simplicity networks GmbH is a modern company, acting as a mother brand and umbrella for two fashion brands, OPUS and someday. The brands are represented by simplicity’s 600 employees based out of Oelde, Germany, with 15 colleagues working in the eCommerce department - creating a tribute to women’s fashion since 2000 with the requirements to produce the right product at the right time for their brands and customers. simplicity distributes throughout Europe through more than 2000 trading partners and their online shops.
OPUS was founded in 2000 as a trendy, feminine, and casual fashion, driven to produce each piece as a long-lasting and loved item in their customer’s collection.
someday was founded in 2015 as an upscale womenswear using premium fabrics like silk and cashmere, made for women to feel comfortable and confident in their skin.
Both brands together resonate in creating long-lasting, durable, and elegant fashion. In the coming years, they aim to produce their future collections with sustainable materials and practices entirely.
OPUS and someday are served as eCommerce shops, playing an essential role towards their growth and profitability while representing a critically vital role as their front-facing brand image towards clients. Both brands’ target audience is geared towards women, ages 30 to 65, who care about the quality and comforts of their lifestyle garment wear. As of today, OPUS and someday’s most important markets are Germany, as well as delivery to the Netherlands, Belgium, Austria, and Switzerland.
The Origin Story
Prior to simplicity’s move to Storyblok for OPUS and someday, the brand was set up on Spryker (ZED), and were using it not only as their eCommerce Plattform but also as a CMS. Knowing that Spryker is not primarily intended to be used in that way, they found over time its complexity as not being very user-friendly. This was due to there being no-preview options, an only stage environment for testing, and limited flexibility to change their landing pages’ look and feel. Consequently, any new colleagues joining simplicity’s content management efforts would need to go through quite some documentation and comprehend each action and direction for a simple task.
simplicity’s realization at the end of 2020 to look for other options came when they realized their content management efforts were becoming more and more risky, error-prone, and overly complicated with a no-preview option their previous set up gave them as they continued to grow and expand the brands.
At present, the team running the webshop consists of the commerce team responsible for its content, product management, and an external agency that assists in any implementations and improvements to the overall eCommerce storefront.
Due to the nature of OPUS and someday’s rotating collections, their homepages must be updated and changed around every 1 to 2 weeks, with trend pages being updated once per month. While there are no changes to the content elements themselves, simplicity takes advantage of Storyblok’s easy nature of reusing or duplicating pages for different items to implement their content easily.
Such elements led to simplicity’s move to Storyblok - with content creation as one of the key elements to their brand, finding a content management system that could handle heavy graphics, text, integrate seamlessly with an eCommerce storefront, and was user-friendly for marketers, developers and new colleagues being onboarded was an essential obligation for simplicity’s content and brand needs.
Why Storyblok: Why did simplicity choose Storyblok?
It’s in the name, ‘simplicity’ - the brand wanted a headless CMS that could fit their needs to be simple and efficient. simplicity started their CMS search with Spryker’s partners and agency recommendations. When it came to making the move and choosing Storyblok, the key main decision-makers within simplicity were their product management team, their internal IT and external agency partner, as well as their eCommerce team. The reason for this being:
Product Management Team: Familiar with the current content workflows, content creation processes and knew which essential requirements were needed for the new CMS to meet their needs
simplicity’s internal IT team and external agency partner: Skilled in checking how well a CMS like Storyblok could fit with their existing storefront setup
Head of eCommerce, Head of IT & CEO: The final decision-makers to making the move to Storyblok
“simplicity, in the name, means we want things simple, we want things to be efficient.”
Anna KlingProduct Owner at simplicity
On top of that, simplicity works internally using the Scrum methodology and thus needed a CMS that could accompany their workflows and fit. A criterion was set by simplicity and their external agency partner to best see how well different CMS providers could best meet their criteria and needs. For example, such criteria and needs included:
Ease of use and design flexibility for different teams and colleagues
Ability to create content that could be consistent with their Corporate Identity (CI)
Ability to upload video content
Content preview with a visual editor
Ability to handle localization efforts and support two brands under one umbrella of content management
Content workflows and automation
Company fit (i.e., how well does the headless CMS fit with simplicity)
Throughout the decision and searching process, simplicity’s external agency partner suggested a couple of headless CMSs to explore, where among these was Storyblok. simplicity’s exploration delved into various product demonstrations, and from there, the brand made comparisons to best see what fit with their capabilities, needs, and sights for the future. One of the reasons Storyblok shone above the other headless CMS options was due to Storyblok’s content preview, reactive user experience, ease of integration that allowed simplicity to quickly launch an MVP, and allowed the brand to work with their existing frontend content components as well as create new ones with ease and speed.
Adopting Storyblok as the headless CMS of choice
simplicity started small in their implementation of Storyblok, getting a feel with our product demos, free trial, and demo version. From there, the brand decided to move forwards in pushing an MVP in February 2021 from scratch that ultimately became a part of their current site - a small block display on their homepage with the rest of the content still coming through eCommerce integration, Spryker, and content migration from ZED. Throughout the process, simplicity migrated their content from their previous ZED set up to Storyblok’s while making styling improvements on all existing components and creating new components to their homepage through Storyblok’s ability to custom-create components.
Storyblok’s ‘simplicity’ for simplicity
Storyblok instantly became a hit for simplicity - bringing about efficiency, ease of use, and its simpleness in user experience and user interface for simplicity’s employees and fit with their company values. The result of Storyblok’s ‘simplicity’ for simplicity shows - with a reduction in time towards their campaigns for both OPUS and someday, simplicity were able to turn around and easily update new content and campaigns rotationally each week with ease.
Elements such as the visual editor aided the brand to try out different combinations of elements/components through drag and drop, to experiment and innovate in order to find the best way to present their style, message, and storytelling. This lends to the optimization of their brand experience, where the brand is now able to show more content from different angles, collections, trends, and topics that, in turn, sparks to inspire their customers and themselves as a brand in OPUS and someday.
“From the first meeting on, through the integration phase until today, we feel well supported by Storyblok”
Sarah HurmanProduct Manager at simplicity
From three months of testing and demoing Storyblok to the launch of an MVP on their site, simplicity still has a lot in store on their horizons with Storyblok. The brand is looking into setting up landing pages that increase awareness towards their sustainability efforts and processes, as well as continue to process their products through Storyblok via Spryker. simplicity also has their sights set on expansion into new markets, languages, and audiences using Storyblok’s folder-level and field-level setup.
At Storyblok, we aim to create the best headless CMS experience for brands expanding into new markets, languages, and audiences. Storyblok’s capabilities to easily integrate with eCommerce platforms, such as Spryker, is one of the reasons why brands choose us as a reliable, flexible, and streamlined content management system that aims to create the best experience for brands their customers. We champion innovation and experimentation, giving developers and marketers alike the opportunity to develop, create and orchestrate their content and storytelling.
For simplicity, bringing Storyblok onboard aided them in managing several product brand sites between OPUS and someday and seamlessly integrated their Spryker eCommerce platform to Storyblok in optimizing, presenting, and storytelling their products to different audiences and markets. Storyblok also aided simplicity in creating new components easily that best fit their needs and requirements, becoming a puzzle piece that fits all.