What can startups do right now to prepare themselves for the upcoming hard times? Here’s a handful of tips for startup founders looking to keep their businesses afloat in 2020 and beyond.
The competition among online stores has never been higher. That’s why eCommerce store owners do everything they can to stand out from their competitors and attract as many customers as possible to their product offer.
Web design and development are two critical areas that help here. Optimal website loading time, excellent user experience (UX), and smooth checkout – these are just a few of the many aspects that come into play in building the popularity of an online store.
But web developers don’t need to build all of these functionalities from scratch to achieve great results. They can use frameworks and tools that help to set up a well-designed and high-performing online store faster.
One of such tools is Spree Commerce, an open-source e-commerce solution based on the Ruby on Rails framework. Developed in 2008, Spree allows for easy customizations and upgrades of online stores to deliver features matching unique business needs.
To show you the potential of this technology for eCommerce ventures, here are ten startups that have decided to take advantage of Spree.
Everlane is an innovative fashion startup that disrupts the fashion supply chain by sharing all the information about the costs and factory details behind their products. The brand stands out in the fashion sector, thanks to this uniquely transparent attitude. And their online store perfectly encapsulates those brand qualities.
The simple design and user-friendly navigation help Everlane to take their business to the next level. By betting on Spree, the brand was able to build a transparent fashion manufacturing business work more than $100M.
The online liquor retailer Paneco decided to build its world-class, multi-region alcohol online store with Spree. Founded in Israel, the company expanded to South America and Asia with the aim of becoming “the Amazon.com of alcohol in the world.” Today, Paneco is the fastest growing online liquor retailer in the world.
The well-designed and localized sites help Paneco tailor the user experience to the different countries of distribution and easily adapt to their preferences. Moreover, the company benefits from access to key customer data that allows making smart decisions about sales, geography, and seasonality. Many of these processes are fully automated to allow the team to concentrate on core strategic tasks.
Spree was the most robust, configurable, and scalable solution the company tested for their site. The high customizability of Spree allowed Paneco to build additional features that are unique to their industry. Since the launch, Paneco also saw considerable memory and performance improvements (c. 40% reduction in memory).
A leading eCommerce marketplace targeting independent boutiques and emerging fashion designers, Garmentory is truly one of a kind store on the web. By choosing Spree as its core technology, Garmentory delivers a fresh, curated shopping experience. The online store was developed as an extensively customized Ruby on Rails and Spree-based application.
The open-source solution offered Garmentory the flexibility and scalability they needed to succeed. The startup’s exponential growth since its launch in 2014 testifies to the potential of Spree in supporting rapidly growing companies – even ones that grow by 400% each year like Garmentory!
4. Urban Ladder
Founded in 2012, Urban Ladder is a leading online furniture company in India. Urban Ladder is a successful startup that found financial backing from top-tier VC firms Steadview Capital, SAIF Partners, Kalaari Capital, and Sequoia Capital – winning the “Best Digital Start-up” Award in 2014.
Urban Ladder wanted to provide users with a pleasant and memorable experience while shopping for quality designs and handcrafted furniture. The easy navigation and seamless user interface are just the beginning.
Spree helps Urban Ladder scale its platform easily and customize it to welcome sophisticated discoverability features (customized recommendation engine) and visual materials (including image galleries, videos, 360-degree views, as well as zoom view pictures of products).
5. Finery London
Finery London is a womenswear brand that focuses on combining excellent design and high quality with accessible pricing. The company’s online presence matches its elegant design. It offers a great user experience on a clean and contemporary interface.
By using Spree to power its website, the brand had its site recognized as the Website of the Year at the Retail Systems 2016 award show. Within the first year of launching the Spree-based website, Finery London reached an incredible record of £5 million in online sales.
MeUndies is a Los Angeles-based startup based on a creative approach to selling underwear through a subscription model. Customers can choose from modern and fun patterns, buy matching pairs for their partners, or take advantage of MeUndies subscription box services.
To provide customers with the best experience while shopping, MeUndies bet on Spree for developing their site. The clean and understandable design helps users to navigate through all the available shopping options and get the products they want. Thanks to a functional and high-performing website based on Spree, MeUndies is able to grow by three times year-over-year.
7. Mack Weldon
Launched in 2011, Mack Weldon is today the leading online-only menswear brand that focuses on high-quality basics. The idea behind this fashion startup was offering great designs in premium fabrics – all served through a simple and streamlined shopping experience.
The company decided to implement Spree as the foundation for its eCommerce platform to take advantage of the latest web design trends. Creating a smooth shopping experience is critical to an online-only business, and Spree helped Mack Weldon achieve that and reinvent the menswear sector.
This online store aims to inspire its customers to lead more active, adventurous, and fashionable lives through its selection of exclusive sales, storytelling features, and unique customer experience.
Huckberry is a bootstrapped startup that has experienced rapid growth since its inception, reporting over $15 million of revenue in its first five years of operation. Huckberry launched an innovative ‘email-driven retail’ model of business and took advantage of Spree to achieve its strategic mission.
The technology allowed Huckberry to customize all the key pages and the overall website flow to drive sales, primarily with the emails that linked to the well-designed product pages.
Brandless offers high-quality everyday essentials at one equal price of $3. The company claims that this amount reflects the elimination of a brand tax – all the costs associated with marketing, advertising, distribution, and branding.
Brandless used Spree to develop a fast and maintainable eCommerce platform. Its initial tech stack was typical for the contemporary mobile-first web applications: React on top of Ruby on Rails.
However, creating a custom store on top of the company’s preferred product management system was challenging. This is where Spree helped Brandless achieve its key business goals and drive it to become one of the most popular startup success stories reported on portals like TechCrunch.
Superpedestrian offers its customers access to innovative tech, which can transform any bike to an electric one that makes bike riding more pleasant and exciting. Since it’s such an unusual service, Superpedestrian needed more than a regular online store.
The company focused on building a site with optimal user experience where customers are led by the hand throughout the entire buying journey. The idea is that the platform answers all the questions and clears all doubts as soon as they appear. The clear and minimalist design achieved thanks to Spree powered that user-friendly interface.
Moreover, Spree also allows extensive product customization options to fit it to individual needs, integrated live chat with customer service, product reviews by customers, and an interactive map of the available retail stores and showrooms. Superpedestrian improved automation and site performance features with Spree, Angular, and Stripe – building an unforgettable experience for customers.
The 10 examples above show that Spree is an excellent technology choice for a broad range of projects, leading startups to success, and improving conversions on websites. These online stores were designed with user experience in mind, and Spree helped the companies to implement the necessary features without compromising the UX of their sites.
Are you looking for a team of specialists that can help you take advantage of Spree? Contact us; we have plenty of experience in building eCommerce platforms for clients in various industries.