Outdoor Designer Store built on nopCommerce platform successfully works since 2015. It allows landscape designers to manage their jobs, collaborate with the clients, contact their suppliers, and share ideas. The customers can hire a professional to make the work done.
nopCommerce solution partner, CoSource company, tells about the working process on this project.
In 2014, the future founder of the Outdoor Designer Store Nick Hadji hired a landscaping company to design his outdoor area. In order to style an outdoor setting, a landscaper would typically need to order off multiple suppliers (pots, furniture, heating, etc). The current workflow was a very cumbersome, and error-prone process for the following reasons:
- Tracking what customers liked and disliked across multiple websites
- Paying multiple suppliers
- Co-ordinating deliveries from multiple suppliers
Late 2015 Nick Hadji approached CoSource, to build a platform to solve these challenges. Thus the Outdoor Designer Store (ODS) was born.
In developing ODS, CoSource faced a number of key challenges:
- Designers should be able to upload and sell their products via the platform
- Moodboard feature to allow designers to share products and ideas with potential customers
- The ordering workflow a lot different from the normal eCommerce process flow
- Payments should be split between multiple parties (suppliers/designers/ODS)
- Suppliers Dashboard needed to confirm stock and process orders
- Reverse Worksheets to allow designers to host a page on their website
CoSource used nopCommerce as the framework to build the solution on top of as it offered the following benefits:
- nopCommerce architecture follows well-known software patterns and best security practices
- Pluggable architecture made it easy to develop custom functionality
- Supports multi-vendors, which allows having multiple suppliers without a lot of custom coding
The three main users of the platform are designers (landscapers), suppliers and customers.
To solve these challenges, several existing plugins were used, but the core of the application was implemented with custom plugins and event listeners created by CoSource to enhance and adapt the nopCommerce functionality to meet the needs.
In order to have products on the platform, there was developed the CoSource.Nop.UniversalImporter plugin to import items from a variety of product data feeds.
Designers needed to update their profile, upload their own products and sell them via the platform, manage their orders (event listeners), customers and worksheet history, payments and commissions (so appeared Ods.Nop.LandscaperBrandDiscount plugin).
Designers and clients also needed a space to show their ideas for an outdoor area (Ods.Nop.Core plugin)
Different users of the platform require different implementations and views during the project lifecycle:
- Designers (landscapers) in charge of planning and design several projects
- Suppliers with their own dashboard, stock management and payments (Ods.Nop.Core / Ods.Nop.Payments.Bpoint)
- Customers with their own space to express their ideas for their outdoor area and keep track of the project (Ods.Nop.Core)
The designers’ portal allows the designers to do the following:
- Update their profile
- View their orders, customers, and worksheet history
- Upload their own products and sell them via the platform
- List other recommended products from other websites
- Upload images (create an image library) to use on the moodboard
The moodboard function allows designers to share product and styling ideas with potential customers. Any products that are used on the mood-board can automatically be imported into the worksheet.
The customer journey
The journey starts with a designer creating a worksheet, which represents a job, for a customer.
The designer firstly would create a curated list of products for the customer to review. The customer would then login into the system, and would review the products marking them as either approved, undecided, or don't like.
This process would go back and forth between the customer and designer until a final list of products was approved.
Once the worksheet has been finalized, the customer would pay for the products. The challenge here was the products were from multiple suppliers, who not only had different rates of commission for the designers and ODS, but also different levels of commission by product category.
The suppliers’ dashboard was developed to allow suppliers to confirm stock, and process orders. The centralized view allows them to keep on top of all the orders placed by customers and designers.
Reverse worksheets allow designers to host a page on their website, to grant their customers access to the Outdoor Designer Store. The advantage for the designer is that it gives them the ability to earn passive income, as they receive a commission for each order a customer places.
By today the platform has over 300 registered users on the system and has been featured in several magazines, press releases, and industry events. Because of its flexible architecture nopCommerce allowed to continuously build new features into the platform while having the foundation to scale to meet future demand.
Established in 2005, CoSource has a wealth of experience creating custom eCommerce solutions, ranging from small business websites to complex eCommerce applications that integrate into third-party systems.