A longtime client of Bit-Wizards needed to update their website design and move toward servicing their mobile clients more effectively. For the perfect solution, Bit-Wizards created a new responsive website and integrated e-commerce on an enterprise class content management system.
The short-term goals of the project were to migrate Pensacola Fuel Injection (PFI) from an open source based content management system (CMS) into Kentico an enterprise class CMS. This platform change decision can from the need for improved platform support, scalability, and ease of customization. Additionally, optimized support for mobile devices, and enhanced product discovery options were necessary to facilitate a better shopping experience for customers.
PFI also offers a separate brand called World Diesel that serves wholesale customers. PFI desired to have both brands and their associated websites condensed down into a single instance of Kentico to ease content management and development effort in the future.
The components of this project that presented challenges were the requirements of PayPal Express integration, real-time rate calculation for orders and product filtering by specific vehicle criteria. Additionally, the creation of an e-commerce experience that provides a superior user experience for mobile customers was also no small feat. Last, the client wanted to move from the single-point-of-failure VPS hosting solution from which their previous site was served; the previous solution did not provide redundancy, load scaling or an acceptable outage SLA.
The PayPal Express checkout component allows customers to proceed with the checkout process from the shopping cart page with PayPal Express instead forcing the user to register with the site and enter payment and shipping information. This component passes the contents of the customer’s shopping cart to PayPal which allows the customer to select pre-existing payment method, shipping, and billing information which then allows for a seamless creation of the user’s account and the completion of the checkout process on the PFI website. Alternatively, the customer can create a new account with PayPal and redirect back to the PFI website to continue with the checkout process. Simply put, if the customer has an existing PayPal account, their billing and shipping information are utilized to create an account and allow them to checkout without entering any information on the PFI website.
Parts Search/Selection Tool in the New Pensacola Diesel Website
PFI also required the calculation of real-time shipping rates. Bit-Wizards developed a real-time shipping estimation tool that returned rates from UPS and USPS to offer customers accurate shipping costs this ensures competitive rates are always available. Customers have the ability to select from a number of predefined options that return rates based on total order weight and their desired shipping method.
Perhaps the most challenging piece of the project was the development of a product association manager that allows appropriate products to be served to the customer based on their unique vehicle information. A tool was created that allows store administrators to tag each product with metadata including year, make and engine size. Filtering was designed to allow customers to enter their specific vehicle data on the website to return relevant products. Categories were configured dynamically to serve only relevant categories and vehicle specific imagery based on the user’s choice. In short, only the categories that contained parts applicable for the customer’s vehicle were displayed and the images were representative of their vehicle selection.
Mobile Screens for the New Pensacola Diesel Website
Bit-Wizards engineered the website to deploy using Azure Cloud Services as the hosting platform and architecture. The site is designed according to Azure best practices, with a separate database and a redundant, load-balanced pair of Cloud Services instances serving the Kentico CMS application. This arrangement results in a 99.95% availability guarantee from Azure. A Redis Cache instance provides session caching between the instances. Each of these components is running well at a mid-level service tier, but can be scaled upward for higher performance as the site grows. Additionally, auto scaling was configured to provide immediate new resources at times of high traffic in order to maintain a responsive web experience for customers.
This project yielded some immediate results for PFI.
· 9.65% increase in total sessions
· 11.99% increase in new users
· 64.33% increase in page views
· 49.87% increase in pages viewed per session
· 19.20% increase in average session duration
· 5.32% increase in first-time visits
Analytics Report for the New Pensacola Diesel Website
Use of the Azure Cloud Services hosting platform has resulted in significantly more site availability and responsiveness for visitors. Whereas the previous solution struggled to keep up and had frequent outages, the Azure solution has performed well and experienced only one minor incident since launch.