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Zonnebrillen.com


“We’re playing in the Major League now”

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Zonnebrillen.com


“We’re playing in the Major League now”

Zonnebrillen.com is a classic example of a home-based start-up that grew into a company worth millions. In just a few years, the company was turning a profit and could legitimately claim to be the biggest online sunglasses store in the Benelux. An achievement that founder Mischa Tan is certainly proud of, but his ambitions were set much higher. So, in 2017, six years after establishing his company, he sold it to international retailer GrandVision. 

While this billion-dollar operator primarily focuses on the physical sales of glasses, Zonnebrillen.com does the same online. “A win-win situation”, says Mischa, whose revenue increased substantially in the year following the takeover.

Although Zonnebrillen.com was already profitable in its own right and Mischa was more than capable of expanding the company himself, the takeover made perfect sense to the former director. “It’s all about scale. If you really want to compete at the highest level, you’ve got to be a big player yourself. Now we can exploit the full potential of Zonnebrillen.com.”


“With MediaCT, quality and security are guaranteed.” - Mischa Tan


 
 
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Switching to Commerce due to strong growth


“Nothing was wrong with our old store, but we knew it would no longer be fit for purpose at some point in time. The new platform allows us to move forward while being scalable and – above all – future-proof.”

Switching to Commerce due to strong growth


“Nothing was wrong with our old store, but we knew it would no longer be fit for purpose at some point in time. The new platform allows us to move forward while being scalable and – above all – future-proof.”

The rising sales figures weren’t all good news, however. As the order numbers increased, so did the number of returns. All of these returned glasses had to be processed quickly – both in the warehouse and administratively. And this wasn’t the only challenge. The growth had to be managed effectively in the IT domain too. “We were working with the Open Source version of Magento 1. It’s amazing what you can do with this, although the platform does come with certain restrictions.”

Mischa had no doubt that the new, scalable platform should also be built using Magento software. “I did consider a SaaS solution, which gives you a decent store for a fixed monthly charge, but Magento offers so many more options.” He refers not only to the high standard set by the software in the market, but also to its design potential. “I don’t want to be stuck with other people’s templates – Magento gives me the independence I want.”

In light of its open source character, substantial user group and ability to present tens of thousands of articles in a fully personalized way, Mischa opted for Magento 2 Commerce. “Nothing was wrong with our old store, but we knew it would no longer be fit for purpose at some point in time. The new platform allows us to move forward while being scalable and – above all – future-proof.”


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MediaCT as technical partner


“We have a pretty good idea what we’re doing, but the same is true of others. The market has matured. If you want to keep winning, you have to keep innovating and you can only do that if your base is stable.”

MediaCT as technical partner


“We have a pretty good idea what we’re doing, but the same is true of others. The market has matured. If you want to keep winning, you have to keep innovating and you can only do that if your base is stable.”

MediaCT was appointed to implement the new platform. Although Zonnebrillen.com has the requisite technical knowledge – the first store was created entirely in-house – Mischa preferred to bring in external expertise as well. “We have a pretty good idea what we’re doing, but the same is true of others. The market has matured. If you want to keep winning, you have to keep innovating and you can only do that if your base is stable.” 


“In a mature market, you need partners who are completely clued up on the game”


Mischa explains why he rates a certain level of predictability. “If I’m launching a campaign, I don’t want to have to check first that the platform can cope with an influx of visitors and orders. The same goes for weather-dependent peak times. I don’t want to worry whether the store will keep working. I take a lot of comfort from the fact that we’re only using a fraction of the platform’s potential.” To avoid dependence on his own programmers, immediately after the takeover Mischa sought out a collaborative partner with whom he could scale up more quickly. 



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With MediaCT, we get quality and security in-house


“We already have the generic knowledge. I want a partner who is fully specialized in building and maintaining Magento stores.”

With MediaCT, we get quality and security in-house


“We already have the generic knowledge. I want a partner who is fully specialized in building and maintaining Magento stores.”

Just as when choosing the web store software, the various options were compared in detail. Full-service agencies were excluded straight away. “We already have the generic knowledge. I want a partner who is fully specialized in building and maintaining Magento stores.” The fact that MediaCT develops entirely according to Magento standards was appealing. So was the strict pre-selection process. “It shows that the company doesn’t just make web store, but sets out to develop long-term collaborations.”

For Mischa, this is a must, because his view is that e-commerce is anything but easy. “It’s like a Swiss watch – all facets are mutually dependent and you can’t afford for anything to fail. By joining forces with MediaCT, we’re assured of quality and security.” The fact that Zonnebrillen.com now has much more time for content creation adds considerable value as well. “Before, we were mostly busy with site maintenance. Now we can devote this time to things like creating information pages, which add a lot of value for customers.”

With a view to continued growth, a key priority for Mischa is that everything works perfectly in technical terms. By ensuring that the cornerstones of growth, scalability and technology are in balance, Zonnebrillen.com can work with its partners to achieve one goal: selling as many sunglasses as possible, day in, day out. “We were already doing well, but with the backing of a multinational and with MediaCT at our side, we feel like we’re playing in the Major League now.”


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