The Giving Keys

The Giving Keys is a Los Angeles based company that inspires others through jewelry that serves a greater purpose. The company employs individuals transitioning out of homelessness. The e-commerce platform is built on Shopify.

Background

A Jewelry Store That Serves A Greater Purpose

The Giving Keys started with the objective of inspiring the world to pay it forward. The company was founded by singer-songwriter and actress Caitlin Crosby. The business model sought to use social impact employment.

A portion of the profits from their eCommerce portal are used to support people who are transitioning from homelessness. The Giving Keys makes and sells key necklaces and other jewelry that they make out of repurposed keys.

With every job offered to employees they also provide many fantastic benefits including time-off to acquire housing, education and case management appointments. They also work on creating a supportive environment that cheers for the whole person, not just their financial wellbeing.

Our Strategy

How we work
Grid One

Create

Our designers and architects work with you to define every feature, screen, and user flow

Grid One

Sprint

Receive product builds every two-weeks as we add features

Grid One

Learn

We analyze user feedback to help you prioritize new features

Problems

  • The owner of the company saw a need to help those living in her community. The Giving Keys needed to hire a web development company to help take their idea from a vision to a fully-fledged working e-commerce website.
  • The company wanted to pursue an e-commerce distribution and sales model to support its business model. But, as founders were non-technical they required the assistance of a e- commerce development firm to build their online store. As marketing efforts had a national reach, the best mechanism for supporting the business model was an intuitive shopping interface that could also be maintained by internal staff after it was established.
  • As a young firm they needed a custom e-commerce development team to assist them in selecting an appropriate platform for the development of their store among the widely used tools including:
    • Big Commerce development was evaluated against other platforms and included a proof of concept text to understand the ease of use for the company once setup
    • Magento development was considered as a an opensource alternative to the paid platforms. While the platform presented a number of advantages, the complexity of maintenance and support did not serve the best interests of the company at that time.
    • Wordpress Custom Commerce development was considered but because of platform limitations and performance implications relative to other available options and the befits of those platforms we kept looking.
    • Shopify - was ultimately chosen as the platform for development. Custom shopify development appeared at the time to be the best choice for the firm when compared to other available options.
  • Objectives:
    • Easily maintainable – long term support needed to be facilitated inhouse and maintenance costs needed to be low.
    • Image friendly – as a fashion focused e-commerce platform, the website needed to be image friendly and easily customizable on the front end.

Solution

  • Evaluated current technologies in the market to see what would best serve the client’s long term needs
  • Full-time developers and designers were assigned to work on redesigning the online store
  • Custom Shopify template e-commerce development was undertaken by Zibtek’s team
  • Special attention was placed on front end e-commerce development
    • Creating new categories, responsiveness on multiple mobile devices, blazing fast webpage loading times were priorities for engineering
    • The visual aspects of the website were re-worked to be aesthetically pleasing, and hone visual impact for the brand
  • Provided ongoing support and maintenance and continued to enhance the social awareness ecommerce platform

Result

  • Website was written in the Shopify liquid template structure.
  • Company was able to focus on marketing and operational structure of their business while Zibtek provided e-commerce development services.
  • With an optimized shopping experience, the platform has continued to grow year over year.
  • By 2018 The Giving Keys generated 137,372 hours of work for people transitioning out of homelessness.
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