E-commerce Platform solution for a vet apparel company.
Veterinarian Apparel Company
The intuitive formats have been tried and true for thousands of establishments; ecommerce platforms, like Shopify, Wix, and BigCommerce, provide businesses with one program to handle all business operations online, in person, and on mobile. From business analytics, to pre-set design templates, and drag-and-drop product display, these platforms make it easy. Without the time, effort, and extra money put into understanding and using your business’ technology, more focus can be put on business growth and success. However, for a 35-year-old vet apparel company, these ecommerce solutions were proven too good to be true.
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WHO WE SERVED
VAC (Veterinary Apparel Company) is an apparel seller out of Battle Creek, Michigan who provides custom scrubs and uniforms upon a vet clinic's unique requests. They often work with team-specific orders that implement brand and name embroidery, color coordination among each position at the clinic, and a vast array of sizes and fits. However, much frustration was imposed when these personalized orders were incompatible with Shopify's functionality. The business approached Calder with a need for technological guidance: they wanted their e-commerce programs to not only fulfill their technological needs but also provide them long-term value. With recognition of the site's untapped potential, Calder modernized VAC by building them a custom e-commerce platform.
Value in a Custom Platform
As technology continues to advance, and systems become more complex, large enterprises have already made the switch from prebuilt frameworks to custom solutions, and the trend is slowly trickling into the middle market. There is a stigma holding back some of these middle-margin companies from custom solutions: it’s more expensive, more timely to build, more troublesome to adjust. However, not only does Shopify require payments for a license fee and a percentage of your GMV (gross metric value), they provide no flexibility in technical functionality. Long term, the prebuilt framework is more expensive then the upfront cost of custom, and the malleability of the custom technology adds more value to a business. Through abstracting processes into smaller pieces, VAC’s software is easier to handle and allows greater design personalization.
The Modular Approach
Innovation grows business. That is why technology should fit the company using it, not the other way around: the custom platform built for VAC showcases this by taking a modular approach to development. This architecture uses moving parts, like building blocks, to construct the solution. Instead of one framework controlling all aspects of design, selling/purchasing, and technological features, you have the ability to modernize the platform with future technologies by removing one outdated “block” and replacing it with an improved one.
Additionally, by using this modular approach, the company can choose how much performance they want to pay for during a specific selling season. For example, a holiday company will pay for high performance during the peak winter season, but do not need that intensity of power in other parts of the year, therefore they can reduce the amount of performance they are paying for during that time.
Technical Software Used
Two vital “blocks” used in the production of VAC’s ecommerce solution are the frameworks Stripe and Strapi. Strapi is responsible for the performance of VAC. It can handle the large amount of shop keeping units (SKU) VAC handles; gives access to the servers that hold their data; and is easy to load products into, scale, and integrate. Strapi also takes the liability off the shoulders of VAC by ensuring the safety of personal information they hold.
Stripe, accompanied with the Tailwind UI, is responsible for the payment processing of VAC. It is a headless CMS, and is very efficient at any payment processing method needed to run a business. Although it can be implemented into a Shopify solution, it is more expensive and the ability to modularize it in a custom framework allows future updates to be less tedious. Additionally, there are no costs withdrawn from each transaction with Stripe, a feature that was inflicted upon VAC with Shopify. By abstracting functionalities out of one complex system into separate building blocks, they become easier to manage and update, ensuring that the ecommerce solution is personalized and modernized.
With the guidance of Calder, the custom solution created for VAC established team ordering functionality, high performance (Lighthouse-James), implementation of a polished mobile app, smooth integration with the enterprise resource plan (ERP), a technical support relationship with Calder, and more. A business like VAC can quickly see the benefit of a custom made solution, especially if the current prebuilt solution is lacking the services and modernization they need. To read more about VAC, and see the custom site in action, visit (website url).