Building TYPO3 E-commerce Platform for Manufacturers
E-commerce today is by far among the most popular tools for growing a business. Integration of the latest technologies ensures better customer service, increased sales, and the opportunity to synch with multiple directions of your business. It is impossible to get the full potential of e-commerce without having c clear understanding of how the processes shall be built and what value they are expected to add to an organization. In the article, we discuss how to gain the most from adopting e-commerce and share our experience with enhancing our client’s platform with TYPO3 CMS.
Why e-commerce adoption is crucial for manufacturers?
When access to the internet became a common thing, more and more users take their shopping online. Be that clothes, home décor, food for your family, or a B2B service, the first thing we do is browse through a plethora of websites to check if they have what you need.
The development of an e-commerce strategy is the key element in elaborating your online presence, therefore, grow your business. To succeed, your strategy shall include
- research of your target market and preferences of the potential customer: optimization of websites and their content is what drive visitors and boost your sales;
- reaching out to new markets while they are not super competitive;
- collaborating with potential distributors to establish a healthy market relationship.
But how can we improve customer experience? Modern businesses are searching for more efficient ways to attract and gain new clients by automating their sales process and providing as many details on their e-commerce platforms as possible. Everything from the product name to its features and price shall be visible to a client to facilitate their decision-making process. This way, an organization saves a ton of time for their employees on closing the sales deals.
If a product range is huge, it is great to have a well-developed filter so that customers would focus on what they are looking for. This adds to a positive experience while online shopping as there is no need to scroll down hundreds or thousands of products to find what’s necessary. Using recommendations based on the purchasing history can also come in handy for both an e-commerce business and a client. It can boost sales while offering similar products as purchased before. A customer in their turn can learn about other options of the same item.
Now, let’s have a look at how we help one of our clients to transform their e-commerce platform into an advanced business solution that not only sells but is a great source of information for their existing and potential customers.
TYPO3 E-commerce Solution for Safety and Security Products Manufacturer
Our client is a leading manufacturer of explosion-proof switches, CCTV, push buttons, and lights fitting through controls to complex systems. The company provides high-quality products compliant with all the standards and full coverage of the sales services. Its presence in many countries across the globe required an advanced e-commerce solution to satisfy the purchasing needs of the customers and establish a strong business relationship with them.
The products catalog at the client’s website was designed a long time ago based on an old platform that was not flexible. Any change in the business process required a lot of effort to implement the change on their platform. Thus, the company decided to modernize its products and migrate to the new external workspace cloud that would allow faster and more flexible data storing. At that moment, the catalog had about 15,000 products having over 1000 different attributes.
The current company website was developed using TYPO3 CMS. Hence, the task was to
- integrate new catalog and e-commerce functionality into the existing TYPO3 site;
- implement data synchronization between external ERP and the TYPO3 system;
- develop an advanced search for products, websites as well as additional documentation (e.g. certificates, product guides, etc.);
- redesign of the website menu;
- update the design for the mobile version of the platform;
- carry out website localization;
- improve the website’s SEO.
The Agiliway development and marketing teams collaborated closely to implement all the requested features and add maximum value to the client’s organization as well as transform the customer experience from interacting with the given platform.
When the scope of available solutions for TYPO3 CMS was analyzed, Aimeos was used to implement new functionality by using, a multi-tenant e-commerce package.
The main benefits of Aimeos for this project include:
- Flexible shopping cart functionality
- Multi-store support — which is extremely critical for the company, as they are building separate stores for different regions
- High Performance
- Multilanguage and multicurrency support
- Being free
In the course of the project, we have also developed several extensions for the automation of products synchronization between the TYPO3 e-commerce site and external ERP, which sends data using the XML format. New e-commerce site receives complex format files with lots of nodes, sub-nodes, and attributes. Data analysis and parsing are implemented within the new TYPO3 module. Afterward, the information about attributes, products, and categories is synchronized automatically.
Another important feature is localization. The platform is set to define a customer’s top-priority language based on the country of origin or choice utilizing the localization options inside the system.
The development of an advanced search for products, services, and documentation on the products is one of the implementations that allows saving a lot of time to the platform users, especially with the autocomplete function which enables immediate pop-up of suggested items. For this piece, SOLR, an open-source search engine, was used owing to its simplicity and scalability. It is a perfect solution for our client’s platform since it handles tons of data including product descriptions, specifications, guidelines, and instructions.
To improve search engine results and increase the platform’s presence, an SEO audit was carried out to detect any keyword gaps, missing metadata, etc.
The Agiliway team also drafted and performed a redesign of the website menu as well as its mobile version to meet the requirements of the client and their customers.
The new TYPO3 e-commerce solution replaced the previous clumsy catalog which allowed the company to maximize productivity and efficiency, as well as increase service quality and sales. The success was reached out due to a thorough analysis of the existing issues and their fixing by utilizing the most suitable tech stack.
During the development process, we integrated a new catalog and e-commerce functionality into the existing TYPO3 site to transform the operating capacity of the website, therefore, made it work faster and more efficiently. Implementation of data synchronization between external ERP and the TYPO3 system ensures full automation of all data-related processes and saves time on the support.
Along with website menu redesign, updates to the mobile version were introduced. This entailed an SEO audit to be performed to exclude any possible malfunctions after the changes were made.
Complex localization allows users to choose or automatically detect their country and language out of a large scope of options available in the system.
Owing to an advanced search and autocomplete, there is no need to browse through long lists of products or services. The developed solution not only searches for products or services but is also effective searching through documentation, templates, guides, instructions, descriptions, etc.