LOVE, IN 150 CARDS.
Boombox is the best gift ever. When you buy a Boombox for a loved one, you’re technically buying a beautiful, artisan box filled with custom-printed messages and photos sent from the recipient’s loved ones. What you’re actually buying is one-of-a-kind physical manifestation of love from everyone in the recipient’s life, all made possible through an powerful online platform that collects, organizes, and designs the messages and photos that people contribute.
When Boombox first came to us, it was little more than an idea. Over co ee, we helped the founder sketch out a plan to get to market with a minimal viable product (MVP) without sacrificing her long term goals. We also insisted that she needed to include photos in addition to messages.
Three years later, the Boombox platform has grown exponentially in features and recognition. And we’ve been there every step of the way as their tech partners, designers, marketing advisors, and customer service specialists.
From the beginning, we knew Boombox could be big, but we needed to understand if the idea was going to be viable to strangers and how they were going to want to use it.
In order to get to market as quickly as possible and test the value of the business as a whole, we worked with the Boombox team to build out just the core features as an MVP. We whittled a list of potential features down to the “need to haves,” namely a WooCommerce marketing site to sell the boxes and a custom Laravel application that could send invitations, receive messages and photos, and allow the Boombox team and their customers to edit the messages. Cards were exported as a basic HTML page, which the Boombox team designed o ine by hand and printed in-o ce.
We weren’t sure what was going to happen. But once the orders started rolling in and the customers started raving, we knew Boombox was something special. And that it needed more features.
best laid plans
Since the initial launch, we’ve worked closely with Boombox to get customer and internal feedback. That means we sometimes had to change the logic and infrastructure to adapt to the way customers and Boombox sta used the site in the wild.
Boxes can hold up to 150 cards, but we didn’t expect customers to use the full box capacity. In practice, we found most boxes end up having 120+ cards, so we implemented queuing processes for all system emails and generations to reduce server stress.
Users were editing messages and accidentally deleting text from other contributors. We built versioning into the messages so that users could restore previous edits of the messages.
Boombox thought that most customers would want to spread the love around and limit contributors to one message each. This didn’t end up always being true, so we created controls to allow multiple messages per person.
As emojis became more popular, we had to make sure they could be processed and printed.
THE BEST EXPERIENCE EVER FOR THE BEST GIFT EVER
Over the past several years, we’ve also launched dozens of features to make the platform better for their customers and their internal concierge team. Below is just a sampling of features we’ve designed and built to improve Boombox.
An address book that integrates with Gmail, Yahoo, and a custom CSV uploader to make inviting easier for new and repeat customers
New “add-on” products, such as a digital copy of the print PDF, that can be purchased from the project page
Additional customer controls, such as the ability to sort and delete messages
New ways to contribute if you don’t want to send the invitation through the platform and a bulk uploader for photos
Multiple editable reminder and thank you templates and automated system emails
READY FOR THE SPOTLIGHT
Over the past few years, Boombox’s reputation has grown exponentially due to their amazing customer service and passionate fanbase. With features on SiriusXM and in Condé Nast Traveler and 10X growth in site tra c from year one to year two, we knew Boombox needed to be ready for the big time. We set out to create features and infrastructure so that when their moment came, they’d be ready.
As product sales increased and the Boombox team grew, it became more di cult to keep track of all the boxes in production and, more importantly, the people buying the boxes.
We worked with the Boombox team to migrate the spreadsheets they were using to track orders and customers into a custom Salesforce instance. Then, we integrated Salesforce with the website so that they could do all of their work in one system, rather than needing to have three di erent tabs open at once.
Salesforce allowed Boombox to standardize their internal customer service processes. We created complicated automated task workflows to make sure nothing was forgotten during the project lifecycle, and Salesforce allowed their remote team to have visibility into everyone else’s work.
Finally, we built reports and dashboards so that Boombox could see trends across projects and identify key marketing opportunities.
wE DREAM OF GENIE
As Boombox grew, it was clear that their design process was a bottleneck and a major source of internal cost. It could take over 4 hours to design a single project, which would not be sustainable when production increased. So over half a year, we worked with Boombox to plan, design, and build a custom design tool called the Design GenieTM.
The Genie serves several purposes. Most importantly, when a project closes and the messages are ready to be designed, it programmatically converts all the messages into design templates based on the number of characters, whether or not there’s a photo, photo orientation, and identity of the contributor. Then, the Boombox design sta can review all the cards, make edits to the text and text styles (fonts, sizing, spacing, etc.), re-order the cards, and send it to the customer for feedback. The customer can then review, re-sort the cards, and send back comments. And when it’s all ready to print, it exports a print-ready file for Boombox’s print partner.
All said and done, the Genie has increased Boombox’s design efficiency by 600%.