Smellycat is an online perfume business that was established in early 2010. The website offers a large range of popular designer perfume brands, with over 1000 products for both men and woman. It existed before I started working with the owner in 2011 and needed enhancements which would have had to be custom developed with the system it was running on. We went out to look for e-commerce platforms that would offer the required functionality and came across Business Catalyst. After an initial proof-of-concept, we decided it was a great platform which provided all the functionality that was required for the business without adding complicated steps to the process.
The website has been implemented completely from scratch with new templates and stylesheets. The homepage underwent a redesign to include a 'slideshow' with the latest product announcements. Other functionality includes: Newsletter signup form, refer a friend, customer registration and a new blog.
Business Catalyst comes with built-in email marketing capabilities including 10,000 emails per month, which means the owner does not have to use a separate system and pay per email to reach out to the customer base.
The CRM capabilities of Business Catalyst are limited, but in most cases they are actually sufficient to run an online business. The existing customer database was exported from the old SQL Server database and converted to the Business Catalyst format where it was imported without any problems.
All existing products were exported from the old system and imported into Business Catalyst. Since the setup of BC is different from the old system, we had to re-categorise and re-group all products and create related products manually. The nice thing is that the whole product catalog can be exported to an Excel spreadsheet and then re-imported again. This is very handy for global prices changes, which wasn't possible with the old system.
In 2013, the system was expanded to improve the product search functionality. Business Catalyst did not offer the required product filter functionality, so I developed a custom solution including a Java web application that runs on Google app engine, and a new Angular JS driven frontend to filter products.