Spring Medical – a family owned company for 170 years – is a veteran in the medical service industry and distributes high-quality medical compression and support stockings under the name SKYSOCKS.
Spring Medical originally focused on their B2B model and cooperation with more than 20,000 merchants, most of which were pharmacies and medical supply stores. This sales channel took place completely offline and their new online shop is their first departure into the worlds of online and B2C sales.
The company set two distinct goals for the project: to develop market reach through improved brand awareness and dramatically increase sales for SKYSOCKS. After performing a detailed market analysis in 2015, Spring Medical chose to work with eCommerce specialists Mediagraphik to realize the project. The joint strategy was to offer SKYSOCKS to the public through a tailored online shop, thus gaining the company a foothold into B2C sales.
With a focus on building a professional brand image, the decision was made to base the Shopware 5 Professional Edition. “Shopware scores major points for its scope of functionalities, modular expansion, additional applications and the fact it can be customized so easily. As a result, the sustainability of the system is guaranteed, as it can always be expanded and adapted to meet new requirements,” said Mediagraphik’s Project Manager, Monika Michler, on the decision to work with Shopware.
For Mediagraphik, not only was the finished project extremely important, but also training Spring Medical to use Shopware during the building process. “From the project outset, we’ve worked closely with Spring Medical to find the best possible solution for managing and presenting their travel socks,” said Mediagraphik’s owner Tim Resl.
When it came to product presentation, it was important that both the medical functionality and stylish appearance of SKYSOCKS were considered. To achieve the desired look, Mediagraphik recommended their partner agency, DIE FILMMACHER, create a meaningful commercial spot. While this was happening, Wosilat Photography shot the perfect product images. Since the functional traveling socks come in 12 various colors, it was decided that color would be a strong design element in the online shop.
“The image should speak for itself, so we engage with the customers on an emotional level and make the products tangible. Shopping should become an experience for our customers,” Michler said of the project. “Nevertheless, we kept the product presentation clean, which is in the medical character of SKYSOCKS,” Michler continues. As an extension of the visual presentation, creative product descriptions as well as medical information are provided, which speak to the customer on a more rational level.
In order to meet SKYSOCKS’ specific demands, additional components were integrated. This includes the ability to create documents in the backend, a special return management system and a merchant search, which connects customers with dealers in their vicinity.
When it comes to payment options, customers can pay in advance using online payment systems like PayPal or credit card with Payone. All packages are delivered using DHL. For this purpose, an interface was connected that makes it possible to work with DHL directly from the backend, which includes automatically creating shipping labels for packages. “All of these functions provide the shop owner with a great deal of savings,” explains Michler.
The shop implementation, including conception, lasted 5 months in total. After going live at the end of June 2016, Spring Medical’s owner made the following conclusion: “We are completely satisfied with the project implementation of SKYSOCKS through our partner Mediagraphik. The complete care – from the idea to realization – has fully met our expectations. We have the perfect software behind our project; user-friendly, clear and with a convincing price-performance ratio. We’ve only been live for a few weeks but have already enjoyed our first milestones, which make us very proud. Thanks to Shopware, we are managing without any problems because the processes are secure and completely transparent. With the SKYSOCKS online shop, we wanted to dare the balancing act between traditional and digital methods of business, but are glad to have taken this step. Thanks to the shop, we can increase our brand awareness and success of SKYSOCKs, and continue to reach new goals.”
That success is already visible even just a few weeks after the online shop went live, as seen in the continuous increase in sales, which currently boasts a conversion rate of 2-3%.
SKYSOCKS will be maintained by 7 employees, which includes marketing, customer service and shipping. The team is already impressed by the intuitive usability of Shopware’s features. “I am excited about the numerous possibilities for statistical analysis. We are getting a lot of important and relevant information for measuring the success of our marketing actives,” says Christian Ebbinghaus, associate at Spring Medical.
Sarah Bubeck, who works in the sales department at Spring Medical, draws a similarly positive conclusion: “Even after a short time, you feel confident processing orders through Shopware. The steps are quick and easy to understand. We are particularly impressed by the professional appearance of our online shop and are excited about the user friendliness for our customers.”
Not only are Spring Medical and their customers enthusiastic about the new online shop, but the online experts from Johannes Altmann’s team at Shoplupe were also impressed by SKYSOCK’s shopping experience. Using a detailed list of criteria, the best online shops in Germany are determined by a panel of industry experts and voted on at the Shop Usability Awards. SKYSOCKS was nominated for the 2016 award under “Fashion”. The Shop Usability Award is one of the most prestigious awards for online trade in Germany.
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