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Industry — eCommerce
Location — Sweden
  • Microsoft .NET
  • Azure
  • C#
  • React
  • Umbraco
  • eCommerce
  • Microservices
focusnordic.com

This project started as a part of a long-term collaboration with a branched structure of vendors and contractors. But later some conditions changed, so Focus Nordic decided to work with UKAD directly because our developers were already familiar with everything related to the project and met all the requirements.

The Customer who initiated this project is a well-known supplier of top-tier photo and video equipment already present in most European countries. They have established partnership with numerous professionals in photo- and videography, as well with over 70 brands and manufactures. Sounds impressive, doesn't it? So, it requires an impressive digitalization!

Focus Nordic Background

Challenges

As mentioned before, the project is quite large and thus took many steps before the UKAD team was involved. The idea was quite simple but required lots of time and effort to bring it to life. As Focus Nordic operates in many European countries, there was a requirement for a toolset for effective sales. Then, there was a necessity for stocking, marketing, and other operations.

Then, Focus Nordic required a platform for communication with the audience through posting guides, product reviews, and guest posts by their ambassadors. Regarding the specifics, the visual-reach layout was a vital part of this project because both promotional and product pages should display lots of inspiring and beautiful photos.

Last but not least is what our team had to work as a part of the greater ecosystem, that means the necessity to feel and share The Vibe and maintain a certain pace of development so as not to create delays.

Solutions

The UKAD team was responsible for the web development part of this project. It means more than ten local websites with complex layouts that require lots of effort to bring perfect management experience and successful interactions with users. As well, this solution should be SEO-friendly and promotable if we're working on an eCommerce project with great ambitions.

Focus Nordic is quite an unusual eCommerce platform so it requires a bit more sophisticated architecture. Thus, the solution is designed using microservices, as this approach perfectly meets the technical requirements and makes the development faster and more flexible. If you're looking for a better understanding of microservices, please take a look at this article.

To harness microservices, we used Azure Kubernetes Services or AKS. AKS is used to reduce peak loads' impact on performance by scaling and provides several more curious features, such as deployment without downtime. Simply put, AKS creates duplicates of the most demanded services, so Focus Nordic always performs great without restrictions.

The next unique take is the utilization of React Server-Side Rendering or SSR, which is not so common either for UKAD or web development at all, as it's hard to implement, and its benefits aren't always straightforward. However, we decided to step into React SSR. First of all, it's probably the best way to display all this beautiful content on a microservice-based website. In case of successful implementation, Focus Nordic should achieve enhanced performance, despite a heavy-weight content-rich layout, and improve Search Optimization. For seamless interconnection between the front and back end, we utilized GraphQL, which is gaining popularity and has a great perspective to join UKAD's tech stack.

Content management for Focus Nordic is driven by Umbraco. This choice ensures a user-friendly and intuitive experience, meaning managers encounter no complexity despite the solution's intricate structure. Consequently, the Customer's team can effortlessly accomplish tasks with just a few clicks, leading to optimized workflow efficiency and reduced time spent on routine operations.

With these novations, the UKAD team expected that the platform should meet all the requirements, both on technical and managemental sides, provide a really unique experience to visitors, and become a powerful tool of promotion.

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Results

The results of this collaboration are impressive! The UKAD team built an eCommerce platform that bears lots of goods, professional reviews, and most important, beautiful photos. So, today it already makes a valuable impact in Focus Nordic sales, marketing, and PR.

Under the hood, we find an effective structure fueling fast development, correct support, and seamless updates of the platform. Some of the novelties used for Focus Nordic may probably become a part of UKAD's tech stack, because we're also impressed with the achieved results.

Today, as the platform went live, UKAD keeps collaborating with Focus Nordic to support and improve it with new features. We are sure, it is the beginning of a great story of long-lasting win-win partnership!

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