10 years with ScratchSleeves

Like all good inventions, ScratchSleeves were born of necessity. When their son, Max, was 4 months old his little face erupted with angry, itchy eczema and he scratched, a lot. One particularly bad morning found him in his cot covered in blood and looking like a scene from a horror movie. He had somehow extracted his arms from his swaddling blanket, wriggled just one thumb out of the flip-over mitts of his sleepsuit and scratched his poor itchy little face to shreds.

They had already searched the internet for an effective solution to his scratching and not found anything remotely useful; so Jae set to work with her trusty sewing machine, an unwanted t-shirt and some silk left over from making her wedding dress and ‘ScratchSleeves – the mitts that actually do stay on’ were born.

We join the story shortly after. They had created a website but wanted to develop the site to further improve the customers’ experience and journey. This reiteration of the site incorporated the OpenCart system to improve the ordering process and automate much of the process. We provided a fresh look to the site and gave it a professional e-commerce feel, adding in brand elements to bring ScratchSleeves to life.

Over a period of years, we developed the site further with an improved search facility, Newsletter improvements and surfacing up popular items and sizes. We also developed a blog area to help ScratchSleeves share the knowledge that they had built up about the practicalities of living with baby eczema; and converted the checkout process to a one-page checkout.

With mobile visitors to the site accounting for a significant proportion of the traffic, ScratchSleeves came back to us and asked us to create them a mobile-friendly version of the site. Using the technology uplift as an opportunity, we also re-evaluated the user experience and the over-all look and feel of the site – time for a makeover. Based on the knowledge that had been built up over the previous years on customer patterns, where they went on the site and feedback from the client, we set out to make further improvements to the site aesthetically and functionally. Introducing a new font, call to actions and customer reviews. Over that coming year since the new mobile-friendly ScratchSleeves website was launched, it received 66% more users and the mobile traffic to the site increased by 92%, accounting for over 62% of the overall site traffic.

Around 2017 we discussed some further improvements planned for the site and with the aging eCommerce platform, it was decided that it was due for a major update. ScratchSleeves had a suite of requirements for the eCommerce platform that would underpin the choice of software vendor we would need to look at. The business was moving further into becoming a multi-channel retailer, so the platform would need to be able to work with eBay and Amazon to start with, with others to come online in the future. As well as this the platform would be integrated into Linnworks for stock control and postage management.

After consultation with ScratchSleeves, we opted to move away from the existing OpenCart platform and move over to the newly released version of PrestaShop. With a wealth of plugins, support and extensible core based on Symphony 3 we were confident that it would be able to support ScratchSleeves’ growth over the coming years.

With WTBI transferring the design, configuration and customisation over from OpenCart we decided to engage a data transfer specialist to migrate the historical orders, products and customers over allowing us to focus on translating the look and feel of the design to the new platform whilst upgrading some of the features that were causing friction in OpenCart. A notable update was a rebuild of the product slider on the websites home page This was recoded and encapsulated into a WordPress plugin. Taking advantage of PrestaShops API, we were able to collect the product data through this method rather than a riskier approach of accessing the product data directly from the database, which is prone to change causing unexpected issues. As one of the key purchase routes is through the product slider, we added a caching mechanism to ensure the page loaded promptly for both desktop and mobile users.

Our team also implemented the integration of Linnworks with the marketplaces ScratchSleeves uses and PrestaShop. We configured Linnworks to create a seamless path from order receipt to courier manifest. The great thing about Linnworks is that it can match the packing slip layouts and languages to the customer source and location. Features such as the this, along with the allocation of packaging and shipping services based on destination and order value has been a real game changer for ScratchSleeves.

With the improvements in place, a more frictionless process between pulling orders from a multitude of channels and then processing them within PrestaShop have afforded ScratchSleeves with a greater capacity for acquisition and dispatch that was otherwise unachievable with the older technology.