To achieve this, we helped them create an enterprise e-commerce store, with a special feature, a custom product designer, and we integrated the e-commerce store with their currently used ERP software.
Thanks to the revamp, employees have become more efficient - they are now able to focus on customer experience and satisfaction, rather than repetitive tasks related to administration.
We have asked Studio Present to make us a brand new webshop; first, to create a copy of our old, existing webshop, then, to develop a modern layout and design. It has been a long journey but it was definitely worth it. The new webshop looks great, it works well and it is so much easier to handle!
In the meantime, we’ve also discovered that designing a webshop is a never-ending process because there is always room for new features and smarter functions. It is great that – despite the long physical distance – we have great communication. Studio Present perfectly understands our needs and develops all we ask for.
Project Background and Description
Storm Textil is an experienced supplier of various textile products (sweatshirts, t-shirts, baby items, towels, activewear, etc.) based in Denmark with clients from all over Europe.
Aside from offering unicoloured textiles, Storm Textil also offers textile products with custom printed designs.
Our role was to help create a new e-commerce store that is responsive, user-friendly, integrated with other software, as well as to craft a unique product designer.
The Problem and Challenges
There were four key problems, but we enjoyed calling them opportunities:
- Microsoft Dynamics C5 (ERP), which is responsible for holding all of the company’s available data, was not synchronized with the e-commerce website.
- Customers were unable to design their own products on the website, instead, they first had to order blank products, before sending their own design and mock-ups over WeTransfer or similar file storage services.
- The website was not optimized for suitable user experience and not optimized for various screen sizes (mobile to 4K).
- All of the product images (and media) are stored on an external Windows server. The server had to be connected and synchronized with Linux and Drupal 8 Commerce.
Project Goals and Objectives
The overall goal was to simplify the ordering process, while also lowering the number of phone calls and persuading customers to make online purchases. We needed to bring down the number of any errors to a minimum and avoid operators performing repetitive and bureaucratic tasks.
The client’s range of products and services had to be presented more attractively and more prominently on the website. The goal was to increase the profit and enhance the capacity of the company to make space for the next growing period.
Storm Textil is not a regular clothing wholesale company since they are creating unique products for their partners, usually by printing graphics on t-shirts or other products. Because of that, it was necessary to develop the “Product Designer”, in order to increase sales, simplify the ordering process and offer more personalized services.
In the early days of Storm Textil, when the initial order was made, the customer had to send another email with their mock-ups and design files. This was a long and painful process, both for the Storm Textil operators and the customers. This method resulted in many mistakes and returned products.
However, now, with the newly-created Product Designer, it is easy for customers to upload their own design in various formats. They are able to manipulate the design (rotate, resize etc.), save it for later and, of course, choose the piece of clothing on which the design will eventually be printed on.
Once the order is placed, the administrators are given the information they need so as to be able to process it. Naturally, orders are also synchronized with the ERP system.
Sales operators are also able to print out the “order worksheet” with the instructions for the printer operators, which contains all the data needed for the accurate printing.
Full Product Synchronization with ERP
Updating prices and stock levels has been a time-consuming task for the Storm Textil store administrators. Microsoft C5 holds all of the data, but it was not in sync with the e-commerce store.
We have been using RESTful API web service combined with Drupal 8 Commerce, in order to achieve the synchronization of:
- product prices
- product stock levels
- user profiles
- user price groups
- products in general (if a new product is added to the database in Microsoft C5, it becomes available in the e-commerce store within a minute)
There are three different languages spoken within the target group of Storm Textil. When we’re talking about the newsletter, it is not that complicated - all customers are split between three different lists based on their chosen language.
But, there are also seven different price groups, so we needed a way to segment subscribers within a list based on their price group. We have developed a flexible system with the help of Drupal 8 MailChimp module. Storm Textil sales can now target e.g. German customers from a specific price range and send them a newsletter intended only for them.
Of course, users can (un)subscribe, change their email address, etc. and all of those actions are synchronized with Drupal and ERP (Microsoft C5). When a customer switches from one price group to another, they are also moved to another segment in the MailChimp automatically.
- ERP software (Microsoft Dynamics C5) is automatically synchronized with the e-commerce store every minute. Stock levels and prices are the most common subject of change.
- Changes or uploads of product images on the Windows server are mirrored and automatically updated on the e-commerce store.
- We have developed an API for third-party resellers. They are able to sell Storm Textil products with the prices which are always in sync with Microsoft C5 and Drupal back-end.
- Both customers and Storm Textil staff have an easier job placing orders and maintaining the e-commerce store. All tasks have become less time-consuming than they were in the previous version.
The results above would never have been achieved without the selfless support from the Storm Textil team. We have accomplished a mutual goal thanks to the great communication. Our job has not been completed yet here, as both parties are already working on the next iteration of our project.