One of the important objectives which we needed to meet in this project was to have a stable, easy-to-maintain CMS. The challenge was to build a simple, but clear webshop showing the products that Nead is offering. As the products were already inside a database with a tagging system, this database had to be integrated within the new Sitefinity CMS.
The main reason to go with Sitefinity was the need to have a CMS that could be easily maintained and expanded. Teletik OpenAccess simplified to a great extent the creation of a model out of the existing database and its implementation in Sitefinity. Telerik Reporting, which generates invoices online and sends them to the customers, together with the whole suite that Telerik offers, contributed to the building of the website.
A list of the objectives on the list of Nead:
- Show products of Nead on an overview page;
- Show detailed product information with the ability to zoom in on products' photos;
- Filter on keyword groups and keywords;
- Ability to create an account which makes future ordering much more easier;
- Ability to fill in a coupon code when ordering products;
- Enable social network links;
- Show a Twitter feed;
- Show Nead parties and register to give a Nead party;
- Register to receive the newsletter (synchronizes with MailChimp);
- Create new products;
- Create new keywords and keyword groups;
- View online orders;
- View online payments;
- Create and print coupon codes with expire date;
- View and maintain registered users;
We used standard modules like "generic content" and "libraries" and have extended them with custom metadata and different providers for some specific needs. For the products we created a custom module.We have setup the CMS so that all the tasks, needed for maintaining the website, the products and the webshop as a whole, could be done inside the CMS.
Three months after the project start date, all the above objectives were realized. For the creation of the new Sitefinity insatallation we used mostly the build-in functionality, as well as some customizations where it was needed. The website relies a lot on the custom database with products and keywords.
The newly created website has the functionality of sending e-mails which can be personalized by the end user, who has the compleate freedom of changing the e-mail templates. Both the e-mails and the custom messages ,like statuses, are maintained in the Generic Content module of Sitefinity. All custom messages, e.g. statuses, are also maintained from the Generic Content module.
We choose MailChip for sending newsletters, because of the needed statistics functionality. One more benefit of MailChimp is the provided API for developers, which enables subscription on the website as well as the maintenance of the subscribers list from the backend.
The website which we created gives the possibility of sharing every product item with the common social networks. In addition to that we accomplished the implementation of the AddThis button.
Products can be viewed on an overview page. A visitor can filter by specific product groups and colors. Overall all these filters are actually Keyword groups and keywords. With use of building a predicate where clause, it is easy to narrow the search for specific products. Each product can be viewed in detail. Products can have one of more photos available that visitors can explore by zooming in and by viewing then inside a lightbox. Each product can be part of a collection, so that Nead can offer special collections for e.g. Mothersday.
Nead organizes party’s where they sell their products. Most of the time these party’s are hold at people’s homes. You can view party’s on the website, with information about the party host, location and the ability to show the driving directions using Google maps. For people that want to be a host for a Nead party, there is a form to register for this.
The result is a good looking website, completely built within a CMS system. Because of the caching mechanism the pages load. The people from Nead are happy with the results. They can easily maintain the site, add or remove products, view orders, check payments etc.
Sitefinity has provided a good looking, professional website that is fast, reliable and flexible.
SEO / Analytics
At the moment we are monitoring to see what the impact will be using Google Analytics, Webmaster tools and YSlow.
For now the rough facts are:
- 500 visitors in the last 3 weeks
- Average time on the site is about 5 to 7 minutes!
- Bounce rate of 3%
Most of the referral sources come from the newsletter and social networks