Avery’s Floor Mats, a custom floor mat maker and distributor, has been around since 1982 at the beginning of the customizable floor mat industry. Its ecommerce website, www.averysfloormats.com, provides online product customization and purchasing capabilities.
The Avery’s Floor Mats ecommerce website development project was brought to us by a partner graphic design agency with whom we frequently collaborate on projects. Their designers had created all the graphics and laid out the website’s user interface, but they needed some technical help getting the site to work the way it needed to. This is a common course of business in the web industry, and we at Blayzer are always happy to play well with others, especially when it results in a final product that the client absolutely loves.
The reason this project needed our development expertise is because it’s far from a simple build. Avery’s needed architecture from the ground up. The extensive database includes over 25,000 products. On top of that, the site has a highly customized ecommerce shopping functionality complete with dependent options and personalization capabilities. Done improperly, this kind of database and customizations can bog down user experience and website performance.
If that wasn’t complex enough, Avery’s Floor Mats wanted to incorporate multi-site functionality, which allows multiple online stores to draw from a single product database. This fits their distribution chain business model by allowing its partners to have a website with their own branding and web domain, but pull their product information and ordering functionality directly from Avery’s centralized database.
All together, these features add up to a website build that exceeds the expertise of a typical design shop and is more suited to a technically skilled team like Blayzer for development.
Choosing an Ecommerce Solution
Upon reviewing our partner’s new website design and additional requirements via a rough UI prototype, Blayzer’s development team recommended OpenCart for Avery’s website build. OpenCart is a free and open source PHP-based online store management system. We selected OpenCart because it provided all of the mission-critical features and functionality Avery’s needed, without being quite as complex as market leader Magento (another of Blayzer’s preferred ecommerce platforms).
Customizing the Shopping Cart
Once we got OpenCart installed, customized the look to match our partner’s design, and formatted and imported Avery’s sizeable product database, our dev team set its sights on creating a custom floor mat finder/builder system to help users create and buy the floor mats of their dreams. Here’s how it works:
1. When a user clicks on the type of floor mat they are looking for – Touring, Grand Touring, Select Touring, or Luxury Touring – they are presented with a pop-up modal that asks for their vehicle year, make, and model.
2. The options within each drop down menu vary depending on the previous menu’s selections. For example, if you select 2005 as your year, you will see only a list of Makes that were available in 2005. Once you select your make, then the Model options change to reflect only models by the selected maker. This use of dependent options helps to streamline the user experience and make it faster and easier to make the correct selections.
3. Once you’ve selected your year, make and model, you are presented with images and links to the product page of all matching floor mat options for your particular vehicle.
4. Once the correct floor mats are selected the customization and personalization doesn’t end there. Within the product page is an advanced customization system that allows users to tailor their floor mats to fit their personal preferences, such as mat color, embroidery type, thread color, heel pads, edging, and more. These options are once again set to be dependent as you move through the process from top to bottom.
5. Once all options are selected, the user can then add their customized floor mats to their shopping cart and check out online.
This customization and ordering process was the most complex part of our ecommerce development project for Avery’s Floor Mats.
Optimizing Site Performance
Now, if you are wondering how such a large database of products and options, plus a complex dependency-based ordering system impacts site speed, the answer is heavily. Without proper configuration and hosting, a complex ordering solution like this could easily bring a website to a tedious crawl. We overcame this challenge for Avery’s by implementing a higher end hosting package with full page caching for lightning fast load times. By using a page warmer program to initiate caching, we were able to make pages load 10x faster – from 10 seconds to 1 second. This puts Avery’s Floor Mats well within the recommended < 3 seconds page load window for an optimized user experience.
Based on our analysis and discovery process, plus input from our design partner, Blayzer provided following integrated solutions and services for Avery’s Floor Mats.
- Online strategy review & needs analysis
- E-commerce platform recommendations
- Product finder & customization process development
- Updated product database structure and organization
- Brand new OpenCart web store installation
- Multi-site functionality for distribution partners
- Custom mobile-friendly design into OpenCart
- Responsive web development for easy browsing & checkout on any device (desktop, laptop, tablet, smartphone)
- 25,000+ product database import
- Programmed custom product finder & personalization system with dependent options
- Full page caching and page warmer program
- User training & support
- Advanced website hosting via our Virtual Private Cloud platform
Avery’s Floor Mats has achieved the following results from working with Blayzer for their website development needs.
- Fresh, modern ecommerce website with custom design
- Flexible ecommerce solution for easy updating
- Mobile-friendly responsive website
- Custom personalization & ordering functionality
- 10x faster page loading — down from 10 seconds to only 1 second
- Advanced hosting via our Virtual Private Cloud platform