Retail IQ sell POS and Business Intelligence software to the retail industry across the World. They needed an application to help them manage the licensing and purchasing of their software having outgrown their existing solution.
Retail IQ had been selling their software online for a number of years before approaching Blue Sun Digital to discuss their current software and the options available to improve it.
There were a number of issues with the current solution which made it difficult and expensive to manage. Through a couple of workshops with owner Manual we managed to identify their key pain points so Blue Sun Digital could design a new application to address them.
The Limitations of WordPress
The previous solution was built with WordPress using a number of plugins and custom functionality to manage and sell their licences. Whilst WordPress has its place and can produce some good and effective web sites, it soon became clear that it Retail IQ was outgrowing it and hitting a number of limitations and issues.
Managing the business with WordPress and a long list of plugins was a very time consuming process requiring a full time role just to keep on top of day-to-day administration.
A number of plugins had to be used to achieve what was required but in doing so, compromises had to be made to fit the way they worked. Regular updates for bugs and security issues meant disruption and in some cases broken functionality which had to be addressed before licences could be purchased again - an expensive problem and not a good look to their customers.
Labour Intensive Process
With the way the application needed to be architected using WordPress plugins, managing the business, licensing and setup of new customers was a very time consuming process. A full time role was required simply to keep on top of this management process taking precious time away from selling the products and acquiring new customers.
We decided to build a custom application using Microsoft .Net MVC with Umbraco for content management and DevExpress for rapid development of data views. The solution had complete flexibility and allowed us to build a great application that met all of Retail IQ's long list of requirements.
After a round of wireframing/prototyping we designed various process and workflows of the application together to ensure the end result worked well and fitted the needs of Retail IQ's customers.
The new licence ordering process allowed us to build a solution that met the complex requirements precisely with a workflow that allowed customers to order and pay for perpetual licences and subscriptions easily and quickly. Customers could also manage their own customers (some customers are wholesalers) and setting up new Retail IQ customers took just a few minutes for something that previously took a few hours.
PayPal for Ecommerce
Retail IQ sell products all over the World and already had a customer-base used to using PayPal to purchase their licences. We needed to keep using PayPal so the new site seamlessly integrated with the popular payment gateway to manage purchases.
Umbraco for Content Management
The vast majority of the application is completely custom development but there was still a requirement to manage copy in places such as FAQs, Help documents, Release Notes and throughout the purchasing process. For this we integrated Umbraco which provided an excellent solution for managing all the supporting content.