not familiar with what responsive, mobile or some other type of store means – they are here to simply browse, do some research or make an actual purchase. Having that in mind, we must provide them with best possible user experience regardless of platform, resolution or device and that is where Responsive Design plays a crucial role.
Design at Inchoo is all about conversion rates and helping you grow your business. We crunch the numbers and data for you and turn them into visually appealing eCommerce stores that take your visitors and convert them into customers using a shopping experience that will delight them on any device, resolution and platform with the help of responsive design.
End goal of the design process at Inchoo is to make the shopping experience easy and natural without causing any unnecessary cognitive load so the users can focus on what is most important to them – enjoying the shopping experience from the comfort of their homes or even on the go.
Although this phase is placed after design in this text, in reality development phase can start immediately after planning with elements like: working and deployment environment setup, product and category data setup, ERP integration outline, etc. In this phase, frontend and backend developers join forces in building solutions previously discussed. We believe that the testing is an integral part of development phase. It includes cross-browser testing, feature testing and performance testing.
Here are some of the principles we use in development phase:
- Build for performance
Achieving a goal of having fast website starts from day 1. We saw many super-slow Magento websites installed in production where merchants were purchasing top-notch hosting configuration trying to speed it up. The real solution for fast Magento is to build features and theme with performance in mind. Performance is in the essence of thinking of our every team member.
- Don’t touch the core
We know our tools of trade – in this case Magento. We pay special attention to follow development best practices in order to make the system easily scalable and upgradeable. Quick win in hacking your way to find quick solution can can create many obstacles later. Every Inchooer know that.
- Measure what you do
Experience in creating online stores gives us the power to provide quality assumptions. However, at all times, we know to differentiate assumptions from data-driven facts. Measuring the effects of everything we do is part of our working culture. We love numbers, percentages, and ratios.
- Tailored solutions over generic extensions
Magento Extension overuse is a plague for your Magento store and your business. Many times, when merchants come to us asking for the service of technical audit, we encounter a store with over 30 installed extensions. In many cases, over 70% of them are not needed. Poorly written extensions slow down the website and can provide security threats. In most of the cases, they will interfere and conflict with other extensions making the maintenance process slow and expensive. Extensions should be used only when they are well-written and when they are built almost exactly for the requirement.
- Keep it simple
For starters, simple is not always quick. We love the scenarios when you present a goal you would like to achieve and that we collaborate to define the best method. When we do it together, it is more likely that the solution will be more natural for Magento architecture, quicker to develop and simpler to use.
When a project goes live, either as a new website or a rebuild of an existing one, the Grow phase starts. When the visitors start to arrive, we need to understand and measure how do they use the site. It is very common that they act differently then the creators wanted. Therefore, with the launch of new website, we are entering the discovery mode again.
After we collect new insights, in collaboration with you, we are setting new actions. Then over again, continuously improving process, making the site more easy to use and the customer more happy and willing to buy. This is the everlasting process, but the only approach if you want to grow.
We are using following techniques to attract new customers or engage existing ones:
Search Engine Optimisation (SEO)
In a decade of SEO practice for eCommerce businesses, we’ve seen Google create algorithms that punish all sorts of different shortcuts to rankings – from Penguin to Panda – but they never hit our clients as we don’t break any guidelines.
Our SEO services are made for clients whose websites are their business so they take them very seriously and so do we. We create improvements that pay off in the long run.
- On-site SEO
Every month we concentrate on one area of your website. We do a keyword research and figure out which keywords are commonly used by searchers when they search for those products. We then proceed to edit on-site ranking factors such as titles, H tags, image ALT tags, and text to make those pages optimized for the keywords we gathered in the research.
We use your Google AdWords data (if available) to make data driven decisions on which keywords we should optimize those pages for based on the conversion rate of those same keywords achieved through your PPC efforts. Better landing pages will also lead to better AdWords quality scores which lead to lower prices per click.
With this service, your website’s organic search revenue is constantly improving section by section, month by month.
- Off-site SEO monitoring
We monitor your new backlinks every month to make sure you’re not gaining any bad links. Bad backlinks can be gained through different bots that scrape the web and replicate content, as well as by negative SEO campaigns that your competitors can run against you (building bad backlinks towards you to make Google penalize you).
In case we see any bad backlinks we disavow them preemptively before you get in trouble.
Improving User Experience
We use Google Analytics and other tools at our disposal to make data driven decisions on how to improve your users’ experience on the website, increase conversion rates, lower cart abandonment, and lower bounce rates. We monitor visitors trends on different device types to understand how the customers are interacting with the site. With these insights, we suggest appropriate interface updates.
- Split testing
When necessary we design and implement split tests using Visual Website Optimizer, Optimizly, or even some of our custom implementations when necessary to test our and your ideas and see which changes should be implemented on the website.
Every month we create a report for you that includes all of the actions we’ve taken in this month, all of the changes that were implemented, and all of the new data driven conclusions we came to.
We also report on how the changes we implemented the month before reflected on your website’s performance and revenue this month.
eCommerce PPC Management
The difference between other PPC management agencies and Inchoo is that we are primarily eCommerce specialists. We only work with Magento eCommerce businesses, which enables us to concentrate on what’s important for your business exclusively and gives us enough time to stay up to date with latest techniques and industry standards in the world of eCommerce PPC management.
Google Shopping Management
To capitalize the full potential of Google Shopping, one must fully understand the taxonomy of the product niche he is advertising and to assure the Shopping Feed structure follows the campaign segmentation strategy.
Magento Advanced Analytics with Google Tag Manager
We use Google Tag Manager as a data broker – from reading each pageview, session, user data and interaction data (events) to pouring that data to any number of channels – from Universal Analytics with custom dimensions and custom metrics to data rich tracking pixels for social networks and (dynamic) remarketing services to uplift your sales and user experience.