Building a subscription ecommerce website and app for an eco-friendly baby products startup.

The brief

Did you know 90% of baby wipes contain plastic? That’s a lot of unncessary single-use plastic polluting the environment every day. Guy, founder of Pura, set out to solve this problem by creating eco-friendly, biodegradable wipes and nappies designed around the needs of modern parents.

After two years of product and brand development Guy approached us to build the digital side of the Pura offering. The goal was to build a convenient subscription service that gave parents all the wipes and nappies they needed, delivered to their door each month with minimal thought or hassle. In short - Dollar Shave Club for baby products.

They wanted to build an ecommerce website based on Shopify with a bespoke subscription solution, as well as mobile and tablet apps for iOS and Android.

The discovery process

We started by talking to parents to understand their needs and pain points. We held interviews and workshops with both new and experienced parents to build a picture of their experience and how Pura could help solve their problems. New parents emphasised the overwhelming nature of the first few months and how welcome anything that gave them one less thing to think about or lose sleep over was (if they were getting any in the first place!). More experienced parents talked about the changing needs of the baby as they got bigger and how their children had gone through wipes and nappies at different rates. The need for emergency supplies and flexible delivery was also key, as well as a predictable delivery schedule that ensured they were never caught short.

We also worked with the other agencies involved to share knowledge and ensure we were aligned on our vision for the Pura customer experience. Branding and packaging design was delivered by our sister agency Beach, with marketing handled by FCB Inferno. Their teams had done their own research, had great ideas and brought their own perspectives to the design process.

We explored different models for the subscription through wireframes and prototypes, looking at competitors and developing our own ideas. A key part of this process was technical scoping – our proposed solution had to balance customer experience with the operational and commercial constraints of the business. We looked at various options for the subscription considering features, costs, scalability, APIs and integration with the fulfilment system. We also looked at different ways to approach the apps – they needed to be powerful and slick but without creating unsustainable technical overhead.

Pura had a story to tell and various initiatives (including the UK’s first nappy recycling program) they wanted to talk about on the website. We worked with Beach and FCB to generate the content for the website, collaborating smoothly via cloud design tools Figma and Miro which allowed for easy sharing of assets and feedback.

Our solution

The website was based on Shopify with a bespoke frontend. This meant the Pura team could use Shopify’s user-friendly CMS to easily manage orders, products and content, but with a custom frontend allowing us to create the branded user experience we wanted.

We eventually settled on a customised version of Recharge to power the subscriptions. This gave customers useful pre-built features for managing their subscription with enough flexibility for us to add and adapt features as required.

The apps integrated with the Shopify CMS with a React Native frontend. This allowed for a mostly shared codebase across devices and platforms. It also allowed for easy content management from the same Shopify instance as the website, with no need to manually duplicate or sync product changes.

Customers can make one-off purchases, build subscriptions with variable quantity and delivery schedules, cancel and pause subscriptions, track deliveries and trigger one-off deliveries within their subscription – all on both the website and apps.

The system integrates with their warehouses and is built to handle orders at scale. We worked with their fulfilment team to build a bespoke integration and stress-test it to ensure it could handle the anticipated order volume.

Pura is available in multiple countries so we built a multiple language and currency feature for both the website and app.

The outcome

Pura launched in 2020 with a digital, TV and print campaign. The website handled 30k orders over the launch weekend without a hitch.

Since launch Pura has gone from strength to strength adding new products and launching in more countries. Sales are through the roof and feedback has been overwhelmingly positive. And most important of all – Guy and his wife Abi have welcomed a new baby!

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