6IXSENSES’ races against time: SkiptheShop launched a full-fledged eCommerce website in one and a half months.
This case study is a quick dive into SkiptheShop’s one-and-a-half-month marathon to provide a fully fledged eCommerce website for traditional grocery stores to enter the online landscape during the height of the pandemic.
Online shopping has intensified in the last decade. The COVID-19 pandemic had imposed circulation limitations and more restrictive behaviors on consumers due to fears of contracting the virus, boosting online grocery shopping. Just like most brick-and-mortar companies, even the grocery industry had to devise new ways to deliver their products to households. However, for farmers and suppliers who have been well secured in their physical stores for decades, it came as a challenge. This case study provides a glimpse of the journey embarked on by SkiptheShop in their great stride to help grocery suppliers take the powerful step of moving into the online landscape with an all-in supply and delivery chain ready to transport and accommodate orders from customers living throughout Toronto.
The story starts with four individuals wanting to make an impact to help Sri Lankan native exporters reach the international market by providing better exposure. After spending substantial time living in Canada and working on their careers, they knew they had the technology, networks, and resources to give back to their communities back in Sri Lanka. Around late 2019, an idea was generated to create an online website for helping farmers sell their products to North America. By January of 2020, after much discussion going back and forth, the website domain was registered, and it was time to assume the operation of onboarding suppliers and contracting delivery networks.
In a matter of months, COVID-19 was declared a pandemic, and people became restless. Brick and mortar stores were going out of business by the day on top of all the health concerns that were rising. This was a moment of fight or flight, and the team had merely a few weeks to get the eCommerce operation, website, and delivery service all up and running.
Things had to get done fast, so work was distributed among the four owners based on their specialties. The website had to constitute functioning operations, web development, an eCommerce strategy, vendor management, and acquisition while also staying in tune with the overall strategy.
Around this time, 6IXSENSES was introduced to SkiptheShop and became a business partner in preparing a complete eCommerce system and strategy. 6IXSENSES, who were pioneers in eCommerce, technology, and digitalization, already knew which areas would trigger the biggest challenges in setting up this operation. They also knew the most effective way to work around these issues and create the best-value product. They were a powerhouse team of designers, developers, and specialists.
About the Website:
The website was built with the use of popular modern-day eCommerce technology, including WordPress, WooCommerce, and WPEngine, as well as client-service software like Freshdesk, RingCentral, and LiveChat.
6IXSENSES’ role was to provide the eCommerce expertise, development and strategy; this involved everything from the start of design, development and marketing to the end product of customer service after the sale. 6IXSENSES took charge of the bulk of the work, which lifted the pressure of establishing the website off SkiptheShop’s internal team.
Today, the website has a strong supplier base dating back over 2 years and is able to maintain up to 20 to 40 orders a day. Over the years, new customized features have been added to the website, including the most intricate details like product customization and banners, all of which were personalized by 6IXSENSES.
In about 2 months after the initial launch, 6IXSENSES was already involved in almost every aspect of the functionality of the website except the delivery process, which was outsourced to a third party. However, 6IXSENSES, who had a decade of experience, already knew the business operation inside out and was able to provide assistance so as to make deliveries to all areas of Toronto.
SkiptheShop’s website was initially built for the greater cause of supporting local farmers based in Sri Lanka by providing them a platform to access Canadian customers. However, over time, the eCommerce platform will not be limited to only native farmers but will have the possibility of reaching broader markets. With the support of 6IXSENSES, the possibilities remain endless to reach diversified markets like apparel, sports, toys, and electronics, all of which 6IXSENSES has experience operating.
6IXSENSES’ deep understanding of eCommerce enabled SkipTheShop.com to ensure smooth operations between cross-border transactions during a global meltdown while still ensuring each customer received a fresh and flourishing experience with each order. The software they selected, the delivery network they contracted, or the marketing strategy they implemented always worked. Understanding the customer journey of an eCommerce operation and devising procedures to ensure the process runs smoothly are vital. 6IXSENSES’ rigorous involvement in the process on a day-in and day-out basis truly shined in ensuring a successful product was delivered to the SkiptheShop.