Discover how a successful re-platforming effort elevated an eCommerce website and business on various fronts, leading to improved customer experiences, enhanced website stability, streamlined operations, and exceptional platform expertise.
Tailored integration enables possiblies for new growth and business expansion
Peruvian Link's new integration into QuickBooks Desktop (QBD) syncs product and sales data in near real-time -- eliminating catalog and order discrepancies, resulting in efficient company operations and elevated B2B customer experience.
Peruvian Link offers its wholesale customers the ability to restock retail inventory on-demand by processing large volumes of orders on a daily basis. Maintaining accurate catalog inventory and price data is key to the success of their vendors and retailers worldwide. Peruvian Link turned to X2Y to help them quickly and accurately sync critical data between their e-commerce website, internal accounting, and product management software QuickBooks Desktop (QBD).
Founded in 2001, Peruvian Link continues to serve several hundred wholesale customers across the United States, Canada, Asia, Europe, and Australia. Among their clientele are numerous famous and well-known successful catalog companies. Even after two decades, Peruvian Link's mission remains unchanged: to help artisans gain recognition for their talent and abilities and to provide a platform for their economic development.
As with any new project X2Y, we first needed to understand the business and the people behind it. Initially Peruvian Link had two requests: fix immediate UX issues and resolve issues with inconsistent product inventory and pricing. We began by performing an internal audit on the state of the application to determine how the store is configured, what dependencies exist, and our course of action.
The inception of this journey stemmed from discrepancies in product inventory and pricing, which led to customer dissatisfaction and operational disruptions. In our pursuit of answers, we unveiled the middleware service Webgility, which served as the bridge between Peruvian Link's accounting and product management software and Magento. This intermediary, though functional, relied on scheduled batch processes, falling short of real-time synchronization.
Master of Records
With a deeper understanding of the process, we proposed a direct integration between Magento and Peruvian Link's software, starting with an existing module as a foundation.
In the quest to optimize the integration between QuickBooks Desktop (QBD) and Magento, we embarked on a multifaceted journey to address critical shortcomings and streamline operations. Initially, our investigation revealed that the existing Magenest module was limited to syncing inventory and price data from Magento to QBD, lacking the capability to perform the reverse sync. Our overarching goal was to establish QBD as the master record for all Magento product data, a strategic shift that would have profound implications. To achieve this, we meticulously planned a phased approach:
Inventory and Price
Our immediate objective was to enable the synchronization of product prices and inventory levels from QBD to Magento, ensuring that Magento accurately reflects data maintained in QBD.
This extension of the integration facilitated the seamless management of product availability between QBD and Magento.
Product Name and Description
Pending discussion with Peruvian Link, we sought to synchronize product names and descriptions from QBD to Magento, enriching product content within the Magento environment.
Shell Product Creation
Another subject of discussion with Peruvian Link, this feature aimed to automatically generate shell products in Magento from QBD data, eliminating manual product creation.
Our modifications allowed for near real-time synchronization of price, inventory, and product data. Notably, this overhaul significantly reduced the time required for catalog updates and automated the creation of new products in Magento when introduced in QBD.
During our meticulous examination of the order workflow, we honed in on ShipStation as a pivotal component. In response to identified inefficiencies, we fine-tuned the configuration within ShipStation. This strategic adjustment now enables seamless synchronization of shipments back to Magento. As a result, Magento takes charge of updating order statuses and dispatching transactional shipment notifications, complete with tracking information. This optimization empowers Peruvian Link to streamline its fulfillment operations while ensuring that customers receive timely and accurate notifications about their orders, enhancing the overall customer experience.
Efficiency and speed are paramount for wholesale customers who rely on swift, large-quantity orders to replenish their inventory. To minimize friction in the ordering process, X2Y recognized the need for a Quick Order feature. We seamlessly integrated, extended, and configured this feature to empower customers to rapidly assemble their carts. The results were impressive: improved customer satisfaction, significantly reduced cart-building time, and a notable increase in order flow. This enhancement not only boosts operational efficiency but also contributes to an overall rise in Average Order Value (AOV) and conversion rates, underscoring the significance of optimizing the wholesale ordering experience.
The consolidation of Alpakari.co and Peruvian Link under one unified brand and domain represents a strategic move that promises significant business advantages. By migrating the B2C segment to the Magento platform within the Peruvian Link umbrella, a host of opportunities emerge. This integration facilitates the seamless sharing of customers, products, content, features, and integrations between the B2B and B2C websites, promoting a more cohesive and efficient online presence. In the initial phase, we will address domain changes, transitioning the B2B wholesale website to either wholesale.peruvianlink.com or peruvianlinkwholesale.com (TBD), while updating the B2C domain to peruvianlink.com. Notably, this transition does not alter the underlying platform for the B2C website but focuses on domain consolidation. Our comprehensive requirements checklist includes a thorough review of the WooCommerce codebase, third-party service compatibility checks, DNS management with CloudFlare, meticulous sitemap and URL rewrite planning for SEO preservation, brand alignment through logo updates, and seamless navigation enhancements such as 'Wholesale Login' links. This process culminates in a scheduled maintenance window for the seamless transition. The result is a unified online presence where alpakari.co seamlessly transforms into peruvianlink.com for B2C, and peruvianlink.com becomes the gateway to wholesale.peruvianlink.com or peruvianlinkwholesale.com for B2B, strengthening brand consistency, customer engagement, and operational efficiency.
In the dynamic world of e-commerce, the decision to upgrade Magento is a strategic imperative that holds the power to reshape online businesses. This process, while often daunting, holds substantial rewards. Magento upgrades entail a transition from older iterations to newer versions, designed to harness the latest in cutting-edge features, fortified security measures, and elevated performance benchmarks. The imperative behind this undertaking is multifaceted, with a primary focus on maintaining a fortified and contemporary online storefront. By routinely updating their Magento instance, businesses fortify their defenses against emerging vulnerabilities, ensuring a resilient shield against potential threats. This proactive approach is essential for sustained competitiveness in the ever-evolving e-commerce arena.
However, it's essential to acknowledge the complexity inherent in Magento upgrades. They demand meticulous planning and execution, given the potential entanglement of customizations, extensions, and the need for seamless data migration. Yet, when executed with precision, a Magento upgrade is more than a technical feat—it is a strategic investment. The dividends manifest as heightened website performance, a superlative user experience, and, ultimately, elevated customer satisfaction and increased sales. In essence, a Magento upgrade is the cornerstone of maintaining not just a secure online presence but a thriving, customer-centric e-commerce enterprise.
The decision to migrate from Nexcess hosting to a self-managed AWS (Amazon Web Services) infrastructure is a transformative step with compelling business and technical implications. Firstly, this move empowers businesses with an unparalleled degree of control and flexibility over their hosting environment. With the ability to customize configurations to align with precise performance and security requirements, companies can tailor their infrastructure to suit their unique needs, ensuring optimal performance and data protection.
Cost-effectiveness is another key advantage, as AWS's pay-as-you-go pricing model allows businesses to efficiently allocate resources, scaling up or down as demand fluctuates, thereby avoiding unnecessary overhead costs. AWS's extensive suite of services and tools further enriches this migration, offering robust solutions for optimizing website performance, enhancing scalability, and ensuring high availability, culminating in a significantly enhanced user experience.
Moreover, the move to AWS bestows access to advanced security features and comprehensive compliance options. This heightened security posture not only fortifies data protection but also mitigates potential vulnerabilities, assuring both businesses and their customers of a safer online environment. In sum, the transition to AWS stands as a strategic pivot that empowers businesses with the requisite infrastructure and tools to bolster efficiency, security, and cost-effectiveness within their online presence.
Peruvian Link's journey towards tailored integration has yielded transformative outcomes, setting the stage for new growth and expanded business horizons. By seamlessly integrating QuickBooks Desktop (QBD) into their operations, Peruvian Link has witnessed a remarkable evolution in their business processes. The elimination of catalog and order discrepancies, facilitated by near real-time data synchronization, has ushered in a new era of efficiency and precision. Wholesale customers can now restock their retail inventory on-demand, confident in the accuracy of catalog inventory and pricing data. The brand's commitment to supporting artisans and fostering economic development remains unwavering as they embrace these improvements. This strategic partnership with X2Y has not only streamlined operations but also elevated the B2B customer experience, cementing Peruvian Link's position as a leader in the wholesale market, serving customers across the globe with enhanced efficiency and precision.
First order of business is to move away from the 3rd party website theme that was installed before X2Y's time. The 3rd party theme is no longer maintained by the original developer. It's working okay on Magento 2.4.6, but it is a liability. Since the theme is no longer maintained, it's not worth spending time trying to implement new features as that creates more technical debt. Instead, while we still have some time before Magento 2.5 We'd like to propose a redesign for Peruvian Link Wholesale.
The redesign will be implemented using native Magento functions which will remain compatible for as long as Magento 2 exists -- and since Adobe acquired Magento back in 2018, Magento is going to be around for a very long time.
Before any code is implemented, during Q4 we will be creating a design based on everything we've learned through analytical data that we have available which enables me to make strategic decisions when incorporating design elements to optimize customer experience for conversions which ultimately drives revenue.
The design will incorporate the following:
Mobile First, Response Design
The customer base is 44% mobile, 3% tablet, 53% desktop, and mobile only going to continue to grow over the years. We want to ensure that the mobile customer experience is optimized and pristine which will automatically apply to tablet and desktop.
Search critical in making sure customers find the right wholesale products quickly. Incorporating modern search will vastly improve the customer experience and will give Peruvian Link team very valuable data to make better merchandising and sale decisions, as well as the ability to better control search results.
Navigation & Category Taxonomy
Improve Navigation (category taxonomy), and Product Filtering, Product Sort Order, and Product Merchandising based on historic sales data and user shopping patterns.
Strategic placement of Recently Viewed products will allow customers to see which products they've viewed as they browse the catalog, this way if they don't find exactly what they are looking for they can fallback on their recently viewed product list.
In addition to having customers enter their email and password, we'll enable a Magic Link, the customer will have an option to login traditionally with email and password or just provide their email, receive a link on the provided email, click on the link and will be logged in making the sign in process easier, ultimately reducing friction to checkout. In addition, customers should not navigate away from the product detail pages when they click "Login to View Price", login should be a modal / pop up, and when the customer logs in, they remain on whatever page they were on before they signed in -- this will reduce user clicks and make sure customers don't get lost when they are navigating the catalog.
Minicart / Cart Improvements
Enable customers to save products for later and make sure customers are able to see all important data about the product at a glance.
Notify When In-Stock
Enable customers to sign-up for email notifications when products come back to stock. This will allow you to see what customers want and make better order decisions to fullfil their product needs.
Use discontinued products to retain SEO, and upsell customers on newer products.
Abandoned Cart Recovery Campaign
Include a strategic email recovery campaign, that will run automatically to attempt to recoup some of these abandoned carts instead of team having to do this manually.
Enable customers to create "Product Lists" that can be quickly converted to a cart for checkout. This will enable a couple things: 1. engage customers for longer time on Peruvian Link Wholesale and have them be more invested into purchasing. 2. it will allow your customers to plan ahead and give you further insights into what customers want.
Using customers' previous order data, expose a list of all the products that they have previously purchased in "My Account" section and allow the customers to quickly add those products to cart for re-order.
There are 3K products in customers' wishlists, there is opportunity to analyze the data to understand why there are so many products in wishlists and have those customers convert their wishlists into orders.
Simplify and Improve Checkout
Implement a single page checkout, the less clicks the user makes, the more effective and likely visitors are to checkout. The checkout page needs to be clean without any distractions. If possible, enable modern payment methods such as PayPal, Google Pay, Apple Pay (to be discussed), perhaps allow wholesale customers to Buy Now Pay Later.
All planned items compound to improve customer experience, which improve the bottom of customer experience and conversion throughout. Perhaps the roadmap will be something like (TBD):
Feature Implementation + Website Improvements
Platform Update, Feature Implementation + Website Improvements
Regression Testing, Preparation for Q4
Code Freeze, Monitoring, and Planning For Next Year
Peruvian Link's strategic integration with QuickBooks Desktop (QBD) has led to a transformative shift in their operations, enabling new avenues for growth and business expansion. This integration, offering near real-time synchronization of product and sales data, has effectively resolved catalog and order discrepancies, resulting in highly efficient company operations and an elevated B2B customer experience. Peruvian Link, serving a diverse clientele of wholesale customers globally, maintains its unwavering commitment to artisans' economic development while streamlining its operations. The partnership with X2Y has not only addressed critical shortcomings but also positioned Peruvian Link as a leader in the wholesale market, offering enhanced efficiency and precision to customers worldwide. Looking ahead, Peruvian Link plans to implement a redesign, focusing on mobile-first design, improved search functionality, navigation, customer login, and a host of features to enhance the overall customer experience and drive revenue growth in the future.
Infrastructure & Hosting
User Experience & Design (UX/UI)
Support & Maintenance
Near Real-Time Data Syncing
Efficient Product Fulfillment
Customer Experience Optimization
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We had an interesting challenge on our hands; our teams didn't have much to go off on -- a static legacy website, and a PDF document used to publish a paper catalogue to distribute to vendors and customers. Convectronics was an old-school business, customers would read the paper catalogue, pencil in the specifications, and call up Convectronics to place their order. As you can imagine, not a scalable process.
The recent incorporation of Peruvian Ink into QuickBooks Desktop (QBD) ensures the real-time synchronization of product and sales data. This eliminates discrepancies in catalogs and orders, ultimately enhancing company operations and elevating the B2B customer experience.