the overviewIt’s only a matter of time that school shops go online. User experience, live reporting and collaboration with existing suppliers, along with custom payment gateways and delivery options is required to build a school online store.
Hilton College is a remarkable, all-boys, all-boarding school set on a beautiful 1700 hectare estate in the KwaZulu-Natal Midlands of South Africa. Hilton College is, like many other schools, unique. It has its own rhythm and its own flavour – indeed all schools do. Hilton offers the intrigue of having stood the test of time (by South African standards) in its enduring 148-year history. Hilton aims to be deeply traditional and refreshingly contemporary.
The Fleur-de-Lys shop, situated on the Hilton College estate near the entrance gates, in an attractive clubhouse, built in the Cape-Dutch style. The shop retails a variety of Hilton College supporters merchandise from apparel to gifting. The shop welcomes both past pupils and parents of present pupils, as well as visitors.
The Fleur-de-Lys shop attracts the majority of its traffic and sales on Saturday home fixtures, and the annual Hilton-Michaelhouse derby day.
The majority of Hilton present and past parents, as well as supporters, do not visit the college regularly. As a result, the Fleur-de-Lys shop does not generate all year round traffic and in turn, sales, and unless it’s a weekend home fixture or derby day, the store is, as one can imagine, quiet.
Using technology to solve problems makes us tick. The opportunity to take a school shop online has always been an exciting concept for us at JIMBU. After all, we’ve worked with schools longer than any other sector, and Hilton College, in particular, was our first customer in 2012! Having built a number of e-commerce stores, we knew that an online store for the Hilton College Fleur-de-Lys shop was required to solve the challenge. The online store has been developed to work alongside the Fleur-de-Lys shop – not to compete with it. We’ve included best sellers from the Fleur-de-Lys shop onto the online store and we’ve also introduced new on-trend items. We have adopted a risk-free, just-in-time model which means that we don’t hold any stock and every product is manufactured and branded to order. We’ve installed two payment facilities, namely instant EFT as well as a secure credit card payment option. Shipping options include free delivery to Hilton College where the customer can collect from the Fleur-de-Lys; delivery to anywhere in South Africa for R125 inclusive; and lastly, for international orders, shipping will be quoted for accordingly. We’ve provided the Fleur-de-Lys shop a reporting dashboard for live reports on orders, product sales, revenue reports as well as customer reports.
Supporters, wherever they are in the world, can now purchase Hilton College merchandise and orders will be delivered to their door! Since launch, the online store has received orders from Europe, North America, Africa, and of course all regions within South Africa! Parents of the current students can order and pay for merchandise from the comfort of their home while their sons can collect directly from the Fleur-de-Lys shop while they are at school. The opportunity to work and partner with Hilton College has been a privilege and we look forward to working on innovative projects with them in the future.