Why MAYA Design is Partnering with Shopify Plus

September 20, 2016 in Connected World
Stephen Spencer
Senior Designer & Inventor
Megan Guidi
Strategist, Brand & Experience Lead
Jon Larkin
Senior Designer & Engineer

Nearly a decade ago, big brands began asking us to help with their ecommerce needs. As we work with these brands, we find interesting partners that enable us to solve the complex challenges our brands are working on. One of the most valuable working partnerships we’ve developed is with Shopify Plus, an enterprise ecommerce platform, which enables MAYA Design to create and refine custom solutions. Both MAYA and Shopify Plus realized that, working together, we could solve the complex ecommerce challenges our clients are facing.

The Shopify Plus Partnership program launched this year with a hand-selected set of experienced companies that work with clients to bring ecommerce programs to life. Being a Shopify Plus Partner enables MAYA Design to provide innovation and design services to organizations that are looking to get started with ecommerce. The enterprise platform is an important addition to MAYA’s toolkit as clients look to build ecommerce capabilities and competency on a tight schedule.

Building and Refining Consumer Experiences and Business Models

To get an idea of how quickly we can move with Shopify Plus, take a look at Oreo’s Colorfilled shop, a holiday ecommerce activation that invited fans to personalize packages of Oreo cookies. MAYA designed, built, and launched it with Mondelez International in eight weeks, an unbelievably short time to market.

The most successful innovation and design projects at MAYA have a cyclical design-build-test pattern. MAYA is integrating this iterative approach with the Shopify Plus platform to explore and validate new and emerging models for enterprise including D2C (direct to consumer), subscriptions, and on-demand services. The Oreo Colorfilled shop enabled users to create custom products which were made and fulfilled on-demand (see the Shopify case study), something quite different from the 100-year-old direct to store model. This pilot ecommerce project gave the team first-hand experience with new technologies and consumer behaviors, enabling them to evaluate potential concepts and integrate them with the core business.

Consumer Expectations and Trends

Ecommerce is central to developing consumer loyalty, product differentiation, and new revenue streams in the Digital Age. Today’s consumers (millennials and digital natives who make up over 25% of the global population) expect brands to be digitally fit. The PWC Total Retail 2016 report surveyed 23,000 online shoppers across 5 continents to understand consumer shopping behaviors - they found that now more than ever, ecommerce is just the way brands do business. 34% of the global population believes their mobile phone will become their main purchasing tool and 103 million Americans shop online which accounts for 29% of total sales.

While ecommerce gave a brand innovation cred a few years ago, an online shop is merely something that consumers expect today. The primary purchasing tool has changed from tablet to mobile, and it will begin moving to wearables. We’re also beginning to see the reasons people seek out online shops change: on average shoppers look online for trusted brands and great prices, but Millennials are swapping out the old standbys of exclusive products, good return policies, and in-stock products for access to online reviews, reliable delivery, and an easy to use mobile site. For consumers, digital fitness is not just an exercise in a brand’s ability to flex their innovation muscles, it is a demonstration of the commitment to meet consumers where they are and to provide services that make their lives better.

Deliver Business and Consumer Value

Operating well-designed ecommerce channels and maintaining strong online and social media presences are cornerstones of the commitment to digital. We see the Shopify Plus platform as a crucial tool for accelerating the creation of scalable, authentic ecommerce solutions that exceed consumer expectations.

MAYA’s human-centered approach to design enables brands to build and test ecommerce channels in months rather than years. These channels unlock direct relationships between brands and consumers, establishing feedback loops that drive product insights and future innovation.

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