2021 – 2021
Majblomman is a nonprofit organisation with the mission to decrease the impact of child poverty in Sweden. Their day job includes handing out donations to low-income families and promoting political reforms.
Find out how we digitalised their entire income model in only 3 months because of the pandemic in 2021 >
Every April since 1907, thousands of children sold flowers to finance their work and help other children out of poverty. But since covid-19, selling on the streets was no longer possible and Majblomman lost almost all their income during 2020.
So when Majblomman came to us with the idea to digitalize their 100-year old income model in only three months in order to save their organization, it was not by choice.
The solution was to build a real-time system that allowed for over 40.000 children to create their own personal e-commerce through an app. From the app, each child can promote their online store through messaging, social media and even print custom postcards that they can distribute on a safe distance.
Every time someone buys from their store, they get a push-notification and the buyer's name gets listed in the app together with their total earnings and tip. The flowers would then be sent directly to their homes. Transactions should be personal – but not too personal as we didn’t want to expose the child's identity online.
The system needed to be custom built, since no-one had done this before and the existing platforms didn’t support the extreme simplicity we wanted to achieve.
Register a store in the app
Share your store URL
A buyer visits your store
Simple payment using Swish
Get a push notification and follow real-time sales in the app
To simulate the experience of buying on the streets, we had to make the entire online experience as simple and without friction as possible.
Step one was to build a user journey for both buyers and sellers. Based on this we constructed a hypothesis around the architecture and chose technology that could scale and bring stability.
Building a raw but functional prototype early was necessary to be able to adjust or change technology fast if we needed to.
Technology had to be extremely scalable and uncrashable. The site would go live at a specific time and could scale up to tens of thousands of orders and new sites in hours.
The solution was a real-time order system in the cloud that could handle 10.000 orders/sec with payment gateways to Swish and major credit cards. Each store needed to be shareable, so we also generated shareable images and postcards on the fly. We used Next.js for the stores and incremental static generation to prevent the servers from being exhausted or attacked.
The app was built using React Native and we use Google cloud services for communication. Sanity was used as CMS.
The stores were designed to be super-simple, fast and to the point. Every button had to make total sense and nothing without purpose was allowed in the interface. We had intense UX workshops and tried many different paths before we landed in this extremely simple idea, inspired by online food stores and other interfaces that the typical Majblomman buyer uses.
As an example, we realized that we didn’t need a shopping cart, so we removed it. The site was the shopping cart. Insights like this helped us align the interface with our goals and think outside the box.
We used Majblommans existing font and added colors from the flowers. We wanted the design to be playful and fun but still very functional. To achieve this we added cheerful background shapes and rounded the corners of the ui-elements. We also added humble micro animations and we almost used the whole repertoire of the Faune font. Regular, Bold and Display.
To accompany the launch of the campaign we also made some logo and pattern animations which could be used on Majblommans social media accounts.
Even though Majblomman did not sell as much as they did on the streets, we came pretty close. Over 100.000 orders were placed during the first 12 hours and for the entire 2 weeks the children collected over 36.000.000 SEK online, which far exceeded everyone’s expectations.
Fun fact: The bank’s accounting system broke down because of the pressure, but the stores kept delivering smooth transactions.
We have learned so much this year and have many ideas for next year now that we know that the system works. Combining physical and digital is very exciting, and things like avatars and gamification could be a nice touch for the children!