4 min read

How Kensium Built An Ecommerce Website In 8 Days

overhead photo of comicon main floor with people and vendors

In 2018, Comicon in New York was less than two weeks away when Bluefin realized it needed an ecommerce website. Bluefin (now Bandai Namco) is the leading distributor of Japanese toys, collectibles, novelty gifts, and hobby products. However, Bluefin realized they could capitalize on more sales with an ecommerce website in addition to their physical presence at cons across the U.S. But, with only two weeks to create the site, Bluefin was under a tight deadline to make it happen.

group of people in cosplay at comicon

Bluefin turned to Kensium to make the impossible possible. As an Adobe Commerce Specialized Partner, Kensium was the perfect partner to make it happen. Together, Kensium and Bluefin accomplished creating and deploying Adobe’s fastest ever go-live.

The Challenge

Eight days is an incredibly lofty goal, and both Kensium and Bluefin knew that the website would be a simple ecommerce site without complicated integrations between systems. So together, Kensium and Bluefin worked to identify the minimum requirements to meet the deadline and provide customers with the desired experience.

The requirements we identified were:

  • A navigable storefront with unique Bluefin content.
  • Menu items such as home, about, and contact links.
  • A product catalog with Bluefin’s most popular items.
  • Cart and checkout functionality.
  • A payment gateway and tax software integration.
  • Admin functionality to manage content, products, orders, and customers.
  • Email integration so Bluefin could automate messages.

bluefin1

Accomplishing these action items and creating a website in eight days required significant collaboration between Kensium and Bluefin teams to make it happen. Let’s take a look at this project day by day.

Day 1: Kick-Off Meeting

We identified the tasks required from Kensium and Bluefin with a finalized plan. For Bluefin, they were to assist with design and static content and approve the development and functionality as it was deployed within a staging environment. Kensium shared a list of allocated hours from the teams involved in the build and provided the option for admin panel training before launch.

Day 2: Instance Creation

Because Adobe Commerce is cloud-based, two cloud staging environments were established after our coordination with Adobe’s cloud services teams. One environment was assigned to Bluefin and the other to Kensium. The two staging sites allowed both teams to complete tasks simultaneously and combine instances at any time to make fixes and revisions.

Day 3: Theme Implementation

On day three, Bluefin chose one of three handpicked themes to implement into the staging environments so both teams could work with the design selected and customize it for their brand. Here, the store began to take shape, and Adobe functionality was created in the staging environment within Bluefin’s chosen theme. With a prebuilt theme, Kensium focused on customized menu options, catalog updates, product descriptions, and banner imagery. Bluefin focused on entering content. Finally, both teams worked in their staging environments to perform regression and functionality testing to find bugs and issues within the storefront.

Day 4: Active Functionality

By day 4, the Bluefin staging environment was completely functional with active links and end-to-end ecommerce functions. Because Bluefin was responsible for the content and visual assets, we gave them a tutorial on Adobe’s admin interface to begin the content creation process.  

Day 5: Theme Swap

After creating the content and seeing the functions Kensium implemented, Bluefin decided they wanted a different theme to showcase their brand better. Even though this wasn’t built into the initial timeline, Kensium accommodated the request and took a day out of development and testing to swap themes. Thankfully, despite the theme swap, several of Bluefin’s preferences could be incorporated into the new theme.

Day 6: Testing & Fixes

With ecommerce functionality in place, Bluefin began testing the website in several different roles, including as an admin user and as a customer placing an order. After fixing some minor bugs and requesting great content from Bluefin, we combined the Kensium and Bluefin instances into a single staging site — the one that would become the live store.

Day 7: Fixes & Training

Using Bluefin’s feedback and review, we addressed small bugs and made minor fixes to the store’s functionality and performance. In addition, we continued to educate Bluefin’s employees on the Adobe Commerce platform and answered their questions so they could fully manage their store the day it went live.

Day 8: Go Live (with a bit of extra excitement)

We had our final go-live call and completed our mandatory go-live checklist with Bluefin. The site was launched! However, the Authorize.net payment gateway wasn’t allowing orders to be processed. Confused about why the problem didn’t appear in the staging environment, we began troubleshooting with Bluefin and Adobe Commerce. Finally, after 8 hours of working to resolve the problem, we found a solution. It was a compatibility issue between the live Adobe Commerce instance and the payment gateway.

Despite the issue with Authorize.net, the deadline was met, the store was fully functional, and Bluefin’s site was ready to be revealed at Comicon.

The Takeaway

Adobe’s expansive out-of-the-box features, tools for a quick-to-market time, and easy integrations made it the perfect solution for Bluefin’s tight deadline. In addition, Adobe’s preconfigured solution offered all the necessary components so the site could launch quickly with custom content and full ecommerce functionality.

Our experience creating stores in the Adobe Commerce cloud environment and the collaborative mindset from Bluefin made it possible for this project to come together. While Bluefin had the drive and creative ideas they wanted in their ecommerce system, we provided the Adobe Commerce expertise and resources (including access to Adobe’s 24×7 cloud support team) to make the site live and operational in the 8-day timeframe.

Bluefin’s clarity and attentiveness made their timeline possible from the discovery stages. They knew what they wanted, were realistic with their expectations, and held us to the high standard expected of an Adobe partner.

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Daily communication allowed us to operate with little hiccups, as our development team worked overnight in the U.S., and Bluefin provided feedback on the progress during the day. This systematic flow of information led to us finishing on time and setting the bar for later phases of the project, for which high-level requirements have already been established.

Ready To Launch Your Ecommerce Site?

Kensium has deep knowledge of Adobe Commerce, BigCommerce, and Acumatica ERP, easily making us the choice for any size business in any industry. While we can’t promise an eight-day website build, we can promise that we will collaborate with you to create the best ecommerce experience for you and your customers. Our teams collaborate with you throughout the development process, ensuring a future-proof platform that grows with you yearly. So contact us today, and let’s get started!

 

 

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