Studio 51 is a Czech company thas sells online erotic accessories. They have a portfolio of three main brands dedicated to specific target groups: Sexshop 51, Gaymegastore and Slave4master. Company founders Adam Ošťádal and Ondřej Bělohlávek are former programmers who started the business in the 2008 year.
Nine online stores sound like a challenge
The first online stores run by Studio 51 were built using the Magento platform. Over time, when the company began to grow dynamically, businesses began to look for a new open-source ecommerce platform that would allow them to further develop, especially in terms of keeping pace with the global market.
The goal of Studio 51 was not only to change their platform (i.e. data migration), but to create completely new online stores with fresh designs, new product descriptions, and several custom features.
This resulted in the creation of nine completely new online stores (3 brands x 3 language/domain versions) under one administrative panel. The main criterion for choosing the platform was the accessibility of the code (no vendor lock-in) and positive feedback about the platform on the local market. We were able to meet these conditions and Studio 51 was so satisfied with the results that they chose us as the main contractor for this project.
Programming work on the new online stores was preceded by many hours of analysis, during which wireframes and refreshed brand manuals were created. Then Shopsys’ product owner prepared specifications, i.e. user stories for the custom functionality of online stores. The project was delivered according to Scrum methodology in two-week sprints.
Work on the project was accelerated due to the fact that Studio 51’s creators had professional programming backgrounds and were able to directly answer our programmers’ questions in the Slack messenger channel created specifically for this purpose.
We have also programmed many new features unique for Studio 51, two of which are worth mentioning here given the context of their business model: Collections and Product Ranking algorithms.
The Collections feature allows store administrators to create product groups based on their selected parameters and then assign them to categories. In practice, it means that the store administrator can organize products more efficiently. For example, automatically creating a group of erotic accessories according to color (pink, etc.). This saves a lot of time when preparing marketing campaigns for specific events such as Valentine’s Day.
The Product ranking algorithm feature allows the store administrator to set priorities (weights) in order to rank products in each category (sort them on the listing of products). Store administrators may, for example, set products higher on a list according to their margins, whether they’re currently in the warehouse, or if new products.
Happy ending despite lockdown
The project was developed within 15 months (the time resulted from adjusting to the pace of the client’s work) and its rollout happened on May 30th of this year. It is worth mentioning that a good deal of the work was carried out remotely due to Covid-19 and the lockdown, neither of which negatively affected the quality or release date of the project. Studio 51 is satisfied with the results of the work and after a greater phase of global promotion, they want to proceed with further programming work on the development of new features.
The first known marketing results for the Sexshop 51 online store also look promising: 45% increase in conversion, 30% more purchases from mobile devices, and 25% more time spent by customers on the store’s website.
What do the insiders think
Adam Ošťádal and Ondřej Bělohlávek, Owners: “We decided to cooperate with Shopsys because we value the fact they develop projects on their own open-source platform. Inviting us to their developers’ Slack channel was a great idea that enabled us to consult on changes in the project on an ongoing basis. We are very happy with the final result.”
Ivo Filip, Product Owner: “I must admit that the project was quite challenging, because at one time we were working on the development of nine different online stores. The technical and professional background of the Studio 51 owners turned out to be very helpful when it came to communication. I am very happy that everything went according to plans and ended with a successful release.”