This is a further explanation of our work with Corevist and an interview that was completed with former Director of Product, Ray Mannion. The interview was conducted in early 2020 but since the product still needed to be built, we waited to publicize it.
Today’s B2B users demand and expect a quick and easy, simple and straightforward B2C ecommerce experience and that’s exactly what Relevant Bits gave Corevist’s current and future customers.
“To convert prospects, we had to make a far better first impression,” Ray Mannion, (former) Director of Product at Corevist, said. “It has to look good and be so easy to use that they don’t have to stop and think about what to do or where to go next.”
As B2B ecommerce experts who are also regular B2C consumers, the Corevist team knew their current application had to be a whole lot better. Not surprisingly, Corevist’s brilliant back-end developers and engineers — the team that made Corevist what it is today — were convinced they could fix the user experience (UX) themselves. After their DIY efforts faltered, Corevist’s ecommerce team hired Relevant Bits.
“Of course, our ecommerce application made perfect sense to our engineers and developers because they designed and built it,” Ray said. “We desperately needed a fresh set of eyes and an objective third-party perspective.”
Relevant Bits’ practical, technology-savvy UX experts immediately understood Corevist’s terminology as well as the complex logic and use cases that support the application. They also came up with a viable design outline on the very first day.
“Right away, they earned our trust and we saw the value,” Ray said. “Relevant Bits really gets us and what we do – we didn’t have to educate them the way we usually do with service providers. That was an incredible relief to all of us.”
Upfront research delivers results
Before they did anything concrete, Relevant Bits figured out precisely what users needed and expected from the application, then looked at what they weren’t getting.
They assessed and digested hundreds if not thousands of Corevist’s user recordings, analytical data points, heatmaps (movemaps, clickmaps, and scrollmaps) and customized screenshot comparisons. Relevant Bits wrapped up their research phase with user and stakeholder interviews as well as funnel analysis to get a sense of how Corevist’s basic application functioned. The research also pointed to the most common requests, for example, order weights, and standard options such as truck or rail transport.
“Because Relevant Bits understood Corevist and its customers and identified the gaps, they did a fantastic job of designing something that’s visually appealing and does what users need and expect it to do – that’s the very definition of great UX,” Ray said.
Relevant Bits built an architectural prototype and design system that could pull patterns and components from a single repository and implement it across Rails and Magento. Tasks and processes were also combined to reduce the number of steps needed to complete an order.
Before the Relevant Bits integration, users found the move from Magento’s ecommerce product catalogue to the Corevist’s shopping cart and checkout disruptive and confusing. Users now see the ecommerce experience as all Corevist all the time because Relevant Bits visually integrated every step of the process.
Practical, effective data-driven approach
Relevant Bits’ data-driven approach saves time and money. Real users assess the recommended design, user interface (UI) and functionality before Relevant Bits builds out and implements the code. The focus group’s only response was, “Looks great!”
Not one person suggested improvements or highlighted issues. That’s the ultimate compliment because past experience has taught Corevist that people in the focus group will tell you straight up if they don’t like something.
Relevant Bits created an extraordinarily extendable, customizable design that is housed in a React-based design system. Relevant Bits’ design strategies deliver a simple, consistent end-to-end user experience. First and foremost, the logical, streamlined navigational structure shows users where to go and what to do next. The scaled back color palette is easier on the eyes and every graphic element serves a purpose.
Users know where to find the primary buttons because they’re in the same place on every page. As importantly, the primary and secondary buttons look different so users can identify them at a glance. Typefaces and icons also tell users what matters the most and what comes next. Finally, Relevant Bits made sure the design looks good and works well on a wide range of screens and devices.
“The focus was always on making it super easy – no thinking required,” Ray said. “It’s the B2C-inspired UX our B2B customers and their users demand.”
Relevant Bits always recommends the solution that will deliver the necessary results and isn’t tied to a specific technology stack or tool set. Because the UI has been separated from the Rails backend, Corevist’s development costs should drop.
As well, product updates can be distributed to clients more quickly and without the bugs associated with the previous system. The Atomic Design approach split each UI component into individual design patterns so that Corevist can rejig and reuse them as needed for client customizations.
“You can count on Relevant Bits to go with what they know will work,” Ray said. “Effective and proven is what matters to Relevant Bits – they don’t care if it’s the newest, trendiest or nerdiest.”
No surprises with value-based pricing
Of course, Corevist cared about Relevant Bits’ expertise and track record, but their value-based pricing was equally appealing. Relevant Bits quotes a single, flat fee to achieve customers’ specific, quantifiable outcomes. Many competitors charge hourly rates for developers, designers and project managers and they add up quickly. Relevant Bits billed Corevist monthly rather than hitting them with the entire fee upon completion.
Corevist and Relevant Bits cooperated beautifully for several reasons. Aside from the mutual trust and respect, Corevist appreciated Relevant Bits’ enthusiasm, positive attitude and their fierce commitment to finding a solution. As far as Relevant Bits is concerned, there is always an answer – you just have to find it.
Mark Dodgson, Relevant Bits’ CXO and self-proclaimed crayon expert, was excited from the start. “I loved this project — it was a designer’s dream,” he said. “It’s probably one of the most important projects I’ve worked on in my career, because I think it will truly change their business. But it was also one of the most challenging, which is probably why I enjoyed it so much.”
Ray regularly and repeatedly told Relevant Bits their ideas wouldn’t work because Corevist’s application is so complex. Every time, Ray said, “You can’t,” Relevant Bits tried harder. Relevant Bits got Corevist where they needed to go and as a bonus, the Corevist team enjoyed the ride.
“It was a lot of fun,” Ray said. “As hard as I tried, I couldn’t break what they’d built but I had a great time giving it my very best effort.”
Corevist, a global SAP ecommerce expert, offers cloud-based solutions for enterprise manufacturers. Bringing the B2C experience to B2B channels, Corevist provides a variety of services, including a cloud platform (Corevist Commerce), implementation services, NetWeaver-certified integration to SAP, and ongoing support. Corevist clients exist across a wide range of verticals and include Crayola, 3A Composites, and Mannington Mills, among many others.
- 300,000+ hours of ecommerce experience
- 180,000+ dealers, distributors and B2B buyers using Corevist
- $500+ million annual order value
- 200,000+ annual transactions posted instantly to SAP
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