eCommerce Point of Sale Customization
TABLE OF CONTENTS
eCommerce Point of Sale Customization
Steve and Justin at Hardpressed Studio had a scalability problem. Their store has been rapidly growing and their online operational systems couldn’t keep up, especially during the busy holiday season. We worked with them to improve their online operations by streamlining their Point of Sale (POS) integration.
"Our previous system was starting to fall apart. Every day I had to manually update store inventories to make sure online orders didn’t deplete in-store stock.
Integrating In-Store and E-Store
Territorial Partner Daren McLean identified that one of the first challenges growing e-commerce stores face is how to match their online POS software requirements with their in-store operational requirements. Store managers need to decide whether to modify their in-store operations to match that of the e-commerce store, or modify their e-commerce store to match their in-store operations.
UX expert Zach Perkins and developer Ozzie Neher worked with Justin to decide which process would be customized, and it soon became apparent that Hardpressed needed to update their online store to align with their brick and mortar operations. During peak sales days, for example during the month of December, updating their online Shopify store multiple times a day would be unrealistic and likely to result in inventory errors.
Ozzie discovered that the problem was that inventory loss through production wasn’t reflected in final inventory amounts. Along with this, fluctuations in the corresponding bulk raw inventory needed to be recorded appropriately. Finally, a threshold needed to be added to the online store to account for concurrent in-store purchases.
Hardpressed uses a Shopify platform for their online store. We’ve built and worked on several Shopify e-commerce stores in the past, but this was our first time fixing such a specific operational problem.
Ozzie reviewed Shopify’s plugin store options and found a few leads. In testing these plugins, we found that they were expensive and excessively robust; it was possible they’d perform the functions we were looking for, but they’d still require a large amount of time to customize for our specific implementation. We costed out various options and realized that building a Shopify plugin from scratch would in fact provide the best solution for Hardpressed in terms of functionality and cost.
Shopify Plugin Development
Working with Shopify is generally a positive experience. We quickly duplicated Hardpressed e-shop to create a safe-for-testing development environment. That way, we had a sandbox where we could work on the plugin without fear of any loss of service to Hardpressed’s existing online store.
While developing the Shopify plugin, Ozzie ran into a few obstacles. For instance, learning the Shopify plugin development was challenging with their sometimes-lacking programming documentation. Another time, Shopify was temporarily blocking us because we were sending too much data to them too quickly in our rapid development process. Despite these challenges, we had a working prototype ready for testing after a few short days of development, and the final product deployed soon after.
Hardpressed Studio is now using the new plugin daily. We celebrated by getting HARDPRSD socks for the entire Territorial team, and look forward to helping Hardpressed with their online operations as their digital presence continues to grow.
Got a Unique Problem?
At Territorial, we believe in pouring our know-how and resources into local companies to build a strong community. We want to see local businesses thrive, so if you have a specific problem related to your e-commerce operations or POS, let’s chat.