Magnolia Home E-commerce Website and Integration

Project Summary and Client Background

Standard Furniture acquired the Magnolia Home brand line of furniture in 2016. Joanna Gaines designs Magnolia Home brand furniture and is co-host of HGTVs popular TV show Fixer Upper.

Founded in 1946, Standard Furniture is a leading case goods manufacturer and is family-owned and American-based. Standard Furniture operates manufacturing and distribution facilities in Bay Minette, Alabama. Combined, Standard Furniture has nearly a thousand employees both domestically and overseas. With more than 80% of their workforce based in the US, they have 1.4 million square feet of manufacturing space, 1.5 million square feet of warehouse space and a fleet of 40+ trucks which enable Standard to provide delivery options to meet their retailer’s needs.

The Challenge

Bit-Wizards worked closely with the Standard Furniture IT and Marketing teams, to find the right technologies to meet the goals for the Magnolia Home Furniture website. The potential for high traffic volume is great due to Magnolia Home Furniture’s regular feature on HGTVs hit show The Fixer Upper, with Joanna Gaines. Microsoft Azure is the hosting platform for the Kentico Online Marketing Solution to allow for full scalability in high traffic times. Kentico allows for powerful content management, integration, and enterprise marketing functionality. The Magnolia Home marketing team needed to build content, publish and run campaigns without continual assistance from the IT department, and due to their B2C audience needs the site also had to be responsive for and optimal user experience when browsing on mobile devices.

Along with marketing functionality, the customer required integration with their backend AS400 ERP Database.

Project Goals

Originally, Standard Furniture came to Bit-Wizards to redesign and redevelop the Standard Furniture branded website. However, during the initial planning and discovery phases of the project, the company decided to move forward on a website project for the newly purchased Magnolia Home brand. Based on the business goals below the Bit-Wizards team built a consumer-facing website for the Magnolia Home brand as well as a B2B e-commerce website where their retail customers can place orders directly to Standard’s manufacturing locations.

  • The site had to integrate with Standard Furniture’s AS400 ERP order system
  • The solution had to serve two very different audiences, both a B2C and B2B consumer
  • Handle orders from three different locations, aggregating them within a single location
  • The site had to reflect the newly acquired Magnolia Home brand guidelines and be fully mobile optimized
  • Solve the needs of the marketing team to build and publish content, and nurture their audience without the continual need of IT support

The Solution

Business Solution

The website is fully responsive and optimized for mobile browsing, and hosted in Microsoft Azure App Services to account for the needs of potential high traffic volume. Along with the marketing functionality of the Kentico platform, Bit-Wizards expanded the website’s power by building custom integration for Standard Furniture’s order fulfillment needs from their AS400 ERP Database. The custom integration with the new website both pushes and pulls data out of this system to provide Standard Furniture a complete picture of all of their orders in a single pane using the Kentico website. Currently, submission of new orders come to Standard through three channels: the website, manually by sales reps, and by retailers using their industry EDI ordering tool. Plans for the site include the necessity to shift to using the new site for all orders no matter the channel.

Technical Solution

Hosted in Microsoft Azure, this Kentico website utilizes the Bootstrap 4 framework on the front-end along with kentico cms and microsoft azureCSS and JavaScript for interactive elements. The Bit-Wizards Digital Marketing Team also had to consider Standard’s need to access the data they house in their AS400 database, which they replicate to Microsoft Azure. Bit-Wizards uses stored SQL procedures to query data from Standard’s databases and run it through the Kentico API using scheduled tasks, which in turn, create objects and perform actions required in Kentico.

The outgoing data integration uses the Kentico integration bus to take order data and push it back into the database so Standard can process and read the information back into their order fulfillment system.
 

Additional Microsoft Azure Details:

  • 3 different environments
    • DEV
      • Azure App Service – Standard: Medium
      • 2 Azure SQL Databases
        • 1 Standard: S2
        • 1 Basic
    • QA
      • Azure App Service – Standard: Medium
      • 2 Azure SQL Databases
        • 1 Standard: S3
        • 1 Basic
    • PRODUCTION
      • Azure App Service – Standard: Large
      • 2 Azure SQL Databases
        • 1 Premium: P1
        • 1 Basic
  • There are also the follow resources which are shared across all 3 environments
    • Application Insights
    • 1 Azure Storage Account for media
    • SendGrid for email sending


Other Integration and Custom Functionality:

  • Google Maps API along with location services to provide dealer location information for B2C site users.
  • Kentico’s smart search functionality is used in a faceted search capacity to handle the e-commerce navigation in the site for B2B users.
  • Custom roles and permissions logic that works to support the Magnolia Home business processes.
  • Custom web service that uses jQuery to call from the front-end via AJAX to do an auto look-up when a user searches for products.
  • Integration for email sending using Sendgrid custom API
  • Built a custom messaging system using SQL backend and C# along with Kentico API, which allows sales reps to contact customers and vice versa and track conversations within Kentico.
  • Development, QA, and Production sites within Kentico and Microsoft Azure
  • Integration for custom pricing using a custom provider

The Result

In addition to a successful e-commerce website launch, Standard Furniture is already reaping immediate positive results from the new website and integration functionality.

  • 19% increase in the average monthly site users
  • 17.5% a significant increase in new users of the site while maintaining and slightly improving the numbers of returning users.
  • 74% increase in the session duration for mobile users (due to mobile optimization)
  • 2.5% increase in search traffic due to SEO improvements
Share This!
Client Name: Standard Furniture
Year: 2017
Industry: Consumer Goods
Founded in 1946, Standard Furniture is a leading case goods manufacturer and is family-owned and American-based. Standard Furniture operates manufacturing and distribution facilities in Bay Minette, Alabama. Combined, Standard Furniture has nearly a thousand employees both domestically and overseas. With more than 80% of their workforce based in the US, they have 1.4 million square feet of manufacturing space, 1.5 million square feet of warehouse space and a fleet of 40+ trucks which enable Standard to provide delivery options to meet their retailer’s needs.
  • AJAX
  • AS400 Integration
  • ASP.NET
  • C#
  • CSS3
  • Geo-location Services
  • Google Analytics
  • HTML5
  • JavaScript
  • jQuery
  • JSON
  • Kentico Integrated Marketing Solution
  • Microsoft Azure App Services
  • Microsoft Azure SQL Database
  • Microsoft Azure Storage
  • Raygun Error Reporting
  • Responsive Website Development
  • Sendgrid

Let's Talk Successful Projects!

We love hearing how we can help your business be more successful. Click the Get in Touch button to contact our Solution Consultants. They will help you determine the right solution to meet your business goals.

 


Get in Touch