Les Ateliers Fromagers: Custom Shopping Cart Integration on a ProcessWire CMS SiteJanuary 12, 2017
For this case study, we interview Sylvain Puccini, an entrepreneur and full-stack developer with 16+ years of experience. Since 2000, he has designed, built, hosted and managed a wide array of web projects for clients and himself. Recently, he and his partner launched the online store for their local, mouthwatering venture: high-quality cheesemaking workshops (Les Ateliers Fromagers). Between two bites of Mozzarella di Bufala, he managed to cook up a tailored e-commerce experience using Snipcart & ProcessWire CMS. We're glad he accepted to tell us more about this right here on the blog!
Here's hoping this case study triggers your hunger for good homemade cheese, custom e-commerce, or both!
Sylvain and his partner, a cheesemaker by trade, launched Les Ateliers Fromagers about a year ago, in Montreal and Québec City. Their project, a simple idea between friends at first, has now grown into an exciting venture actively operating in both cities.
Their service provides a unique culinary experience for clients. Through the workshops, they discover the subtle craft of cheesemaking and leave with actionable knowledge to further experiment right in the comfort of their home's kitchen. Workshop attendees learn how to make mozzarella, ricotta, feta, chèvre, Camembert, and, of course, cheddar cheese curds to top Québec's renowned poutine dish. The company also offers its services for private corporate events.
Snipcart integration: Technical interview with Sylvain
Do you have experience with e-commerce in general? If so, which tools have you been using the most in your workflows? Why?
A little bit. :) I started developing e-commerce projects with osCommerce in 2002, but I have experienced a lot of other tools, mainly open source ones like PrestaShop (I’m certified), Magento, WooCommerce and other smaller ones. I have tested other solutions like Shopify, which is also a good tool, but not flexible enough for my current and future needs. As far as I know, the perfect e-commerce solution—one that could suit every project—just doesn't exist.
How would you qualify the e-commerce needs Les Ateliers Fromagers had for this project?
Flexibility was a must. Presently, we already have 3 different types of products: electronic tickets, gift certificates, and standard products with various kinds of custom fields and attributes (weight, minimum amount for order, etc.).
In the beginning, we only sold tickets for our workshops. When we got started a year ago, I decided to test our business idea and create a one-pager for our workshops that redirected visitors to Eventbrite for payments. It was the easiest way to get started very quickly and immediately validate our idea. But it came with a literal cost since Eventbrite's prices were quite high.
So our needs were to accept payments ourselves for our workshops, but also to keep a degree of flexibility and use a solution that could scale with us as we grew.
There’s a plethora of solutions and tools to handle e-commerce projects. Why use Snipcart?
The ease of integration without losing power! First, I needed to replace Eventbrite with another solution because I wanted to be more flexible and handle payments myself without having to manage potential security issues. Second, Snipcart allowed me to be ready just in time for the Holidays, which I didn't want to miss. And third, it allowed me to keep working with my beloved CMS, ProcessWire. I didn't lose any time migrating from my CMS to a complex and fully integrated e-commerce platform.
Did you integrate our e-commerce solution on top of a specific CMS? If so, how did it go? And if not, what did you use?
Yes, as mentioned above, ProcessWire as been my favorite CMS for several years now. I’m using it for all my personal projects, and I always propose it to my clients. It’s a really good tool! Be it for a one-page website or a site with tons of pages, ProcessWire works the same way and remains stable, fast and easy-to-use. Developer-centric (with a great API), and so flexible, like Snipcart. To manage my online shop, I’ve created a page template for my products and associated custom fields for Snipcart to handle, like workshop dates, places, prices, stocks, etc.
ProcessWire + Snipcart allow me to be infinitely flexible on every product page. For instance, I can create as many description tabs as I want, associated products, and so on… I can be free on every visual aspect of my frontend. I plan to develop a module for ProcessWire when I have a little bit more time, making Snipcart's integration with Processwire even easier (if that's possible :D).
Editor's note: if you're interested in learning more about e-commerce on ProcessWire, check out our technical tutorial.
Did you use Snipcart’s v2.0 or v1.0 for this e-commerce integration? How was your experience with it? How long did it take to get Snipcart up and running?
I used Snipcart's v2.0 for this integration, but I didn't modify a lot the cart's visual aspect. I just adapted some French translations to meet our needs, and a few CSS styles like colors on buttons and links, text sizes, etc.
But I’m already working on the next version of our website, and I plan to customize the shopping cart a little bit more.
Did you rely much on our API & webhooks for this integration? If so, how did it go?
Very well! I used the API and webhooks to generate coupon codes when one or several gift certificates are ordered and to manage inventory directly within my CMS. Our workshops need to become unavailable when the maximum amount of attendants is reached. I also used the API to handle a custom thank you page. It allows me to display an order summary, a satisfaction form about the buying experience, and to fill my conversion tags easily.
Were our documentation & our support helpful?
Yes, especially for product definition and the API, but I think some entries could be more comprehensive. But the support is so responsive, and that's really appreciated!
Did you get the chance to use some of our latest features on this project (inventory management, abandoned carts, email templates customization)? If so, how did it go?
I handle inventory myself, but I already used email templates customization to create 2 versions of our emails, in French and English, with custom HTML.
What could we improve to make Snipcart an even better e-commerce solution for developers & merchants?
There's not a solution that couldn't be improved! :) Here are some inputs:
- Possibility to choose between a one-page checkout or a classic checkout
- Possibility to send more order information to the payment gateway used (Stripe metadata for me)
- Possibility to send and customize PDF invoice instead of an email
- Possibility to define validation regex when we use custom fields in the cart
If you liked this post, could you take a second to share it on Twitter? It would mean a lot to us (Snipcart, Sylvain, and his partner). We'd also love to hear your thoughts/questions on the integration in the comments. And of course, if you're living in Québec/Montréal or are just passing through, consider booking a workshop with friends, family, or colleagues!
Sylvain's development agency can be found here.