Implementation, maintenance, and development of Manolo Blahnik’s discount website

Manolo Blahnik is a brand with a constantly expanding fan base practically all over the world, and which is growing day by day. As it happens in the luxury fashion industry, with the increase in the number of fans of the brand, the number of people lurking and hunting for discounts, seasonal sales and discounts increases. There is no need to convince anyone that this esteemed group should be cared for and appreciated.

Based on shared experiences and thoughts, together with Manolo Blahnik, we developed the concept of the "Discount" website, where the brand's products are available at discounted prices. The sales campaign takes place twice a year and is reserved for the group subscribed to the group's newsletter.

The power of experience and usability research

The main factors that were considered when designing the website were:

Server performance and availability

Since the entire sale campaign concerns the volume of tens of thousands of users subscribed to the newsletter, the optimization of page loading time, content caching, interface response, and checkout speed turned out to be key success factors. Experience in this matter and performance tests carried out cyclically each time provided information on what can and should be improved to keep the customer and brand fans satisfied.

“The record number of users served at the same time is over 3000 users.”

Ergonomics

We adjusted the photos and texts so that they were visible and legible. We limited the website to the most popular categories of WOMAN and MAN and resigned from the classic e-commerce view. The design of the website, the number of fonts used, and the colors were selected in a way that, on the one hand, they fit in with the brand's identity, and on the other hand, do not give the impression of overloading information. The primary goal was cleanliness and legibility.

Technology

We approached the subject quite unusually here. The category page with filters has been rewritten in ReactJs technology. Products and filters are fetched using GraphQL and cached in Varnish. The result? A quick interface with a clear information architecture that allows the potential customer to quickly make a purchase and find out about the structure of the website. The peak site can support 1000 users at a time.

Closed sale system

Thanks to our dedicated solution, the website remains closed for most of the year, but can collect email addresses for the newsletter during this time.

At the same time, it remains available to a closed group of users, employees, and managers, and even more importantly, to our Load Testers. This allows us to run tests a few days before the sale goes live to make sure everything is working properly.

Re-pricing system

The law in several European countries requires retailers to inform customers about the original price of products and historical discounts. Magento is not prepared for this, however, thanks to our dedicated solution, the client is able to display several historical prices at the same time. With this feature, they can implement gradual reduction strategies.

Summary

On the one hand, the Discount website and its seasonally growing sales volumes convinced the owners of the Manolo Blahnik brand that it is worth trusting our many years of experience in designing and developing e-commerce. And on the other hand, they proved to us that imagination, willingness to learn, and experimentation can work wonders.