GW Kent

Commercial Brewing Equipment & Wine Making Supplies

The Client

GW Kent has found its niche by being a high-quality distributor at a competitive price in its market industries. Their website, as an intuitive and accessible eCommerce store, is a reflection of their capabilities as having efficient, fast service. In addition, GW Kent prides itself on having an unparalleled number of items in stock, including a lot of hard to find products and have the ability to get orders into their customer’s facilities quicker than competitors.

The Upgrade

Magento was selected as the platform for the GW Kent eCommerce store because of its native functionalities and ability to integrate with the core systems that had become the cornerstones of GW Kent’s operation. It integrated with GW Kent’s existing ERP system that had been successfully used for 30 years. The flexibility of the open source platform also provided a necessary level of customization that meets their unique business requirements and allowed the Human Element team to create specific and unique enhancements for the GW Kent user experience.

With the increase in traffic and order volume, it was imperative to streamline business operations in order to continue without significantly inflating labor costs. With the opportunity to enter into new industries/markets using the same brand and website, a redesign was necessary, and upgrading to Magento 2 at the same time was the most efficient way to do that. On the Magento 1 site, a majority of customer service issues resulting from the website were specific to shipping issues and questions. Resolving these website issues and having the ability to give the shopper the necessary information for their experience was a significant driver of the upgrade.

The Migration

GW Kent has utilized Magento as their eCommerce platform since 20XX. When it was announced that Magento 1 would no longer be serviced, the move to Magento 2 became inevitable. The technologies and integrations were so intertwined and the flexibility of the open source platform provided a necessary level of customization that meet the unique business requirements of the three storefronts managed by TITLE Boxing. It was also made clear financial sense to replatform sooner rather than later, as investing money into enhancements in Magento 1, that would only need to be built again in Magento 2, was counterproductive.

As part of the discovery process for the replatform, the extensions and customizations on Magento 1 were reviewed and determined if they were needed in Magento 2. Some of these features were no longer needed and some features which were included natively in Magento 2, no longer requiring customizations and extensions. 

In many cases, Magento 2 was able to handle functionality that was previously custom built in the Magento 1 platform. One example of this is the ability to control the appearance of swatches on Category Pages and Product Detail Pages. On the Magento 1 site, store administrators had to use a customized extension to control the color swatches. Now with Magento 2 the colors and images are easy to manage and display within the product attributes natively. In some cases, functionality was necessary to build custom, as extensions were not available with the required functionality yet. The Salesforce Marketing Cloud integration was one such area. The extensions available in the marketplace did not cover the functionality required for the business needs as there previously had been for Magento 1, so the integration was custom built by Human Element.

Taking Advantage of Magento 2

With the new technology with Magento 2, the integrations to several different systems were more clean and efficient than would be in Magento 1.

Salesforce Marketing Cloud (FKA ExactTarget)
TITLE Boxing utilizes Salesforce Marketing Cloud to send custom transactional emails as well as data-driven marketing emails. It was important that the emails included dynamic information for customer information, up to date products and order status. The integration between Magento 2 and Salesforce Marketing Cloud was custom built by Human Element.

Ecommetry ERP for Orders, Customers, Products & Inventory
The Magento 1 websites had an integration with Ecommetry that was custom built. It sent Order, Customer, Product and Inventory data from Magento to Ecommetry and returned data from Ecommetry to Magento.

For Magento 2 a change was made to utilize Xtento extensions to send and receive data, reducing the time to manage and maintain by making the process more efficient. It created flexibility and an opportunity to easily modify the integration in the future without a significant level of effort – creating a scalable integration.

Human Element developed a number of customizations to improve overall user experience and provide store administrators the ability to make changes and updates to messaging. For example, a store administrator can update the backorder messaging a customer sees on the front end, as well as information about why a promotion may not be working. Human Element created customizations to automatically remove products from a customers cart if it was out of stock to not impede the ability to checkout. Also, B2B customers can set multiple email addresses in their customer account so that transactional emails can be sent to multiple email addresses.

The Results

While the team at Human Element’s deft knowledge in eCommerce helped migrate and launch GW Kent onto a new platform, a large part of the ongoing success of the site is credited to the unwavering dedication to their partnership. This relationship has allowed them to continue this growth across each of their channels in new ways. As GW Kent continues to expand, Human Element continues to provide technical maintenance, custom development, and site optimization to help them evolve their business and customer experiences with the needs of the online shopping world.

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