In a highly competitive market, La Koketa – a personal fashion stylist mobile app targeting tech-savvy trendy young women – needed to deliver a sophisticated, engaging user experience. Leveraging the open, extensible architecture of Telerik Sitefinity CMS, La Koketa’s small team rapidly created the web infrastructure to support the app’s complex cloud, social engagement and ecommerce functionalities.
The average woman spends a year of her life trying to decide what to wear – so says a survey published by the UK’s Daily Telegraph newspaper. La Koketa for iPhone is designed to solve this problem.
With its unique ‘What to Wear?’ engine, La Koketa is a digital wardrobe and personal stylist on your phone. The app creates inspiring outfit ideas tailored just for you, factoring in style, color and season. It helps you pack your suitcase for trips, plan outfits for events and even checks how wish-list items will fit with your existing wardrobe. All you have to do is take photos of your clothes or download pictures from the web.
Although there are other apps in the digital wardrobe category, none are positioned as a personal stylist with the capability to match fully layered and accessorized outfits.
The iPhone app market is a crowded space with intense competition for user attention. This is especially true for La Koketa’s target market – tech-savvy 18-25 year old females who are users of the iPhone, iPod Touch and iPad, and who are active in all the major social networks. Standing out in this environment is a significant challenge.
Additionally, La Koketa’s freemium business model targets in-app purchases of user experience
enhancements such as a larger wardrobe capacity to generate upgrade revenues. This makes the need to stand-out even more important.
Trendsta, the innovative start-up behind La Koketa, developed a strategy to do just this by offering advanced features such as cloud data services for users, social networking and a shopping platform.
The company had two needs. First, it needed a web presence to market the app and engage its audience. Second, it needed a backend system to manage user profiles and user data.
The technology challenge was to create a single, integrated platform that could deliver all this functionality. It needed to be flexible and scalable, but critically, it needed to be cost-effective and not place an unreasonable
technical burden on the company’s development team. It also needed to be implemented in time to support the
release of the latest version of the La Koketa app.
“The decision came down to a choice of two difficult options,” says Gergana Georgieva, CEO of Trendsta. “We were faced with writing the web application from scratch or using one of the popular CMS systems, all of which are like black boxes that cannot be easily extended. However, the wide scope of requirements and the tight deadlines called for a sophisticated and flexible system that could accommodate a number of different needs. It was a dilemma.”
Building a custom platform was not an attractive proposition for the La Koketa team for two reasons. First, it would require significant resources to develop. Second, maintenance of a custom platform would place an
ongoing burden on the company, focusing developer resources on infrastructure rather than business logic.
However, identifying a CMS that could meet La Koketa’s needs was not easy. The team evaluated a number
of commercial and open source CMS systems, but eliminated them on the basis of cost, inflexibility or absence of key features.
It was only when they looked at Telerik Sitefinity that they found the right technological and business fit. „The La Koketa team chose Sitefinity as the only flexible, extensible CMS that could accommodate our numerous and diverse needs.”
Using Telerik Sitefinity, The La Koketa team rapidly built a complex infrastructure to support and market
The La Koketa website and frequently updated blog can be managed easily by business users using Sitefinity’s powerful web content management capabilities. The La Koketa team can promptly update news articles and PR pieces, create marketing promotions and tell users about application updates and new functionalities.
Users are easily managed thanks to Sitefinity’s sophisticated user profiles and granular permissions controls. Key usage data is also easily tracked with Sitefinity.
The La Koketa app synchronizes user data with Amazon’s S3 cloud services, allowing users to back up their data and transfer it between iOS devices.
The La Koketa team achieved this by leveraging Sitefinity’s open API and extensible architecture, and this
functionality is being further developed so users can transfer their data between a wider range of iOS devices
on mobile and desktop.
La Koketa Social Network
The La Koketa Social Network on the iOS client uses Sitefinity’s social media connectors and takes advantage of the ease with which custom connectors can be created. The La Koketa Social Network is fully integrated with Facebook and Twitter. Also it allows easy sharing of posts and Facebook sign-in on the iPhone.
The La Koketa app links to multiple online stores. For users, the La Koketa Shopping Platform makes collections directly shoppable from the app. For the La Koketa team, Sitefinity makes it easy to manage seasonal collections on the server.
“The decision to use Telerik Sitefinity for the integration of all planned features had many benefits for La
Koketa,” says Gergana.
“On the development side, Sitefinity shortened the project to connect the iPhone app with Amazon S3. It also enabled easy and fast development of the back-end system that powers the La Koketa Social Network and our shopping platform.”
“For business users, Sitefinity allows easy content management of the website. Sitefinity’s integrated
e-marketing capabilities have eliminated the need for an external CRM and e-marketing system.”
“Sitefinity made the seemingly difficult task of building a web- and cloud-connected mobile application an
achievable goal for our small start-up company. This provided La Koketa with strong competitive advantages
compared to other similar apps.”