Hawthorn Handmade Wholesale
With the international wholesale side of their business expanding rapidly and a large European trade show fast approaching, UK based Hawthorn Handmade realised they'd outgrown their existing B2B site. Knowing they needed greater multi-region support, but unclear which platform to move to they asked me to investigate their options.
B2B wholesaler of contemporary craft kits and supplies.
- B2B E-Commerce – Designed to sell Hawthorn Handmade’s craft kits and supplies directly to retailers.
- Responsive Design – Leveraging a modern theme to realise a responsive site suitable for screen sizes from mobile to desktop.
- Plugin Integration – Harnessing the power of 3rd party WordPress plugins.
- Customer Accounts – Wholesale customer accounts grouped by region.
- Multi-Currency Price Lists – Wholesale price lists, independently set per region and presented to customers in their appropriate currency and with relevant taxes.
- HTTPS Security – Secured by SSL and HTTPS to provide customer confidence and improve SEO.
- Hosting Service – A hosted WordPress solution.
- Aftercare – Comprehensive support, continued site maintenance and future enhancements.
Hawthorn Handmade required a B2B wholesale site with true multi-currency support. Although anyone would be allowed to visit the store and view products, prices and certain functionality such as the ability to add to cart or checkout should only be available to retailers once they had logged in.
Details of retailers who historically had an account with Hawthorn Handmade would need to be imported into the new store. New retailers should be able to apply for an account via a sign up page.
Unlike their existing wholesale platform, the new store must allow Hawthorn Handmade to configure product prices, VAT rules, banded shipping rates and minimum order value or product quantities based on a retailer’s location. Importantly, prices should be set in the retailer’s local currency rather than relying on converted values from a base price.
Payment should be possible using PayPal or by bank transfer where a retailer can agree to pay later and still checkout.
Much of the design phase of this project was dedicated to selecting an E-Commerce platform that would meet Hawthorn Handmade’s requirements. Shopify Plus, Magento, WooCommerce, TradeGecko, B2B Wave, BigCommerce, 3dcart and Unleashed were all considered. None supported all of the required features out of the box so the final decision had to be a balance between whether they could be extended with 3rd party plugins and custom code and the associated time and cost in doing so.
In terms of the site’s look and feel, other than matching their company branding Hawthorn Handmade gave me free rein to design the site as I saw fit. As a B2B rather than D2C store I tried to keep the design clean, simple and functional.
One feature that Hawthorn Handmade wanted to keep from their existing wholesale store was the ability to change product quantities and add them to the cart from a collection page, allowing a whole order to be built with minimal navigation rather than forcing customers to visit individual products.
The new store’s design was implemented using the Divi Theme. Actually more of a WordPress and WooCommerce visual builder than a theme, Divi gave me the freedom to create a clean, simple and fully responsive store while still matching the company’s branding.
At the time of implementation (I believe this has since changed) Divi’s Shop module didn’t support changing product quantities and adding them to the cart from a collection page. To resolve this I used a mixture of custom HTML, CSS and PHP to extend the default layout and behaviour.
This project didn’t end once I’d completed the implementation. To ensure the launch of Hawthorn Handmade’s new store went as smoothly as possible I assisted with the configuration of their wholesale product price lists, VAT rules, banded shipping rates, minimum order values, customer groups and the importing of their existing retail customers.
I have continued to work with Hawthorn Handmade following the launch of their wholesale website offering support and implementing additional enhancements as required.