The Cool Icebox Company - Updates and Improvements with Magento

The Cool Icebox Company Logo

The Cool Icebox Company approached GCM with a design brief that covered updating and refreshing the design of their ecommerce website with a modern, up-to-date look, a "responsive" website that would work on smaller screens such as tablets and mobile phones, and an administration system that is simple to use, yet powerful enough to work with some complex product combinations and postage rules.

A secondary requirement was a request to be able to transfer stock levels, prices and product information from the current, antiquated system quickly and easily before the new Magento website was built, with the Cool Icebox team having no prior knowledge or understanding of the Magento systems or procedures.

The requirement for a powerful administration system made Magento the number one choice - when configured correctly, it has an adminstration area that makes adding new products, monitoring stock levels and customer orders quick and easy to use. GCM has a number of bespoke responsive frameworks upon which responsive websites can be built and the development team's knowledge made this collaboration a perfect match.

Intial Mockup Splashscreen

Cool Icebox Responsive Design Mockups

The GCM Magento development team had already spent some time building a simple-to-use procedure that would make transferring product information and stock levels easy and reusable in order to keep stock levels up to date as development of the new site moved forward.

Magento Product Administration

Magento Product Administration

Bulk Importing Products into Magento with GCM eCommerce Support Strategies

"Out of the box", Magento provides a somewhat limited system for importing products into the dadtabase, but in combination with the knowledge of the team at GCM, this can be built and improved upon to provide exactly what was required. As a part of the excellent support package that a GCM eCommerce client receives, this included a bespoke form and preconfigured spreadsheet structure that could take data provided by the Cool Icebox team and import it straight into Magento.

This imported data gave both companies a base on which the new site could be built and the Cool Icebox team some "safe" data with which they could use in order to learn how to use Magento's admin area. This learning process was provided by GCM who provided a number of custom and indepths guides, video and phone tutorials as a part of the deveplopment package. This support will continue until the Cool Icebox team are completely confident with every step of the processes involved in running an ecommerce shop.

Understanding Configurable Products in Magento

Magento provides a number of different product types that, between them, provide every type of product available. From "simple" physical products, "configurable" physical products with options such as sizes and colours, to "virtual" products (digital downloads) and pick and mix "grouped" and "bundled" products", the system caters for all types of products and services.

For Cool Icebox, the majority of products would be "configurable" products with options providing different colour options. Whilst the overall principle is easy to understand, upon further inspection, the terminology, phrases and confugration of these products is not always clear. For this reason, GCM have developed a PDF guide that goes into detail explaining the structure and "building" of configurable products, how they work and real life examples that help to make it clear and simple to understand. The "theory" guide was provided to the Cool Icebox Company along with a customised step-by-step guide on how to actual create the products and make them "work" with Magento. This support - a unique service offered by GCM - is then backed up with video guides and walkthrough phone tutorials.

Understanding Magento Configurable Products

Understanding Configurable Products PDF

Cool Icebox Checkout Shipping Options

Complex Postage Options

Due to the size and weight of coolboxes and the delivery options provided by The Company that covers the majority of the world, Magento's default delivery options did not provide enough configurability to provide customers with the required postage options and rates. For this reason, GCM configured an additional Magento "module" (additional code that extends Magento's power and options) obeying the complex rule structure of Cool Icebox Company's delivery options. The end result was some 644 individual postage rules that seamlessly deliver the varying options to the customer at the checkout stage of their online buying experience.

Whilst complex in terms of the number of rules, the postage options can now be exported as a simple to understand spreadsheet that can easily be manipulated to update prices, locations or delivery services as and when required and then finally resubmitting the revised information into Magento quickly and easily.