Django-Powered E-Commerce with Wagtail CMS [Case Study]February 22, 2018
When he's not kicking ass teaching Aikido, Ronnie is working on small to medium-sized projects through Zoo, his own agency. His clientele varies, from non-profit organizations to small enterprises and retailers.
He's been coding since 1997 when he started learning PHP and MySQL. He then specialized in Plone development for a decade before discovering Django and Wagtail CMS in 2015. They have been his main development tools since then.
To be honest, his stack choice is what made us reach out for a case study in the first place. We tried Wagtail a while ago and had a blast (same thing with Python static generator Pelican). Python as a language and Django as a framework are both awesome. So it only made sense to present a real-life case where Snipcart and these two play well together!
Carlos in huis is a growing brick and mortar business for design furnitures in Deventer, Netherlands. They offer unique indoor & outdoor designs on par with the latest trends. Their product selection—from chairs to lamps, tables & accessories—is sure worth a look!
Their main focus, for now, is getting people to the physical shop, where they can develop a direct relationship with customers. Yet they also want to offer a great digital experience to online users. Why? To provide a positive first touch point that funnels customers into the store, and to build a secondary revenue stream.
To achieve this, a refactoring of Carlos in huis' website was first needed.
Snipcart integration: technical interview with Ronnie Stevens
How was the client operating prior to your development efforts? How were retail and online sales handled?
Their main priority is in selling design furniture and accessories from their physical shop. The website is focused as a marketing tool to get people to visit the store.
By adding a webshop though we provide a customer-friendly frontend, and hopefully build a stronger customer relationship.
Prior to Snipcart, they had a deprecated WordPress installation with a very poor e-commerce solution. The whole website was not well-designed, not user-friendly and not responsive.
Above all, it was super hard to maintain.
Do you have experience with e-commerce in general? If so, which tools have you been using the most in your workflows? Why?
I had some experience with Opencart, but implementing a full-scale e-commerce solution would have been a total overkill.
The online shop here is only a small part of the project, so I had to find a smaller—more flexible solution for it.
How would you qualify the e-commerce needs your client had for this project?
They needed a well-performing, scalable solution, that would easily work with the CMS of choice of the developer. As I already said, the e-commerce part was not supposed to be a milking cow profit-wise for Carlos in Huis.
It was mainly a way to offer a full, modern digital customer portal.
There’s a plethora of solutions and tools to handle e-commerce projects. Why use Snipcart?
I never found any other smoother integration of a solution with my development platform. Snipcart took away all the complex backend handling and gave me full control of design and product development.
The site was built with Wagtail. Why'd you pick that CMS, and how did it go?
Wagtail is a Django CMS, built with Python. Where Python is one of the most elegant programming languages, Wagtail/Django provides a framework to quickly implement any design and develop content-types.
Using the Wagtail integration tutorial on the Snipcart blog helped a lot for a fast & easy implementation.
How long did it take to get Snipcart up and running?
The actual implementation of Snipcart only took a few hours. It was easy and well documented.
Any interesting parts of your Snipcart integration to highlight?
For me, as a web developer, this is a perfect solution.
Using the framework of my choice and having full control over the presentation and structure of the products, while the whole e-commerce backend is already there made my life real easy.
Were our documentation & our support helpful?
Your documentation is very useful, as is your support.
Did you get the chance to use advanced Snipcart features (inventory management, abandoned carts, email templates customization, multi-currency, etc.)? If so, how did it go?
It was not needed for the moment, although it's nice to know that these are available for further development of the platform.
It's always cool to talk to developers who discovered Snipcart through our blog and are then willing to add their own touch. If you're in the same boat and have anything to share with our community of developers, make sure we hear from you at [email protected]
Finally, we also have to thank Carlos in huis for accepting to showcase their website. If you're in need of beautiful and unique furniture, visit the online shop. ;)
If you'd like to learn more about how Snipcart works, head over to our documentation. We also have other interviews with developers & agencies who adopted our product into their e-commerce workflow. Many of them are now on our partnership program.
Liked this post? Take a second to share it on Twitter. All of us (Ronnie, Carlos in huis, & Snipcart) would really appreciate it. We'd also love to hear your thoughts and questions on the integration itself below!