We had a new client from the Outdoor/Sporting segment came on board with the hope of changing the situation of their online presence: 1) outdated design, 2) CMS is extremely difficult to use, 3) limited in POS and accounting integration, 4) expensive maintenance/hosting fee (paying more than a managed VPS), 5) no online revenue.
After extensive meetings and brainstorming, we came to a conclusion of how our new online store should allow us to do:
- The new store should be able to integrate with POS since the business has two local stores and they need all the stock to be shared across all channels
- Email marketing has been proved their bread and butter in the past, therefore they’re hoping the new store should be able to contribute in growing email subscribers; both online and offline customers should be treated equally in terms of promotions.
- The store should allow us to list products to other eCommerce platforms such as eBay and Amazon.
- Since this business is able to produce quality contents to educate and inform buyers on a regular basis, a user-friendly blogging system is a must-have.
- Regular sales and promotions should be easily configured without the help of a developer.
- Their products various in sizes and weights, which requires flexible shipping rules to accommodate in-store pickup, free shipping, regular mail, express shipping as well as rates for bulky/heavy items.
- A large portion of their products have different colours and sizes, in order to improve shopping experience by taking the guesswork out of shopping process, colour swatches should be used to represent product options for better decision making.
Challenges & Solutions
Most of the client requests can be answered by adopting Magento with help of third-party developers such as:
- M2E to integrate eBay and Amazon
- Colour Swatch module to allow using product thumbnails as product options
- MailChimp to handle email marketing and marketing automation
- Advanced Shipping module to offer different shipping rates per product type, multiple shipping rates can be combined to offer the most economical options.
- Most POS solutions offer integration with Magento, it’s just a matter of finding the best POS system to accommodate the business.
The main challenge lies in ‘how to make Magento capable of handling content with ease?’ Unfortunately, this is not going to happen because despite being a superstar in eCommerce, Magento is not a user-friendly CMS when it comes to content. What’s more, it’s age-old WYSIWYG editor even gets carried into the second generation, so you know the Magento Team is in no hurry upgrading it’s CMS capability.
As a solution, we introduced WordPress to be part of the client’s online presence. Integrate WordPress and Magento is actually a common industry practice with two different approaches:
- Use WordPress as the main website, with Magento only for shopping cart solution.
- User Magento as the main website, with WordPress only for static content such as blogging.
We chose the second option because the only content needs frequent updates is the blog, all static pages will remain the same once the store is up running, therefore requires no ongoing maintenance.
By the time this case study is written, which is two years after we launched the project, we have to say WordPress has really activated client’s creativity in a way that, they can now create they own blogs, vlogs and pages, to work side by side of Magento’s marketing plans. Content marketing was once this client’s dream for many years is now a profit-making reality.
Features At a Glance
- Payment options: PayPal, ZipPay and Credit Card.
- MailChimp integration for email marketing and eCommerce marketing automation.
- eBay integration
- POS integration
- Product Thumbnails as swatches.
- Ajax Cart and refined Layered Navigation to deliver immersive shopping experience.
- One Step Checkout to reduce the chances of abandoned carts
- Quick product view improves engagement.
- Advanced Promotion Rules to create industry-specific marketing ideas.
- WordPress integrated as blogging CMS.
- Gift Card
- Dedicated hosting.