Hale Mercantile are merchants of luxury linen bedding. Their linen ware is lavished in culture, tradition, pride and centuries of craftsmanship.
Our first experience of working with Hale Mercantile was to take over the day-to-day management of their website. The site had been built by a previous developer on a WordPress + WooCommerce platform.
The site looked great, but the WordPress core code had been customised, which meant that when it came time to update plugins, a cascade of problems ensued, leaving some plugin updates untouched out of fear that the site would break.
This made for a slow-to-load, hard-to-update, and unstable website; one that did no justice to the premium bed linen products available for purchase through the site. The owners found it increasingly hard to manage their products or use the ecommerce website to its full potential. After a year of frustration and trying to fix existing problems, the owners of Hale Mercantile made the leap and decided to invest in a major upgrade of the website shopping cart.
We were thrilled at the prospect of transitioning from simply managing plugin updates and fixing any resulting errors, to working with Hale to enhance and improve the site so that the owners could focus their time and budget on their marketing and sales activities.
Right from the very start, it was decided that the blog should remain in WordPress as it really is one of the most versatile and reliable blogging platforms.
For the rest of the site, a challenging part of the rebuild was designing a more elegant database schema in Laravel PHP - our coding weapon of choice. We needed a database structure that could handle all of the product attributes and taxonomies, including tricky items such as international regions and sizing. We then worked to export all of the products from WordPress into the new custom-built shopping cart. This all had to be achieved while matching functionality of the existing site.
The transformation of the site was carried out in a pretty tight 2 to 3-month timeframe. It was built and tested in a parallel environment to the live site, with absolutely no interruption in website sales or inconvenience to customers.
The look and feel of the finished site matches the design of the previous site, which the owners loved. Testament to the fact that you don’t necessarily have to rehaul your entire site if you don’t want or need to.
Products in the new shopping cart are laid out in a way that makes it easy for the owners to manage a large number of products via the admin area, including making bulk updates to product availability and pricing.
A key improvement is a significantly quicker page load speed, which is an important factor for improving website SEO. Another SEO win was working with an SEO specialist to match old links to new so that Hale Mercantile Co could maintain their site rankings, which were good to begin with.
We are so happy that we have achieved what we set out to do - deliver a powerful tool for the website owners to manage their business online. Hale Mercantile is thrilled that they can now easily manage their inventory and spend more time marketing their products without having to depend on a developer to make day-to-day updates out of fear of breaking their site. We’re now looking forward to working with Hale Mercantile on a roadmap of new and exciting enhancements for their website.
In a nutshell? The owner was frustrated with the old site, delighted with the new site, and is now excited about their future sales.
Is your ecommerce website getting too hard to manage? Speak to Digital Bridge! We specialise in building sophisticated yet easy-to-manage shopping carts to help your online sales flourish. Come visit us in sunny Fitzroy, Melbourne.