Magento Case Study for BBoheme - eco-friendly shoes on Magento virtual shelves

Our client

Bourgeois Boheme is a vegan company, producing environment-friendly shoes and boots. They don’t use leather or PVC-based materials, replacing them with new and innovative materials such as Italian cotton weaved with paper, cork and plant-based polymers (including grains and seeds from food-free crops) as well as recycled soles and organic cotton laces.

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What the client wanted

The previous site was based on an older version of Magento, with a design that was not as great as the design of their shoes. The site itself was not responsive, but it had a mobile theme that we added a year before.

BBoheme is a UK company selling worldwide – but Alicia also wanted to have a dedicated online presence for the US market, along with the new BBoheme warehouse on American soil.

So the requirements where:

  • elegant and minimalistic design. And responsive, of course.

  • two websites – one US and one international

  • different prices for the US and international websites

  • separate inventory levels for the same products in the two websites.

  • several currencies – the prices in the US site had to be in US dollars, while those in the international site in euros and British pounds.

  • automatic redirect to the right website – the US visitors should see the US site, while the rest of the world should see the international site.

The Challenge

While having separate prices for two different markets (US and international) in a single instance of Magento is possible with just a simple setting, having separate inventory levels is not a native feature for this platform (and neither for other ecommerce platforms that we know of). Additionally, having separate stock levels requires fundamental changes to how Magento stores product information in its database, and we feared this would either be very difficult or it would take its toll on performance.

Our Solutions

Before deciding on how to go about the two-inventory-levels challenge, we did some research on how this would be possible. First finding: Magento does not allow it out of the box. After some more research, and several coding iterations, we developed a proof of concept for a module that would allow us have two separate inventories for the same product – one for the international site and another for the US site. The next step was to see how would this impact Magento performance, so we tested it with the entire database of products. The results were good (no impact on performance – at least not for a few thousand products), so we decided we can safely go with a two-website instance of Magento.

Several currencies: once again, Magento showed its power for multi-site and multi-currency scenarios – having multiple currencies was really easy to implement.

On to the next challenge: showing the US site to American customers and the international website to British and European customers. Now this was easier: there is a module for that.

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