The Independent Music Online Store was an idea from Nebula Designs own team, and certainly qualifies as a "THINK BIG" venture. The idea of this website was to offer an alternative marketplace for Independent Musicians, who are currently pressured to sell their music on iTunes and Spotify, at significant costs on already tough profit margins. The IMOS is essentially an Esty but for musicians...they can own their own shop, track their sales, keep in touch with fans and customers and add them on a highly advanced social network side of the website.
Obviously the immediate challenge was in providing an intuitive Preview, Buy and Download system where users could find the artists they love and proceed with eCommerce functionality. A considerably important factor, however, was in providing ways for the fans and musicians to keep in touch, provide feedback and acknowledgement. The IMOS, essentially, needed to provide means of communication between fans and musicians as well as offering the opportunity for sales and post-sales feedback. The recording of sales for chart ranking was also of importance.
The challenge was that we had two distinct user groups, each segmented into further groups, who would each have different permissions across the site. They also needed to easily communicate with one another.
The solution was to actually focus on the community aspect first, before adding the store functionality. The IMOS was, therefore, developed as a social networking website for fans and makers of music, who could create groups, events, add photos and image albums, update their newsfeed and add or follow each other. The two distinct membership types have different permissions, each according to their own needs. For example, music makers could add events, where music fans could not.
The solution for the store was then to ensure that community profiles would offer links to the store, and provide methods of feedback. We did this by ensuring that music album pages contained appropriate social network links, such as "Add the artist as a friend", and leave a comment. All activity within the store would report to the community newsfeed, to maximise promotion of who is viewing and buying what. Once someone has bought an album, they would find it in their download area, and with opportunity to reach out to the artist.
With an entire social network setup and music store, plus additional blog functionality and a forum for interest discussion, The IMOS is a great community space for independent musicians and also their fans, with great mobile responsive functionality. Unfortunately, it is still slow in finding its feet and generating the hoped for interest. This is one Think Big idea that is going to enjoy some refinement and another push in promotion, but as a portfolio piece we hope it serves to show the scope of what a Nebula Designs site can achieve.
So, if you're looking to create a blogging platform, a forum for subject discussion, a music store, or even a social network, The IMOS would serve to show you the Nebula Designs can do all of this rather well.
Have a Think Big idea? We'd love to hear about it.