Ballonno.nl

2015

Introduction

Ballonno specializes in delivering helium balloons. I started this company while I was studying. After a few years the initial website needed some serious redesign. My role was to manage the project, and I took on a large part of the development.

Briefing

The way in which helium balloons are delivered depends on the number of balloons ordered and the preferences of the customer. For small quantities, it's possible to dispatch the balloons by post. For larger quantities, or when customers don't want to fill the helium balloons themselves, a delivery or pick-up service is required. Most balloon companies either focus on dispatching the balloons by post or on delivering the balloons as a service. However, almost everyone is searching with very generic keywords like "helium balloons". Therefore, almost every balloon company gets 50% of visitors to their website that they can't satisfy with the service they provide.

Delivery methods

A challenging requirement for Ballonno.nl was to provide a user-friendly ordering process without making assumptions about the desired delivery method upfront. This would allow us to satisfy all sorts of customers.

Pricing

Another important requirement of Ballonno related to pricing. Generally speaking, as a balloon company, you want to provide competitive prices for large orders and reasonable prices for small orders. For large orders, people are likely to compare prices with competitors; securing these orders is important as they generate most of the profit. It's almost impossible to make a healthy profit on selling five helium balloons, but not accepting such orders is like wasting a free marketing opportunity.

Result

In a team of four we've built a website with a calculation tool that provides instant quotes based on location and other preferences. My role was to define the user stories, create wireframes and build the website. Ronald did the design, and Anneke the copywriting, while Robert assisted me with front-end development.

On the landing page, visitors start by providing the number of balloons required and their location. This gives us enough information to compute the cost price of all delivery methods and provide a basic quote. Sixty per cent of the visitors who fill in these forms move on to the next step.

After filling in these forms (60% conversion rate), visitors see some basic price information and then they are tempted to fill in more data. The process seamlessly evolves into the placing of an order.

The selling prices are based on the total costs and desired margin (%). This percentage can be specified for a specific delivery method and for a specific balloon count range. This allows us define the most profitable prices very precisely.

In terms of SEO, the website has been optimized for Dutch keywords relating to helium balloons. Without very much off-site SEO effort, we currently have top position for "helium ballonnen Rotterdam".

During this project I improved my skills in working with JavaScript, AngularJS and Node.js.

Tools and languages used: JavaScript, Node.js, AngularJS, unit-testing, Mocha, Chai, Sinon.JS, HTML5, CSS3, MySQL, SCRUM, code reviewing, GIT, REST APIs, Google Analytics, Google Distance Matrix API, Express, Nunjucks, Grunt, Strongloop Loopback, Twitter Bootstrap, Mandrill, SEO, SEA, Sass/SCSS, Postmark, Amazon Web Services (AWS EC2, Cloudfront & CloudWatch), New Relic (APM & Infrastructure), PM2, SSL with Let's Encrypt, Docker, Docker Compose, Atlassian Jira.

Also see ballonno.nl