Developing a product catalog website
Paramount Safety Supply Website Development
A fresh start was needed for a website that wasn't cutting it. PSS (Paramount Safety Supply) needed to display over 200 safety products and product variants in a well-designed product catalog. Each product needed to be listed along with a handful of attributes. One of the feature requests was to list items by category and by industry. If it wasn’t for custom scripts used to gather data from product manufacturing vendors, this would have been a daunting task. Custom scripts were written in order to gather product specifications and pictures with accuracy and efficiency, just in time for the client to conveniently showcase them to customers far and wide, in person on a tablet, or over the web. Success! The client was happy with their new website as it provided an easy way to showcase their supplies all the while establishing a more professional and serious presence.
A good effective way to put hundreds of products on the website was needed in order to complete the website in a timely manner.
The discovery phase was straight-forward and details were easily communicated in person. PSS was well-prepared with an extensive list of product numbers, variants, and data sources. I learned a thing or two about the safety supply business, or at least the language. PPE? Personal Protective Equipment. FR? Flame Resistant. Every industry has its language, but nothing was lost in translation when working with this client.
First things first. After project discovery, a strategy was created. Time is of the essence when there are many construction projects in Los Angeles and companies are looking for safety equipment. A custom script to populate products into the catalog took some time but it was well worth the effort because some products had many variants and each had their own handful of specifications and attributes. Data was gathered from many sources and fed into the script. Was the website good to go after a well populated catalog? No, it needed to look good too. In order to save time, a theme was picked, customized, and integrated into the catalog website. A custom logo design was also provided, it was handmade (well, more like mouse and keyboard made) with vector and pixel editing software. All the elements needed to look well together, that is why the strategy was to customize every color and graphic that went on the website.
Gathering product data from many different sources was where I put my engineering skills to work. Products and specifications were presented differently in their data sources. For example, some product specifications were enclosed in list item tags while others in a series of paragraph tags. Custom data pipelines were built for these differences, and eventually each pipeline mapped the data to the appropriate database table columns. Pipelines were also set up for important product documentation published by the manufacturers. If you're selling safety products, it's just a must that you include a manual. Aside from all the technical stuff, I also included a section on the client's website that lists all of their certifications.
The client was happy with their new website. It had a more professional look than before and all the product information customers need in order to make smart purchasing decisions.
Uploading the catalog products through an automated script allowed me to develop the website faster. Technology really powers our lives, but I also want to say that this project was successful mainly because I was able to work in person with PSS and its team. We could have used technology to email back and forth, but when I worked in person with PSS's vice president, the project details were communicated accurately and effectively. I guess when you're in the same place at the same time, it's way easier to be on the same page.View Site View Case Study PDF Share This