Online Store for Art Supplies on Laravel (USA)
About the project and task
Sketchbar is an American online store for art supplies and drawing supplies: markers, liners, brush pens, sketchbooks and sketchers. Sketchbar attracts artists not only with shopping, but also with the presence of a real art community where you can learn and share your work.
The online store got this look after the Webnauts team’s work, namely:
- integration of payment and delivery systems;
- implementation of the system for using promotional codes;
- introduction of accounting programs and automatic calculation of taxes;
- integration with a marketing platform for collaboration with influencers;
- setting up trigger emails, etc.
We developed an online store on Laravel, taking into account the specifics of the American market and current legislation. How exactly, we tell in more detail in the new case.
Laravel is a powerful PHP framework that has gathered a whole department of fans in Webnauts. The development of non-standard and high-load projects with complex functions and service integrations is not complete without this technology.
Our clients who ordered development on Laravel also appreciated the convenience of site management. Laravel Nova’s intuitive personalized admin panel makes it easy to edit content and manage online store sales:
For the full operation of the online store on Laravel, we have implemented several integrations with international and American services. First of all, we started with three main systems: payment, delivery and taxation systems. Without them, any online order in the United States is impossible.
Okay, the goods are paid. It’s time to implement the delivery feature. To do this, we integrated the online store with the ShipStation system, which allows:
- arrange delivery through popular services DHL, UPS and USPS;
- calculate the exact cost of delivery to different parts of the United States;
- track the location of the parcel;
- print barcodes of mail items, etc.
ShipStation has a better designed API than other applications (notably the Shipworks service, which didn’t pass our test).
The taxation system in the United States involves the presence of Sales Tax — a consumer tax on certain goods in the form of a small percentage. With this in mind, we have integrated the online store with the Avalara tax automation service. This program helps to automatically calculate the tax depending on the type of product and the location of the buyer, because tax rates differ at the state, city, district and even county level.
When we put the online store on the track, there was the question of accounting for goods and sales. Our client already had experience using the QuickBooks program, and not the web version, but the desktop application. It was not easy, but we integrated the online store with the desktop version of the goods accounting system familiar to the client.
In addition, the service had a rather outdated information exchange technology – SOAP (Simple Object Access Protocol), which uses XML documents and exchanges between the server and client on request. As a result of the integration, we have created such an information exchange system that checks the site every hour for new orders and provides information about all goods in stock. Everything happens automatically or at the request of the user, who at any time can press a button in the QuickBooks application and start synchronization.
To track the activities of site visitors and create automatic e-mailing, we have integrated an online store of art supplies with the Klaviyo service. In particular, we set up custom events that not only serve as triggers for auto-sending emails, but also help to better understand the interests of users. So, almost every movement on the site is monitored by Klaviyo: the web application sends information about various events, such as placing an order, visiting certain pages of the site, adding goods to the basket or deleting it, etc.
Implementation of the coupon system
The practice of using promocodes and coupons is an effective way to increase customer loyalty and online store sales.
As with all e-commerce sites, you can apply a Sketchbar coupon at checkout: just enter the code in a separate field and instantly find out the new purchase price.
And now we will tell you how it works from the inside.
You can create a coupon on the site in 3 ways:
- Manually. To do this, we have developed a filter menu with several parameters: the duration of the promotion (start and end date), the number of goods (group or one copy), the number of people who can use the coupon. Discount coupon code in the form of 1 word can only be used once.
- Automatically. We couldn’t do without the beforementioned Klaviyo service. On the website of the online store, we created a rule for automatic code generation with the same filters as in the manual method. As soon as the user fills out the form and creates a request in Klaviyo, the coupon is generated and automatically sent to the specified email. One-time use of the coupon from one account is provided.
- Coupon code in the popup window. A form appears on the website, after filling it, a coupon is generated and automatically sent to the specified e-mail. It can be used immediately in the basket, but it is also one-time and has an expiration date. In the future, according to the received coupon, we plan to send a digital product in the form of a pdf file to the email address. It can be a catalogue, an e-book or a drawing guide.
Integration of a system to control statistics and pay for advertising from bloggers
To promote an online store of art goods, the owner of Sketchbar decided to involve bloggers. To make it easier to monitor ad performance and automate the process of rewarding influencers, we have integrated our online store with our affiliate marketing platform ShareASale. Thus, partners of the online store will automatically receive a commission for referrals — people who came to the site from a blogger using a link generated by the ShareASale service.
Of course, there are other ways to get a promocode: newsletter subscription, holiday promotions, registration, etc. To do this, we have set up appropriate unique events on the site, the number of which will only grow in the future. Automatic email distribution is still carried out using the built-in Klaviyo service. So, when a certain event is triggered on the site, we send a Klaviyo event with a code and user data attached to it. Then the site visitor receives by mail a promo code for an instant discount in the online store.
Coupons can be customized by the term and frequency of use, the number of products or the type of discount (in percentage or dollars). In the future, we plan to expand the functionality of this module, which will allow users to receive gifts, free shipping and other goodies.
Minimalistic and adaptive, with a powerful Laravel stuffing and a lot of integrated services — this is exactly what the American art goods online store turned out to be, which was developed by our company. Fast and secure payment, automatic calculation of shipping and Sales Tax, accounting program, coupon system and affiliate program with bloggers are just some of the implemented functions of the online store. Sketchbar has become a true center of attraction for artists who can learn, communicate and share the work created using the materials purchased from the online store: pens, markers, liners, inks, sketchbooks and other goods.