Digital sound revolution in the kids’ room – From Brick and Mortar to B2C to B2B
The digital audio system for kids is now available for online purchase by retailers and resellers thanks to the launch of a new B2B site by the product’s manufacturer – Boxine. The colorful digital audio cubes designed for kids have been available in stores since September 2016, and have literally made picture book history. Sales of the Tonieboxes and their companion collectable figurines, Tonies(R) by Boxine – along with content from publishers Oetinger, Carlsen, and Thienemann-Esslinger are booming across Germany, Ireland and the UK. In addition, companies such as Universal and Sony/Europe have also become partners. Opening an online B2B store was simply the next logical step.
The streamlined, intuitive design of the Toniebox brand experience had to be reflected in the online shop; therefore, agility was key as was close collaboration by Boxine. The project started by expanding and restructuring the existing microservice architecture of the commercetools-powered B2C shop. The use of small components that could be individually combined made it possible to customize the platform to Boxine’s exact needs, and to build the basic technology around them.
Adapting B2C Functionality to B2B Requirements
This posed some challenges, as the architecture of the B2B shop clearly needed to have a similar look and feel to the existing B2C shop while still reflecting the same product data. Furthermore, additional B2B functionalities had to be integrated. For example, larger order quantities, other role management functions, and additional payment options were added. Ultimately, the key factor was the combination of the digital agency’s B2B experience and the flexibility of the commercetools platform, which enabled the rapid development of an MVP and the seamless implementation of the B2B extension of the existing shop.
In September 2018, the B2B shop went live (although a password is required to access it), allowing Tonie specialist retailers to place their orders with ease. “We are delighted that our retailers are now able to order from our online shop in a convenient and user-friendly manner, enabling us to improve our ordering processes substantially”, said Sven Vaders, Boxine’s Head of Marketing.
Inspiring Junior Audiophiles with Stories-to-Life Collectibles and Content
The Tonibox is a colorful cube with a digital core and various story figures, called Tonies. Children insert different figures (eg. pirate, red riding hood, etc) into the box which then starts playing a related audio story. Creative Tonies allow users to enjoy individual audio content as these figures can play existing audio files or content which is simple to record via an app. For example, if Dad is away on a business trip, he can still read a bedtime story to his child using his “personal” Tonie – straight from the app, anytime and anywhere. The child then inserts his “Dad” Tonie into the box to hear Dad’s latest story through the speaker.
As parents continue to search for new ways to engage kids in technology while instilling a love of reading and music, we as technology companies must also search for ways to create engaging and experience-driven online stores. Tonibox by Boxine is a great story of how the worlds of children, adults, and technology can play well together.
For more information on Boxine: www.tonies.com