Ecommerce Platform Development for an Online Furniture Store

  • Two interconnected ecommerce websites powered by a single BI-enabled platform
  • Feature-rich online furniture design and customization center
  • Optimized UI and back-office operations

 

Expertise
Web & Enterprise Portals
eCommerce
Verticals
Retail

Leveraging our vast hands-on experience of ecommerce platform development, Iflexion helped Sleepers in Seattle improve customer experience and skyrocket sales.

  • .NET
  • Authorize.Net
  • Adobe Flash
  • jQuery
  • log4net
  • SQL Server
Calendar
8
Duration
Months
Gears
12
Efforts
Person-months

Context

Sleepers in Seattle is a specialty furniture retailer based in Seattle, Washington, operating both physical and online stores. Since 1991, this family-run company has been distributing ready-to-assemble furniture and accessories nationwide.

Challenge

At one point, Sleepers in Seattle realized their legacy static website was not enough for efficient online sales. The retailer was looking to enhance it with an ecommerce web application with advanced features, addressing the most discerning online buyers’ needs. The company wanted to stand out from online competition by ensuring an unparalleled shopping experience for those in search of perfectly fitting sofa beds and accessories.

Iflexion’s team proved up for the task, and that is how we started out ecommerce development for Sleepers in Seattle.

 

Solution

To address the project goals, our team supplemented the primary .NET-based ecommerce website, Sleepersinseattle.com, with another dynamic website, Savvyhomestore.com, the two sites sharing the same back-office, database and admin area. The single back-office featured a shared product stock, order processing system, user base, and sales analytics, and was designed to optimize online sales management while facilitating back-office administrators’ operations.

Apart from the general UI optimization, Iflexion’s team also implemented the following features to provide the customer’s online buyers with a more personalized, convenient and enjoyable shopping experience:

  • Design center. The highlight of the project, this is the website area where buyers can customize their selected sofas by applying various colors and upholsteries. This online sofa customization was implemented through 3D image rendering and custom-built libraries. The scripts render 3D MAX sofa images that are subsequently uploaded to the server and retrieved to be ‘covered’ with the color/upholstery selected by the shopper.
  • Advanced catalog search. The Quick Search feature enables prompt search by product or feature, while Furniture Finder allows customers to sort the list of selected items by several criteria (price range, brand, dimensions, product category, etc.) at a time.
  • Parallel shopping and shared cart. The custom-built Shared Cart provides an opportunity to shop across the two websites simultaneously, putting selected items into one consolidated order. 
  • Shopping on the go. Both websites are optimized for mobile devices. We carried out cross-device compatibility and usability testing to determine what needed to be changed to ensure the ultimate shopping convenience for mobile users of the Sleepersinseattle.com or Savvyhomestore.com stores.
  • Admin area. Administrators can manage homepage widgets, process and track orders, manage the product catalog and customer accounts, as well as launch and track marketing campaigns. Extensive data analytics features allow the admins to track statistics and create reports for the two websites via a single admin interface with easy-to-use dashboards. 
  • The order notification system. When a customer places an online order, the administrator receives an email notification. As soon as the admin processes the order, the customer receives a notification about the order being shipped.
  • Payment integrations and security. To make payment processing easy for end customers, our team integrated the ecommerce websites with PayPal and Authorize.Net. To ensure security of customers’ financial data, our developers implemented SSL certification and Secure Checkout that don’t require storing credit card information.

Development Process

Iflexion was engaged in the project as a sole technology partner at all stages of ecommerce platform development.

At the project initiation stage, the customer provided detailed requirements, which were extended with new ideas as the development was unfolding. Our role in eliciting project requirements included proactive analysis for any inconsistencies that could compromise the system’s flexibility and proposing more viable alternatives when needed.

For example, we suggested moving the legacy ASP.NET Web Forms-based solution to ASP.NET MVC, as the former was increasingly difficult to scale when extended with the new store deployed. The system’s grids, controllers and listings were refactored, while the interactive admin panel UI was left unaltered as requested by the customer, who wanted to preserve the look and feel they got used to. 

Results

In a matter of 8 months, Sleepers in Seattle got a full-featured, easily scalable ecommerce solution consisting of their legacy yet refactored website and a completely new online store with a shared back-office and shopping cart. 

Once launched, the delivered websites started bringing tremendous profit. Implementation of the scalable ecommerce platform enabled Sleepers in Seattle to reach out to even wider audiences and increase sales volumes through decreasing the effort required for administrating the two websites. The streamlined UI and back-office operations also facilitated and drastically improved the online shopping experience, earning the retailer 14,500 new registered customers in the first year after the launch.

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