LEGACY MIGRATION OF E-COMMERCE SOLUTION FOR A HIGH TRAFFIC NETWORK CABLING COMPANY

  • Replaced an outdated e-commerce solution with enterprise e-commerce platform, enabling future growth and further business expansion.
  • Integrated UPS shipping with custom rules, payment processing system, custom forms and product review tools.
  • Built data migration scripts and configured powerful search capabilities using Apache SOLR to facilitate multi-faceted product search.
  • TECH STACK:
    Java Spring Broadleaf Commerce
  • EXPERTISE:
    Legacy MigrationE-commerce Solutions
  • VERTICAL:
    Retail
  • ENGAGEMENT MODEL:
    Fixed Cost Fixed Scope

BACKGROUND

Warehouse Cables is a Rhode Island based retail business specializing in network cabling products. They sell computer hardware, network cable products and accessories, copper and fiber optics cables and other custom cable products. In addition to this, they provide customer service and expert advice on computer network setup.

The client’s e-commerce site was built many years ago using PDG Commerce, and e-commerce framework, which became less and less supported, and over a period of time, totally obsolete. This was hurting the business, and the company was looking to migrate to a modern e-commerce framework that will facilitate future growth and expansion of the business, while providing critical functionality that was currently lacking.

The client’s immediate requirement was to replicate all the functionality of the current site, with a few additional feature enhancements.

Requirements

  • 1.
    Learning from mistakes of the past, the client was particular that the new e-commerce platform is actively supported and has a strong community of developers.
  • 2.
    Stunning UI/UX for the new site, and really exclusive look and feel for pages accessed by regular members of the business.
  • 3.
    Configure a payment processor to facilitate e-commerce transactions.
  • 4.
    Add features to facilitate drop shipping, wherein items might be originating from different locations. Notify customers to contact Warehouse Cables if total shipping weight exceeds 150 pounds
  • 5.
    Configure Site Search and Filter Functionality
  • 6.
    Collect reviews from customers on Warehouse Cables’ products
  • 7.
    Integrate Custom Request Forms (Currently used for Fiber Cables, Coaxial Cables, and few other products)
  • 8.
    Import existing Product Catalog with SKUs, Descriptions, and Images. Client already had a spreadsheet with all current SKUs, along with the PDG Technical Reference Database to guide us with any necessary data conversion.
  • 9.
    Create Landing Pages (Privacy Policy, Terms and Conditions, etc)
  • 10.
    The client had made extensive use of custom fields, all of which is to be migrated to the new platform in an organized manner.
  • 11.
    SEO Optimization. E-commerce framework chosen should have in-built SEO capabilities built in to make sure all product pages can be SEO friendly.

SOLUTION

We identified Broadleaf commerce as the platform to develop this e-commerce solution on, since it is ranked among the best open-source enterprise eCommerce platforms for B2B and B2C marketplaces, written entirely in Java and leveraging the Spring framework with a robust data model and set of services to take care of most of the ‘heavy lifting’ work.

  • 1.
    To meet the design needs of the client, our design team created branding guidelines, detailed wireframes, mood boards, and color palettes to understand client's design preferences before finalizing on high fidelity mockups.
  • 2.
    Since the immediate goal was to replicate the functionality of the client’s original site with a few additional feature enhancements, we started by creating all the interior pages, and landing pages for product categories.
  • 3.
    Based on volume of transactions and fee structure, we shortlisted Sage Payment Processor for payment processing and integrated the e-commerce solution with that.
  • 4.
    To enable easy shipping, we integrated UPS Shipping with custom shipping rules, that was readily available in Broadleaf’s Order Management System as a plugin. We added provisions for drop shipping and customer notifications to Warehouse Cables for unusual shipping situations.
  • 5.
    We configured multi-faceted product search and filter options readily available with Broadleaf’s powerful Apache SOLR search.
  • 6.
    Product reviews are very powerful form of social proof. We integrated the application with ‘Shopper Approved’ to collect reviews from customers on Warehouse Cables’ products.
  • 7.
    We integrated ‘Wufoo Forms’ to the application in order to allow the client to collect data on custom forms for special products.
  • 8.
    We mapped the custom data fields with the data fields in the new application, and cleaned up existing data for import. We then extracted product keywords from one-line descriptions of the products, and configured for search filtering.
  • 9.
    Broadleaf commerce has very powerful SEO capabilities built in. We guided Warehouse Cables on how to best leverage this, through search-friendly page titles and URLs.

We allotted specific time at the end of our projects, to allow the client to review the site, and request modifications, tweaks, or bug fixes. Finally, we scheduled three 2-hour sessions, where we trained on how to use Broadleaf commerce and manage the site. This included configuration of products and customers, as well as promotions and coupons.

RESULTS

The e-commerce solution developed by our team for the client helped them overcome several issues with the obsolete solution that was inhibiting growth and expansion of the business, while providing critical functionality that was lacking.

BENEFITS

The new solution developed by our team in Broadleaf Commerce enabled the client to

  • Improve their total online revenue by over 50% each month
  • Increase traffic to the website by 92% due to SEO enhancements.
  • Bring down cart abandonment by about 42%
  • Improve site speed by over 60%

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