Building an E-Commerce system is notoriously tricky. Just when you think you’ve identified all the requirements, three more emerge from the hydra to bite you. And since planning for all these contingencies up front is nearly impossible, we averted disaster by using our old friend, the Agile method.
Under new management and looking for a fresh start, this thirty-year-old family-owned small business called upon us to update their website and e-commerce platform. Like the Honda GoldWing motorcycle parts they sell, they were a trusted classic that just needed a new look and some new features. But where to start?
Every ecommerce project is slightly different from the last. Through a series of stakeholder meetings involving all team members and the client, we learned what makes Add On Accessories unique.
Add On Accessories is an aftermarket parts and accessories dealer for Honda Gold Wing motorcycles, selling components dating all the way back to 1975. They only sell their product directly to authorized dealers. That said, the site needed the ability to push regular customers to those dealers by using a smart dealer locator. And, like most ecommerce systems, they had specific shipping and payment gateway requirements.
Based on those loose requirements, we determined what features the new site must-have, should-have, and could-have. This helped us structure of our sprints (a key component to the agile method) around solving the biggest problems first.
Remote Demos with the Client
One such sprint focused on the logic of the purchase buttons based on if a dealer was logged in or not, another on the price points for different tiers of dealers. The decent amount of work in the project was spent on the Dealer Locator feature, which uses geo-location for regular customers to identify where they might buy Add On Accessories parts from a retailer. After each of these sprints, we would demo the results with the client, talking through the design and development of each new feature we implemented. If the client feedback required changes, we’d work them in before proceeding to the next sprint.
This approach allowed us to build exactly what the client wanted, in a reasonable time frame. Agile also helped keep both the client and the team on the same page, from start to finish, resulting in a superior finished product that everyone is happy with.