LHP Engineering Solutions (LHPES) has been providing engineering services and technology integration for embedded controls, telematics, data analytics, and model-based design since 2001. They specialize in creating custom, flexible, and comprehensive technology solutions in the automotive, aerospace, and medical fields. Their mission is to create a safer, smarter, and more connected world. One realization that they came to, being in the tech industry, was that their website was not as technically sound as they would like. They found themselves on an outdated ecommerce platform and decided to make the switch to something bigger and better, that being BigCommerce.
Their Needs and Working with IntuitSolutions
After determining that BigCommerce would be their platform of choice, LHPES came to us with a few wants and needs:
- They wanted to keep a similar design that maintained their existing brand and aesthetic. Their current brand-standards are very minimalistic and sleek and their color scheme is different variations of blue and gray. In regards to the website, they wanted to stick with the grid style layout, an image slider with their product information displayed, and a main focus on their products alongside their mission.
- A robust catalog and content management system, which was what initially attracted LHPES to the platform. BigCommece offers a much larger product catalog than most other platforms. Typically, large catalogs on other platforms significantly slow down the website’s page speed. BigCommerce also automatically supplies you with a SKU number, unless you wish to use your own, opped to other platforms forcing you to create your own and manually applying them to each product or product variant.
- Lastly, they required conditional product options functionality.
We had what they wanted and more. As a company we always start from square one, which is a strong design foundation based off of the client’s needs. From there, we start the development process. During this time, any custom elements and add-ons are built into the store. Once we feel that the development of the website is in a good spot, we push it onto ThemeBridge™ for the client to review and gather some feedback. If you aren’t familiar, ThemeBridge™ is an app developed by our software team that allows the client, or whoever they want, to view and interact with the newly developed store without affecting the live website. After all client revisions have been made, the site is ready to go live!
Best Practices for User-Experience
The first thing we did was introduce best e-commerce design practices to the store. A little bit of TLC can really help a website even if it is not noticeably significant. As they wanted to keep the store relatively similar, it took some convincing that what they had was not necessarily the best design for user-experience. Once that was agreed upon, our Design Team jumped in and got to work. They came up with a similar design, but something with a little bit more functionality and some more modernism thrown in.
The biggest improvements came when they were switched to Stencil in combination with our custom Base Theme. If you are not familiar with it, Stencil is BigCommerce’s latest and greatest code framework. We began the development of LHPES like we begin all of our projects – with our SEO and page speed optimized Stencil Base Theme, which you can learn more about here. Our base theme isn’t a typical theme, it’s built off of the Cornerstone theme, the only theme that BigCommerce themselves released. This ensures that any functionality is 100% there, and theme updates can more easily be implemented than they would otherwise be with another 3rd party theme. This created a solid, fast loading, SEO friendly foundation that was then embellished with LHPES’ branding. From the base theme, our developers customized the store to match the existing design of LHPES.
The newly developed site was centered around their products just as they wanted. An Images slider would be the first thing you see upon landing on the homepage. The slider focused on displaying their training and module categories. We also included a section for featured products that LHPES really wanted to push. Finally, a little bit about their mission. Each page is very minimalistic to help minimize distracts for the customer, so that their attention is focused on the products.
Enhancing Functionality With Add-ons and Customizations
Once the new site was developed, we were able to mix in some add-ons and customizations to help meet their vision. We implemented custom tabs on products, which allows you to add multiple custom tabs for more organized content, opposed to the typical large chunk of text that appears as the product description. LHPES used their tabs for a product description, warranty information, and refund policy.
Going hand in hand with the custom tabs, we also added in unique code that allows the refund policy or warranty information to automatically appear on a product based on the category and keywords of a product. For instance, their corporate trainings all display a refund policy while their physical products all have warranty information.
BigCommerce allows product options or “sizing” to be very flexible. An average store would have the standard small, medium and large as sizing. LHPES uses very unique sizing. Their options for a handful of products have to do with the warranty length, then conditionally, you can choose the length of repair coverage you want. BigCommcere not only has flexible sizing, but offers conditional logic.
Conditional logic means that based off of the first option selected on a product, there are specific options shown for another option. The corporate training products offer a range of dates that are selectable in a dropdown menu. The conditional logic used on these products is that if you choose to do training in their facility, you can make the purchase right away, but if you wish to do on-site training then the add-to-cart button becomes unclickable and asks you to call a representative for pricing options. All products, both physical and trainings, have the ability to change the product pricing based on the conditional logic of the options selected.
The physical products also have a special feature for custom content. The user manual is displayed as a downloadable PDF on every product. Each product has its own manual which is added through BigCommerce’s backend.
LHP Engineering Solutions was looking to improve their website overall – from basic functionality to better user-experience. They did not want all of the bells and whistles that a lot of stores wanted, but did want a few custom creations. BigCommcerce’s platform offered exactly what they were looking for, better catalog management and content management. We were able to offer the rest with the implementation of IntuitSolutions’ exclusive add-ons to custom functionalities. We provided them with a similar, but improved design, custom tabs, conditional logic for product options, flexible “sizing” options, and custom code to populate the tabs based on the specific product. The final result, was a happy client that is making headway in the tech world with their own customers.
If you are looking to update your e-commerce website, but not sure where to start, contact us here to speak with one of our BigCommerce experts today or check out our website for additional add-ons that we offer to BigCommerce users.