It’s been a while since I’ve posted on the Digital Goose blog. Life has a nasty habit of getting in the way. In addition to launching a couple of major projects for clients, I got married in June and all my spare time was dedicated to planning and preparing for that… which paid off – best day of my life!
Alright, so let’s get down to brass tacks and talk about Flexfit Meals – an exciting project I delivered in 2016 that I’m proud to finally show off to the world. As this is the first client project I’ve ever showcased on here, I thought I’d break down what a project like this looks like from start to finish.
Flexfit Meals Project
What is Flexfit Meals?
Flexfit Meals is a healthy and fresh meal delivery service that sells meals via an eCommerce website, through an affiliate network and out of a bricks and mortar shopfront in Belmont.
As a meal delivery service, Flexfit Meals is a local offering that competes with major players like Lite n’Easy. The meals are cooked by a qualified chef in a Newcastle-based commercial kitchen and delivered frozen to hundreds of customers right up and down the east coast of Australia, with a focus on NSW and the Hunter Region.
Analysis & Wireframing
I initially sat down with my client to discuss his business requirements, objectives and budget. With the ‘meal delivery service’ sector being highly competitive and a somewhat saturated marketplace already, I kicked off the project with a ‘Brief Competitor Website Analysis‘ to ascertain where my client’s competitors were succeeding and failing. This analysis helped my client refine his business model and make some very important decisions about what he wanted the Flexfit Meals website to actually do, from a functionality perspective.
At this point, it was clear that a unique eCommerce website, with a lot of customisation, was required. The online shopfront not only had to look great and communicate the ‘healthy and fresh’ message, it also had to make ordering the meals an easy and smooth process for the consumer. There would be lots of eCommerce rules, so a basic ‘out of the box’ style eCommerce solution wouldn’t cut the mustard. I had to dig a little deeper!
I scoped out the ‘customer journey’ and a rough outline of what the website could look like and, once that was approved, used a fantastic tool called Balsamiq to wireframe it (see image above). After going back-and-forth a few times with my client, we finally had the final wireframe nailed and were ready to find a suitable agency to develop the final product.
Initial Stage (Project Management)
I wrote a detailed brief that outlined my client’s business requirements, objectives and budget. This brief, when combined with the wireframe designs, gave agencies the ammunition needed to not only provide an accurate quote, but to also ascertain whether this project was in their wheelhouse.
Why is having a detailed brief important?
Having worked in ‘agency land‘ for many years, I know what it’s like to be on the receiving end of a terrible brief. Short briefs are so ambiguous, pitching for the work is like a shot in the dark. This ambiguity then continues throughout the project, causing massive problems like the agency incorrectly assuming what their client wanted or the client changing their mind every 5 seconds because they didn’t invest time into mapping out their customer’s journey and website before contacting the agency. Either way, projects like this will blow out massively, missing critical deadlines and, in most cases, costing the client more money.
Acting as the middle man in this scenario, my goal is to make the briefing and pitching process as smooth as possible, for both my client and the agencies, ensuring that the right client gets matched up with the right agency (this makes me sound like a digital marketing dating app).
I briefed 3 suitable agencies, who I knew could smash a project like this, and collected their responses, discussing the pros and cons of each one with my client.
Development & Content Sourcing
At this stage, I handed the reins over to Glue Digital, who began driving the project. My role evolved into a content manager. As Glue began development, it was my job to source content and populate the website, all while allowing my client to continue to focus on running his other business ventures. This involved a lot of copywriting and crafting pages like this one, ‘How it works‘.
Why is sourcing high quality content important?
Flexfit Meals is a meal delivery service. The website needs to sell meals. Therefore, the meals have to look good. Bloody good. I cannot underestimate how important this is when it comes to website design. You can have the most amazing website in the world, from a functionality perspective, but if you are selling a visual product, quality imagery is what will motivate your customers to purchase.
With this project, a couple of hastily taken shots with a camera phone would not do the meals justice. Knowing this, the decision was easy. Being a ‘foodie’ and a local marketer, I went straight to Jessica and the team at Crave, who are a force to be reckoned with when it comes to professional food photography. We had so many meals to shoot I had to enlist the services of a second photographer, so I arranged for Nicole Butler, one of the best commercial photographers operating in the Hunter region, to come in for a shoot as well. I managed both shoots around my client’s busy schedule.
Launch & Ongoing Maintenance
At the 6 month mark, after conducting sufficient rounds of quality testing, we were finally ready to launch. My client had already ramped up the marketing himself, so buzz had been building for some time. We launched to rave reviews and orders have been coming in ever since.
At this point, my role shifted again to that of a digital maintenance worker. I would add/remove content (meals, blog posts, FAQs, etc.) and work closely with Glue Digital to quickly stomp on any pesky bugs that inevitably pop up on large-scale websites built on a platform reliant on third-party plugins.
Why is maintenance important?
When it comes to launching a large-scale website, you can’t just ‘set it and forget it‘. Big websites are like ships sailing around the web. You could have the best looking and fastest ship in the world, but if its engine fails, it becomes instantly useless and all the money you spent developing it becomes a waste, because it doesn’t take long for a few bad customer experiences to tarnish the website/brand forever – which is why you should never overlook ongoing maintenance and care.
This project was a challenging one and I love a challenge. When you are working on complex projects like this one, and you’re eager to launch as quickly as possible, it’s easy and tempting to cut corners. All it takes is one corner to be cut the wrong way and the entire project goes down the toilet. Thankfully, this project was successful because we took the time required to get the important elements right.
Flexfit Meals is now live so you can check it out for yourself!
Use the coupon code ‘10%offyourorder‘ to get 10% off your order!