UPVC Maintenance Supplies

Integrating a pre-existing stock system into an updated bespoke ecommerce website

The Brief

UPVC Maintenance Supplies were looking to integrate a pre-existing stock control system into an updated website to manage their sales levels for three trade stores across the north of England. They needed a bespoke-designed ecommerce to carry out this integration, with all of the stock, products, and attributes being pulled from that system into the website.

What we did

The design of this ecommerce site came from the logo design, as we had no other assets to work from. Our Lead Designer, Rob, expanded UPVC’s branding to provide more scope for the website. From their existing colour palette of two shades of red, black and white, he introduced shades of grey to the palette and semi-transparent boxes to the styling, and turned the frame in the logo into more of a feature.

To improve the user journey from their existing site, Rob prioritised simplifying it, providing users with a more direct route to find what they need, and quickly. His aim was to provide two routes in – search route and grid, to serve the two visitor types – those who know exactly what they’re looking for, and the other users who are browsing and filtering. For the second group, he provided an intuitive gateway to the products, with three main sections (door hardware, window hardware and patio doors) - everything else is secondary.

He is proud of how the large amount of information in the header has been divided, so it doesn’t overwhelm the visitor, and he was aiming for consistency in the appearance of elements like the breadcrumbs, which are in the same style as menu. We also wanted to make the “send us a photo” more of a site feature – this was a little-publicised section of the previous site incarnation, whereby users can ask for help in identifying parts by sending in photos. The new form has proved fairly popular already!

This website used three integrating systems on the back end, Real Business Applications (RBA), which was their pre-existing stock management system; Magento for the retail side of the site; and WordPress for the updateable blog area. All orders placed in Magento are passed back through the RBA system to reduce the stock levels accordingly.

UPVC requested an on-site trade application form, and trade accounts set up as a customer group in the admin area, allowing that segmented group access to the trade prices.

Other features include:

The Future

We’re providing ongoing support and maintenance for UPVC Maintenance and are keeping the site secure. We’re currently investigating hooking Google Shopping up to their products, to provide another route to market.