Case Study: Stereo's Quick, Lean E-Commerce Project


In this case study, we interview David Boissonnault, partner & developer at Stereo.

David has already shipped a few Snipcart e-commerce sites over the last years. His team delivered the full e-commerce part of their latest project in 3 hours: 2 hours to integrate products and Snipcart's shopping cart, 1 hour to skin the front-end look. Today he hops on the blog to discuss his experience with our shopping cart platform.

We hope you enjoy both his answers and Stereo's latest Snipcart project. :)

The agency

Stereo is a cool web agency offering design and development services in Trois-Rivieres (Canada). It was founded in early 2014, and now counts eight team members in its ranks.

The client/website

The Black Years is a Stoner Rock band from Canada. The group is composed of ex-members from Alien’s Cab, Roller Clauster and Hopeless Nation.

You can listen to their debut effort on Spotify & Bandcamp.

Snipcart integration: Technical interview with David

Does your firm have experience with e-commerce in general? If so, which tools have you been using the most in your workflow? Why?

We used many other e-commerce solutions, such as OSCommerce, Magento, and Shopify, to name a few. Those platforms were all used based on client requests. But when it comes to what Stereo recommends, we always choose Snipcart for its flexibility and the ability to use any CMS we want.

How would you qualify the e-commerce needs the client had for this project?

The requirements were simple: we needed a shopping cart working on a “one pager”, with a maximum of 1 attribute for products, and these products needed to have a max quantity.

There’s a plethora of solutions and tools to handle e-commerce projects. Why use Snipcart?

Flexibility. As a design firm, we want to have full control over the finished product. Other solutions such as WooCommerce have too much overhead, and require too much deep hacking into the templates to have a clean and lightweight HTML code. With Snipcart, we use the HTML code we want; we only add a couple of data-attributes to the “add to cart” button, and it works!

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?

We used WordPress: all products and attributes were coded simply with some Advanced Custom Fields and a custom post type with page support, for Snipcart to validate the price when the checkout is initiated.

You’ve skinned our modal shopping cart a lot for this project! Did you use our v2.0’s snipcart-theme project on GitHub, and the SASS/Gulp workflow we suggest? If not, why?

We did not use the new v2.0 theme because of the due date on that project. But since your HTML markup is well organized, we managed to re-skin everything as we wanted without much effort, within an hour. We will try this new feature for sure in our next project with Snipcart.

Did you rely much on our API & webhooks for this integration? If so, how did it go?

Yes, webhooks are working well: our stocks are updated right when an order is placed.

Was our documentation & our support helpful?

Yes, the documentation is well organized. There would maybe be a need for a deeper integration of the invoices with the backend, but for this particular project it wasn’t requested.

You haven't used our native inventory management feature for this project. How do you handle stocks for The Black Years merch?

We defined options in the backend to add max quantity per attribute. Since Snipcart is only based on the HTML render of the page and our admin panel is lightweight, we don't need a thousand options like WooCommerce/Magento/OSCommerce provide. We only used these product options:

What could we improve to make Snipcart an even better e-commerce solution for developers and web development shops?

Support max quantity per option. We needed to somehow hack the add to cart button, so that the button is re-written every time we change attributes, so that the max quantity is updated based on the attribute.

Editor's note: Added to our backlog!

If you found this post valuable, please, take a second to share it on Twitter. It would mean a lot for all of us (Snipcart, Stereo and The Black Years). We'd also love to hear your thoughts/questions in the comments on the integration itself. And of course, we invite you to go ahead and give The Black Years' online store a look!

About the author

François Lanthier Nadeau
CEO, Snipcart

Francois has worked in SaaS & digital marketing for over 7 years. He’s been published on Indie Hackers, The Startup, freeCodeCamp, Baremetrics, Wishpond, and—among others. He’s spoken at 13+ startup and web development conferences in Canada, U.S.A., and Europe. He's been a vocal bootstrapping and Jamstack proponent for years.

Follow him on Twitter.

A Tumblr Shopping Cart for Quick E-Commerce (< 2 Minutes)!

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