Interview: Stella Lena N.Y on Magento
Magento was chosen foremost because of the flexibility in design and the innovative system, together with fully-developed ideas. We also really liked the one-page check out. Finally, among other things, many functions in the Backend that make maintenance of products and the site significantly easy greatly facilitated the decision-process.”
Sascha Postel, [m]zentrale
- Tell us a bit about [m]zentrale and Stella Lena N.Y?
Stella Lena N.Y. (http://www.stellalena.com) is a newly established fashion label that is positioned as young fashion for the self-confident woman. Stella Lena currently runs a couple of stores throughout Germany, as well as its own online store (since may 2008).
[m]zentrale internet agency is based in Stuttgart, Germany with another office in Munich, Germany and was founded in 2000. The agency specializes in open source solutions, especially TYPO3 and, starting in 2008, also with Magento. The divisions include consulting, planning, strategy, design, development (programming & web design) and marketing (SEO, SEM, a.s.o.) Its customers include companies like Elegance, Peter Hahn, BF.direkt AG, Mercedes Cup, AKDB, ARDEN Switzerland and many more.
- What technologies are currently implemented / integrated in the frontend and behind-the-scenes?
For the introduction to the German market we have done several adjustments concerning the calculation of VAT and the very specific German legal regulations. A German payment-contractor was integrated for the handling of the payment process in the buying and ordering process also. (Pre-authorization at the purchase, capture at the billing, etc.)
In order to display new products we have integrated a flash-application, that allows customers to scroll through selected products. In the detail screen of a singular product you can zoom in to the product pictures and see videos of the product.
We have additionally developed two further modules that allow the client not only to see the availability of the product in the online-store, but also in the several brick-and-mortar stores. The client can reserve this item in one of the stores for three days, with a personal wish list.
The stock maintenance of the online-shop and the stock in the brick-and-mortar stores, as well as the ordering process, is automated via an interface to an inventory control system (ERP).
- Why did you choose Magento for the project?
Magento was chosen foremost because of the flexibility in design and the innovative system, together with fully-developed ideas. We also really liked the one-page check out. Finally, among other things, many functions in the Backend that make maintenance of products and the site significantly easy greatly facilitated the decision-process.
- What other solutions did you consider and/or evaluate?
OS/XT Commerce and TYPO3 commerce Extension were also under consideration. An individually programmed system was also considered in the conception stage.
Due to the steady growing state of development of Magento we then came very quickly to the decision to work with Magento, because we believe in Magento and the Open Source idea and we want to have our share in this market.
- What are your future plans with Magento?
The aim of the site and ultimately our standard to our customers is sales success. So we are focusing on increasing the traffic to the shop with search-engine-marketing and a successful sales and distribution-support through targeted online-marketing campaigns.
We will also work on further improvements on the site, focusing on an improved search and search-engine-optimization. We´ve also planned an internationalization within Europe (The Netherlands, Italy,…). This is will be implemented step by step.
- Any recommendations for people evaluating Magento?
Magento is more challenging in programming as expected, especially the performance which was only realized with extensive optimization and the use of a high-capacity server with a quadcore-processor. However, Magento ranks among the top systems on the market and its victory can´t be held back.
- Any final words of wisdom?
With Magento, Varien has really invented an excellent system with fantastic potential for the future. The support is good and the community is growing steadily, which speaks for a good future together with Varien and Magento. We enjoy being a part of it and are looking to the future of this exciting market.