The Tile Shop desired an enhanced shopping experience for their customers with a vision for a new eCommerce website.
Growth at The Tile Shop (TTS) meant it was time to upgrade both their internal systems and their digital marketing assets to streamline the business, expand brand awareness, and enhance the shopping experience for all their customers. A central tenant of this strategy was a complete redesign and re-platforming of their website.
The Tile Shop’s original website didn’t have the full ecommerce functionality necessary to support their nationwide operations. Most importantly, it didn’t integrate with their new ERP system, SAP. That meant it couldn’t do things like automatically update inventory levels or make location-based recommendations to customers.
The old site also had a number of performance issues and lacked scalability. The Tile Shop's vision for the project was to build a beautiful website on a modern platform with advanced marketing features and robust integration with their ERP system. The Tile Shop's leadership team engaged Emergent Software early on in the project so that Emergent could assist them with selecting the best available technology for their needs.
Sitecore was the ideal CMS to host the website The Tile Shop was looking for.
After assessing The Tile Shop's goals and long-term strategy around the website re-build, Emergent Software recommended a package consisting of Sitecore XP Version 8 for the Content Management System (CMS), Azure Cloud Services for hybrid cloud hosting, and WECO eCommerce for the website's cart functionality and SAP integration.
Of course, a project of this magnitude had to have a strict deadline, right? Most Sitecore builds like this one take 12-18 months. In order to deliver the website together with their SAP implementation, the website needed to be launched in just six months! With a solid technology stack to work with and the deadline in place, Emergent Software wasted no time getting started. This was the perfect challenge for Emergent's agile development processes, where the focus of any project starts with building the foundational components of a solution and then adding key functionality on top of the foundation frequently until the client is ready to launch the system.
Emergent Software worked with The Tile Shop's talented design team to refresh the look and feel of the website in a way that was feasible given the time constraints of the project. They tailor-built a hybrid cloud-based hosting package using Microsoft Azure that was sized perfectly to handle the website's traffic and integration needs.
New features for a seamless experience.
Emergent Software implemented a number of advanced features to make content management a breeze and trained The Tile Shop's team on how to use the CMS effectively. Workflows were added to ensure a proper content governance process was being followed, and Emergent brought in Sitecore's Experience Accelerator team to train The Tile Shop on key advanced marketing features now available to them. Emergent Software also built custom integrations to seamlessly pass information between SAP and the website as well as to tie into new and existing marketing tools.
Some of the work the Emergent team did for the Tile Shop included:
- Synchronizing store location and the product catalog data from SAP into Sitecore.
- Building a highly performant, faceted product search engine utilizing Solr.
- Incorporating dealer-specific pricing from SAP.
- Integrating with Azure Experience Manager for product images.
- Building out a complex infrastructure setup for using Sitecore and SolrCloud in Azure and integrating with on-premises SAP.
- Creating a custom shopping cart functionality integrating with WECO eCommerce.
- Enabling content editing with the Sitecore Experience Editor (WYSIWYG).
A beautiful new site with an efficient turnaround.
The result of the team's work was a new website with a refreshed and consistent design, seamless integrations, advanced marketing capabilities, easy-to-manage-content, and this was all done in six months!
Continuous development and a long-term partnership.
Emergent continues to work with The Tile Shop on a daily basis adding cool new features to the website to further establish it as the central hub for The Tile Shop's contractor partners, designers, and customers to collaborate on projects of all sizes.
For example, we’ve refreshed many individual site pages to support business initiatives. We improved product pages, navigation, and reworked the cart page to provide a better experience. Most recently, we implemented sitewide personalized search using Sitecore Discover.
We plan to keep working with The Tile Shop to maintain and improve their website under our continuous development model for years to come.