Realizing an urgent need to keep local businesses afloat in eastern South Africa, our team needed to represent the heart of the community with an e-commerce platform - and do it fast.
Testing & UX
Adobe After Effects
E-commerce in South Africa is only just emerging, since the country's location is far out of reach from the rest of the developed world, resulting in non-justified inflated shipping prices. There is also a serious lack of reliance on courier companies since the damage and crime rate of even bigger named couriers was increasing alongside recent large demands for physical goods to be shipped. The added hardship of the COVID-19 pandemic would heighten this issue, making it an urgent market to be addressed.
Taking all of these factors into account, we decided to take it all into our own hands, from reaching out to prospective vendors in the local area, to shipping the physical product to the customers.
Our target market was both our vendors as well as the customers buying from our online store, meaning that man-power used in communication would have to be as streamlined as much as possible and repetitive business practices (eg. keeping track of orders, knowing where to deliver) would have to be automated wherever applicable. Using integrations & services such as Zapier & IFTTT, we could provide instantly applicable information to our sectors. This ranged from our warehouse fulfillment center knowing exactly what items to pack into a box for rushed orders, to our vendors getting exact sale profit amounts in the form of easy to read graphs.
Since this is an ongoing business pursuit, I cannot fully disclose the complexity of some aspects of the model. Feel free to contact me to know more.
Since we would be focusing our brand towards both our vendors and customers buying off the store, we wanted to come off as friendly and personable while keeping a modern, simplistic motif, explaining that the businesses our customers would be purchasing from are people just like them.
This resulted in us leading with the door & roof home graphic, which was the primary business residence for most of our vendors.
The team decided that we would not use any form of color to emphasize the vendors on our platform. The vendor and product listings would be the only use of color for the whole brand, including the website itself.
Since we had decided on personability, this carried into the choice of our lettering and typography, giving an adolescent - yet formal - appeal. With a rounded, sans-serif typeface, removing the inner 'counters' (inside shapes of letters like o, b, d, a, etc.) would give us exactly what we were looking for. For larger text snippets like descriptions and paragraphs, we stuck to open-source Sans Serif fonts Inter & Mandali.
Based on a WordPress framework, we could easily integrate the e-commerce platform WooCommerce to facilitate fulfillment aspects like shipping restrictions and expected delivery windows.