Urban Jungle is an urban-chic cosmetics brand involved in the fast-growing, highly competitive social media space. Their target customer is the young generation in high school, using bright color schemes incorporating pinks and greens. As part of the Vanity Group which mostly focuses on hotels, this is their first social media first cosmetics brand. Vanity Group's main goal is to build awareness of Urban Jungle cosmetics, which they believe will be achieved through clever design and strategic use of social media networks.
Raak Creative is a predominantly eCommerce development agency, with the caveat that they use headless development for most of their projects. What makes Raak Creative stand out from the crowd is their ability to incorporate design and development holistically across their projects. They try to focus on both sides equally to ensure that what they’re building is a beautiful and functional user experience, with future tech that works fast and creates a seamless user experience. Raak Creative is one of the agencies that were able to weather the pandemic and continue to grow in the sense that they’ve moved to being a fully remote team, and saw an uptick in opportunities as there was an ever-increasing demand for businesses to launch their eCommerce presence fairly quickly.
They’ve also noticed a shift in client requests towards both analytics and tracking particularly across the eCommerce journey. Clients want improved data on how customers are using their websites, from the second they open the page right up until the moment of checkout. Another area of demand is the quality of design, which in today’s world is a difficult place to stand out. There’s so much competition in the eCommerce space so finding out ways to help clients stand out has become increasingly vital. As an agency that primarily focuses on real marketing and organic growth, they’ve had to shift somewhat to meet client demands.
Focusing on BigCommerce, Raak came across Storyblok as a Headless CMS solution for their ecommerce projects. They wanted to use a platform that didn’t place any limitations on the design, yet was also free of technical limitations. Given just how competitive the eCommerce space is at the moment especially in the cosmetics space, Raak needed to ensure that the project was running fast and loading products as quickly as possible as well as getting customers to the checkout as cleanly and quickly as possible.
Raak decided to go with Storyblok because the client had used it before and was comfortable with it. They generally start from the commerce platform that we're building on as a first point of contact when building out a headless CMS. In this case, it's BigCommerce. And they definitely knew it was going to be headless, which meant they needed to find a headless CMS to work with it. Given that they've been working with Storyblok already, Raak was already certain that they would be using Storyblok for this project.
In terms of Storyblok, Raak knew from the start that they wanted to be using GraphQL for its speed of loading queries, and always had that initial problem of designing the technological solution given that they were drawing products from one place and content from another. In some cases, they had overflow - when they hosted minimal product data in our eCommerce platform and then if they needed to get into more detail and add content that was generally done through the CMS. The way that they linked those together became really important. Raak figured out that they needed a sync between BigCommerce and Storyblok so that they could dynamically generate products in Storyblok and would allow for content to be added.
One of the things that has been valuable on this project is the ability to assign different editor roles and to get really granular around who can edit what content at any point in time. Raak also benefited from the pipelines, which were a huge help in deploying changes across the site and allowing them to have a strong method for testing in staging ahead of production. In addition, it gave content editors more control over their work.
Quote from Nathan Keatch, Head of Technology @ Raak Creative
We have been fairly happy with the platform. I don’t hear a lot of complaints, which is great. I think. In general, everyone is pretty happy with Storyblok because it does a job and it does it simply; it doesn’t complicate things and for us, this is the most important thing: that we know that data is going to come back cleanly and easy to understand and pass along.
Setting up the analytics was one of the challenges Raak faced on this project. It was a challenge ensuring that, as a user flows through this site, they will go from Urban Jungle's website to their hosted BigCommerce store and that user data is tracked throughout the entire journey. Another challenge was to make sure that the introduction video content loads fast and effectively. Meeting design requirements, making sure it's bright and vibrant but not too much so was also a challenge here, yet Raak managed to overcome the problems ahead of them.
Raak provided training on both the ecommerce aspect and CMS to Urban Jungle upon handoff, which is generally a fairly basic level of training. Raak finds that Storyblok is fairly easy to find your way around, and more importantly, hard to break things. So essentially, they give most clients edit access only, or component access. A lot of time is spent training them on how they have configured Storyblok so they know how this particular component works with this type of page and these components are available. Raak will also, on all Storybook builds, is have site settings page. A page or a blog post on the site where we can have all these global settings. Some people find that a little bit confusing at times, so it would be great to integrate outside of the content manager, but just some way for people to do things like say, "Yeah I'd like on the alert banner at the top of the page." This is the color we want to use and this is the text that's going to have globally or just things like that. Those settings can get pretty complex across a complex design site.
Raak & Urban Jungle have talked a lot about multi-platform, particularly with our mobile application development, alongside the website. Having a single source of truth of data is really a good idea for Raak in terms of feeding multiple sites or apps from that one place. Having a lot of sites having common content across them, it's nice to be able to potentially have a single instance of Storyblok feeding multiple areas of multiple sites with the same content.
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