Creating an E-Commerce Infrastructure setup for a Restaurant Equipment Supplier

Creating an E-Commerce Infrastructure setup for a Restaurant Equipment Supplier

the background

Stanford Sonoma, a major player in the Commercial Restaurant Supplies Industry, was looking to expand the scope of their operations by digitising their offerings and foraying into the E-commerce sector.

services provided

  • Digital Strategy
  • Responsive Design
  • Visual Design

the challenge

Their thought process behind this move was to reach a larger geography, improve their Turnaround Time (TAT), and consequently boost their sales revenue.

The biggest challenge they faced was that they had no pre-existing digital infrastructure and relied primarily on a very traditional approach to sales, viz. Salesman to Client. Another roadblock that they wanted to mend was the complicated shipment process, which would sometimes lead to extended delivery periods.

Though they wanted to go digital, the one aspect that they wanted to protect was their habit of developing personal relationships with their clients. Something that they felt was a huge competitive advantage for them.

the approach

Since Stanford had a very specific market to cater to, we had to be conscious of the fact that the e-commerce platform we built for them could not be similar to regular e-commerce websites. Because the market was niche, the website and the experience of interacting with the website had to reflect that thought process of catering to a very specific market.

Our in-house tech team employed a tech stack comprising tools such as

  • PHP, which is a widely-used programming language, 
  • Opencart, an online store management system based on PHP
  • JQuery, a JavaScript Library
  • MYSQL, an open-source database management system

We built them an extensive multi-page website that had all the price and product-related information of their entire catalogue. Keeping in mind their focus on maintaining a personal touch, we added an option where a customer could request a product quote with the best price that Stanford was willing to offer. Also, given that shipment was an area of concern, we devised an in-house plan to enable Stanford to cut down on shipment costs and also expedite the delivery time to Restaurants.

As the entire layout of the home page was driven by a CMS, our client had complete control over the placement of products on the page. This helped them keep the website dynamic by, for instance, increasing the visibility of a product that was popular among customers by allocating a larger space to that product on the home page.

A CMS also allowed our clients to change the look and feel of the website as they liked. They wanted to be able to modify certain elements of the website during different seasons. 

Lastly, after making the website go live in less than two months, we executed an SEO strategy by listing the products in Google’s database to increase their visibility on relevant keywords on the SERP (Search Engine Results Page). This helped us expose them to a larger geography of potential customers, as they had wanted.

our observations

We observed that by listing the products in a structured and easy-to-locate manner, we made it easier for website visitors to sift through Stanford’s offerings and find what they came looking for faster. 

The option to request product quotes was useful as these products are big-ticket items, and total order sizes can run into thousands of dollars. This helps the buyers get the best overall price possible.

This led to an increase in sales from both old and new customers, and gradually the time spent per visitor on the website began to increase.

Our other works