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Revamping TechSmith's eCommerce Platform

TechSmith, a leader in screen capture, recording and editing, faced a significant challenge: replacing its multi-million-dollar eCommerce store without disrupting ongoing sales. This case study explores the journey of redesigning TechSmith's eCommerce platform, highlighting the challenges, the process, and the successful outcomes.

The Challenge

TechSmith's existing eCommerce vendor was inadequate - poor integration, fulfillment issues, and a non-responsive service model led to customer dissatisfaction and internal inefficiencies. The goal was clear: transition to a platform that could seamlessly integrate with TechSmith's sales, fulfillment, and authentication systems while enhancing the user experience and maintaining uninterrupted sales.

The Process

  • Research and Selection: In 2015, our Operations team embarked on a comprehensive research journey to identify a suitable eCommerce solution. After evaluating various platforms, FastSpring emerged as the best fit for our needs. 
  • MVP Testing: We published a low-risk test of the FastSpring solution, consisting of a popup checkout dialog linked to a low-traffic page on our existing site. This initial test was a resounding success, paving the way for full-scale implementation.
  • Solution Design: Collaborating with our systems architect, I led the design of product detail pages and checkout flows tailored to our product pricing tiers. The unexpected departure of key team members posed a challenge, requiring me to delve deeper into our eCommerce strategy.
  • Agile Development: Prior projects tended towards a waterfall process, for this project we transitioned to an agile methodology, guiding three teams through adopting a two-week sprint cadence, and having regular standups and backlog refinements. 

Phased rollout 

We devised a phased approach to the work that allowed the team to be confident in shipping frequently, minimizing customer impact early on and mitigating risks to revenue throughout.  

  • Phase One: Our rollout began with additional development of the popup checkout test code to bring it to production standards, then implement this for low-traffic, targeted campaign pages. This phase allowed us to test integrations and manage traffic volumes.
  • Phase Two: We then developed checkout pages, excluding the cart, allowing us to explore and understand FastSpring's webhooks. We rolled out phase two on our single-product Japanese site to simplify testing and avoid user experience complexities.
  • Phase Three: Our final rollout involved the complete integration of product detail pages, price tiers, and full cart functionality. We first rolled this out on our German site, followed by a cautious rollout on our North American and International stores, gradually increasing traffic as confidence in the system grew throughout launch day.

The Outcome

The project was a triumph. Implemented with no major incidents, it led to a minor increase in conversions and a signifcant reduction in online transaction costs. FastSpring has proven to be a great partner and the system has undergone several iterations, adapting to evolving market and business needs as TechSmith continues to move towards a SaaS-first model.

Conclusion

This eCommmerce store redesign and platform selection project represented a significant milestone in our journey to enhance our online sales infrastructure. Transitioning from a vendor that was misaligned with our evolving needs to a more flexible and integrated solution with FastSpring not only addressed our immediate challenges but also created a solid foundation for future growth and adaptation. Through diligent research, strategic testing, and collaborative design and implementation, we successfully overcame obstacles related to fulfillment issues, system integration, and user experience. The agile approach facilitated continuous improvement, allowing us to deliver value efficiently and adaptively, while closely monitoring and responding to the needs of our business and our customers.

Selected Works

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