We were approached by the team at BlackVue, who asked us to revamp their company website. Far from a simple job, they needed us to make an e-commerce website that didn’t feel like an e-commerce site.
BlackVue is a Korean manufacturer of dashcam products. It already has major distribution deals in place, including placement on Amazon, so the site had to maintain focus on the brand while offering e-commerce functionality to its visitors in a discrete way. What followed was a spirited back-and-forth as we developed a game plan for meeting the company’s expectations.
JD Softtech’s job was to:
Our initial approach was a roundtable project discovery. At JD Softtech, we use this approach to get to know our client and find out everything we can about the project they’ve entrusted us with. We started with BlackVue’s overall business and then moved onto specific functionalities and long-term goals.
Once we had enough information to create a site map, we created one and used it as the backbone of the web development project. Communication was robust, back-and-forth across time zones; our India-based team was available to pick up wherever our Hanson, Massachussets office would leave off, making the work a seamless experience.
We found that BlackVue has an enormous amount of video online (they produce dashcams, after all) so we incorporated a five-video series directly into the homepage. This was an unexpected idea that the company immediately fell in love with; the page now prominently displays and auto plays dashcam footage with a contact link hardcoded into the player.
Having created a client-approved site map and homepage, we were ready to organize the rest of the site into distinct navigational paths:
would be guided towards the e-commerce section of the site.
would have access to the entire product range and support files they needed most.
who already purchased BlackVue products would find the support and technical documentation they’re looking for.
This particular three-way navigational structure was a specific requirement of BlackVue. The company needed to attract its own e-commerce customers without distancing itself from trusted distributors or confusing return users looking for support. We worked closely with the BlackVue team to engineer a structure that exceeded their expectations through revision and effective, organized lines of communication.
The last step was incorporating the old site’s significant SEO advantage by maintaining existing URLs and keywords while optimizing for new ones they are now positioned to capitalize on. The website optimized for on-page SEO, designed to draw in new customers and direct them to its new e-commerce pages and functionality.
The finished website may seem simple, but beneath that simplicity lays a complex web of interrelated functions incorporated into a robust navigational structure. One of the first and most significant challenges was coming up with an elegant framework for the three distinct types of visitors BlackVue expected on its site.
BlackVue did not want their site to look like an retail e-commerce site. This would distance the brand from its network of distributors and fleet solution clients. In the end, the site’s homepage is a brand statement (made most visibly through the incorporated video player) and e-commerce functionality only comes to the forefront when actually examining individual products. We created a separate page for its fleet solutions services, making it easy for each visitor to quickly find what he or she is looking for.
We faced several challenges on the e-commerce portion of the site. For instance, BlackVue insisted on having every relevant feature visible on the each final product page. This would be untenable if we simply listed everything, so we created product-specific tabs that incorporate variable product options such as memory cards, battery packages, etc.
Another e-commerce challenge was developing an efficient worldwide shipping calculator for their products. Our initial strategy assumed that rates would be largely static within countries, but in fact domestic shipping rates vary widely. This makes sense—small cities in isolated geographies cost more to ship to then large coastal ones.
A particularly tough challenge was developing a comprehensive product support portal for returning customers. This is one of the major pain points for consumers who buy products that come with documentation. We built a page that contains every owner’s manual and support sheet for every product in every language in which the respective product was distributed—even discontinued products. Moreover, we worked on translating the website itself to those languages.
This project put JD Softtech to the test in several ways, and our team of twelve web design experts managed to meet or exceed expectations along each obstacle. One of our biggest takeaways from this experience was learning about turning large, requirement-heavy website orders into manageable, simple end products. We invested considerable resources into making a big website seem small and easily navigable by listening to our clients’ requests and focusing on the user experience along the way.
Another important lesson to be gleaned from this particular case is the effect of plug-ins on website performance. Using WordPress, we knew that there is a plug-in available for nearly every possible functionality on the market. However, we found that overusing plug-ins drags down website performance significantly whereas custom code can be made more efficient, saving resources and reducing hosting costs in the process.
The feedback on this project has been very encouraging. BlackVue was enthused with our capabilities and the responsiveness of our design team; their website visitors enjoy easy access to the information they’re looking for, with key site functionalities helping them along every turn. This project was a unique challenge, and JD Softtech delivered the solution both on-time and on-budget.