The Brief: Crate|ov Clothes is South Africa's first "Try before you buy" online men's fashion service that offers customers the opportunity to receive up to 10 clothing items in a Crate based on their size and style preferences. Duende Digital was tasked with creating a system that could facilitate the entire process, including user registration, style and size preference selection, crate frequency and tracking, and admin-related integrations and automation.
The main objective was to create an automated e-commerce system that would provide an easy-to-use interface for both users and administrators. This system needed to be able to handle the entire process of selecting, packing, and delivering crates to customers, as well as managing payments, invoices, and inventory.
The framework refers to the software framework used to build the Crate|ov Clothes web application. In this case, Duende Digital chose to use AngularJS, which is a popular open-source front-end web application framework. AngularJS was chosen because it provided a consistent MVC (Model View Controller) architecture that allowed for the creation of a scalable app. It also made it possible to do a lot of heavy lifting with CSS & JS pre-processing compilations, concatenating and minifying of files, which resulted in better usability and server efficiency.
The database refers to the technology used to store and manage the data used by Crate|ov Clothes. In this case, SQL (Structured Query Language) was used as the database technology. SQL is a standard language used for managing relational databases, which allowed for easier implementation of a data architecture that facilitated efficient data analysis. The ability to store data in a structured manner was essential for Crate|ov Clothes as it needed to find and apply many structured relations with their datasets.
The services section refers to the various third-party services and integrations used in the Crate|ov Clothes web application. This includes things like automatic email notifications and SMS messages, a Cron service that auto-generates new crates, an AI-based inventory management system, and payment gateway integration using Peach payments. These services were essential for the success of Crate|ov Clothes as they helped automate many of the processes involved in the ordering and delivery of crates, which allowed for a more streamlined and efficient system.
The team at Duende Digital worked closely with the Crate|ov Clothes team to identify the specific requirements and features that were needed to create a successful automated e-commerce system.
The team then allocated resources and developed a plan for the project, including the specific technologies that would be used, the development timeline, and the roles and responsibilities of team members.
Once the plan was in place, the team began developing the system, including the user registration process, style and size preference selection, crate frequency and tracking, and admin-related integrations and automation.
Throughout the development process, the system was thoroughly tested to ensure that it was working as intended and that all features were functioning properly.
After testing was complete, the system was deployed to a live environment on AWS with networking completed using Cloudflare. It was made available to users.
The team continues to provide maintenance and updates to the system to ensure that it remains functional and up-to-date.
The first tier of the system is the user portal, where users register via Facebook or email, complete their style profile, and order their crates according to their selected schedule. The system stores their phone number in Google contacts for messaging purposes, and payment is handled by Peach payments.
The second tier of the system is the stylist portal, where stylists compile a crate for each user based on their style profile and send it to the user, along with an automated feedback form and courier service integration. The stylist dashboard console allows them to manage users, view statistics, and pause or unpause user crates.
The third tier of the system is the admin portal, which handles all payments, invoices, and inventory management. The system uses advanced inventory techniques that connect with the stylist section and integrates many automation techniques to ensure a seamless process for both users and administrators.
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