A technical ballet of extensions and integrations power the core of this prestige cosmetics eCommerce network designed for professional make-up artists. Built with WordPress Multisite and WooCommerce, the ability to manage the brand globally was critical to the project success.
After two years on the market, Sumita Cosmetics was struggling to reach the high volume sales expected with their unparalleled luxury cosmetics line with an exotic look and feel. Initially, they had targeted a more traditional sales model distributing to salons, but they had seen faster growth among younger early adopters online. We proposed a networked system that allowed distributors to sell products worldwide on a consistent platform maintained by a single brand manager. I took ownership of the construction, functionality, product photography, client training and collaborated the larger team on slider and social media design.
SCOPE OF WORK
Leveraging the networking powers of WordPress Multi-Site, I set out to build a family of clones controlled by a central brand manager. Each distributor would control a website unique to their region while HQ maintained a consistent digital look and feel. Each clone is powered by WooCommerce and features WPML for regional European Union distributors. In addition to functionality, the look and feel got a major upgrade with special attention paid to features that celebrated the beauty industry, the early adopter, and create a sense of realism.
RESPONSIBILITIES & FEATURES
Brand consistency and security is controlled by Sumita USA, while individual cloned sites are run by distributors responsible for order fulfillment.
Simultaneous experiences for consumers and industry professionals. Professionals have access to user role specific pricing and professionals only products.
Integrated with Shipstation, individual warehouses receive order notifactions assigned to their location, while Sumita USA receives sales reports.
One tactic to capitalize on the attention coming from early adopters, we created lookbooks for specific products groups that could achieve aspiration styles.
With so many social media tactics occurring simultaneously, the brand manager requested that content to be automatically curated to prevent duplicates and mislabeled meta data. This was achieved using an advanced aggregation extension.
New products release each quarter – which required an additional custom product badging system to announce products on the cusp of launching.
In order to instill confidence is a consumer new to the brand, we added a custom swatch feature that illustrated the consistency, texture and true color of the product.
Multiple sales channels required detailed accounting. Quickbooks was synchronized daily via multiple accounting plugins including Cost of Goods tracking.
Mandrill + Mailchimp
Verified transactional emails were sent via Mandrill, while newsletters were handled by Mail Chimp.
Sumita’s existing product photography needed a whole new approach to fit with the layout of the new site. Wearing a lot of hats to get a job done quickly is my specialty.
Professional only products are invisible to retail consumers while pro account members can purchase retail displays or place bulk orders.
Almost immediately, Sumita’s new digital effort and its sister clones took off. As the first to launch, Sumita USA added an entirely new revenue stream from online sales to bolster slower retail sales. Shortly following the first launch, I collaborated with the Italian and French distributors to initialize and launch their regional clones.