Ecommerce Hot Seat with Jeremy Aguilar, Senior Web Developer at Miva, on harnessing custom ecommerce features to stay ahead
A great developer is like a savvy business owner: one can never stay comfortable.
If an ecommerce site is making $100,000 per day, a 1-second page delay could potentially cost you $2.5 million in lost sales every year. (Kissmetrics)
Behind a fast-functioning storefront is a team of developers working ’round-the-clock to ensure your success. Leading the charge is Jeremy Aguilar, Senior Web Developer at Miva, who sat with us to discuss the power of custom ecommerce features to future-proof your business.
So pull up a chair and get comfortable with Jeremy—just not for too long.
Finish this sentence: At Miva, I help clients by:
Always trying to find a solution to whatever issue they come across.
You started as a designer. Explain how your design background helps you as a developer.
Like development, design is all about problem-solving. The approach I’d take to solving a visual problem is similar to my approach in now building sites. How can I solve this problem? What technology, script, code, or tools do I need?
What’s the biggest challenge you’ve tackled at Miva?
“Every project has its unique challenges. You never think anything can top this project but then the next site build comes along, and it does.”
It starts with our sales team—we’re getting projects now which require complex functionality. We’ve built custom ecommere features no other ecommerce platform offers.
Customization is a hot topic in ecommerce today. Tell us about a few custom ecommerce features you were proud to build.
We just launched the site for Decorative Films. They were really happy with what we built from a development, functionality, and visual standpoint.
Decorative Films wanted to give customers a preview of what their hero products, innovative light-filtering window enhancements, would look like across various real-world applications. We built a cutting edge, industry-first visualizer tool. This feature allows customers to preview the products across different settings like an office, or a house window.
“In most cases, projects are retrofit to fit the software. But Miva takes an active role the other way. We’re encouraged to explore other web technologies.”
This was the first time I’d built a feature like this. Miva already has an incredibly robust and flexible template language. We’re also able to employ the latest web technologies, like AngularJS, to build the most innovative interactive content available online.
Why was it important to see the product come to life like that?
A few reasons:
- The visualizer is a groundbreaking tool for experiential engagement
- We wanted to transcend simple product photos to demonstrate scale
- Now customers can imagine the product in every environment
“The visualizer we built for Decorative Films enables an experience better, even, than buying in-store.”
So many companies aspire to transcend that tangible, in-store experience online. With custom ecommerce features, customers get an even better experience. In-store the film would be rolled up, or in pictures flashing across a screen. Now customers can watch their vision come to life.
Tell us about other custom ecommerce features you’ve built.
We’re building another customization tool for 3Rivers Archery: an arrow builder. Here, enthusiasts can design their own arrow, as with Nike.com where shoppers can design their own shoe. Customers can select different colors for the feather at the end, as well as various arrow points.
This was another complicated piece of functionality. 3Rivers Archery already had an existing builder but the design was confusing, giving barely any feedback. If a customer encountered an error, the builder wouldn’t say what went wrong.
56% of consumers say they would be more inclined to use a retailer if it offered a good personalized experience. (MarketingWeek)
Again, we didn’t use pre-existing code; we started from scratch. It was a collaborative process—we needed a better way to build it, and the client had their own ideas on how to handle the data.
An ecommerce site is often the first point of interaction between a business and its customers. What makes a good site and why is this so necessary?
A lot of our projects come from sites lacking in responsive design; they’re not mobile-friendly. We often build sites from scratch.
“A great site comes down to speed, functionality, and context—that is, the screen in which a user looks to interact with you.”
Take 3Rivers Archery, which upgraded from a non-responsive site to receiving the Blades Award for Best Enterprise Site. When they came to us, their customers struggled to access the site on their phones. Using a responsive framework, the client can now interact with customers like never before.
“3Rivers Archery can now interact with customers like never before. The site we built is mobile and tablet-optimized, delivering the ideal shopping experience consumers demand and deserve.”
What are the advantages of having developers, designers, and the accounts team under one roof?
There’s a lot more collaboration. Before, when I was a designer [at a marketing firm], I would design the look and feel in a vacuum. Now when someone has a bold idea, we can vet it and make it a reality, together.
“Innovation starts at the top. We don’t have restrictions in Pro Services. All designers and developers at Miva are encouraged to master new technologies to keep our clients at the leading edge.”
How would you improve the Miva software?
In addition to our own internal rigorous platform development, we also keep an ear strongly focused on our clients’ real-world challenges and requests. This is a rarity in the industry. Miva customer service is organically linked to our development team, and we strive to build total ecommerce systems that satisfy our customers’ dream solutions.
Finally, what drives you to tackle new challenges?
Every new site build is an opportunity to create truly innovative solutions that have never even been attempted before. There is nothing more satisfying than designing all-new groundbreaking features, and then passing that innovation on to other clients.
What custom ecommerce features have piqued your interest? Have you experienced a lift in conversion through personalization on your own site? Keep the conversation going with us here.