Miva Merchant + Custom Bootstrap Framework + Custom Miva Modules
Hotel Restaurant Supply is a south Florida retailer specializing in equipment and other products for hotels and restaurants. They supply foodservice goods to a number of hotels nationwide and throughout the Caribbean, with annual sales of $9.2 million in 2013. In addition to product sales, they also offer restaurant design services, and have been in business since 2005.
The owner, Lee Rosenthal, originally approached us to design and develop an e-commerce enabled website to support their sales efforts. Our experience building restaurant supply websites was one of the reasons they selected NetBlazon. Together, we chose Miva Merchant for their e-commerce platform, because of its built-in capabilities, its ability to be expanded through custom modules, and the MySQL backend that would allow them to manage their catalog data through an ODBC connection.
Responsive Web Design
Since the original launch in 2009, the Hotel Restaurant Supply website has gone through one redesign, and a second change in 2014 that kept the same look-and-feel, but was rebuilt on the Bootstrap 3 framework as a responsive website. The current design is optimized for computers, tablets, and smartphones with only a single Bootstrap-based framework. When we rebuilt the site using Bootstrap, the way the website appeared on laptops and desktops remained nearly identical. However, we optimized the layout and user interactions for smartphones and tablets to provide an improved experience on those mobile devices.
Rebuilding HotelRestaurantSupply.com using responsive website design (RWD) gave mobile customers a better experience, while still allowing desktop visitors the maximum features on their wider viewports. As a result, Hotel Restaurant Supply saw a 54.1% lift in mobile/tablet conversion rate and a 26.8% increase in mobile and tablet average order value.
The restaurant equipment industry has a number of manufacturers who place stringent pricing requirements on retailers. These policies, known as MAP policies (for Manufacturer Advertised Pricing), restrict retailers from advertising a product below a certain fixed price. The specific restrictions vary by manufacturer. To address this need, we developed a custom MAP module that performs several unique features:
- Emails the discounted price to a customer upon request. The customer can click a link in the email to add the product to their shopping cart at the discounted price, or they can use a coupon code included in the email during the checkout process to receive the same price.
- Alternatively, customers can create an account and validate it through an email process. Once the account has been validated, customers can log in to view all discounted prices.
This custom module allows Hotel Restaurant Supply to comply with the various restrictions imposed by their suppliers, while only adding a minimal hurdle between their customer base and their discounted pricing.
Lee has been so satisfied with our work that our partnership is now going into its sixth year (at the time of this writing). Lee says, “Prior to NetBlazon, I spent a lot of time getting a few products onto a website I didn’t understand how to use or grow my business with. As an individual with a passion for hotel and restaurant equipment and my expertise in the knowledge of the equipment, my customers and the sales process, I had little time or desire to learn HTML coding or how to build an eCommerce website. NetBlazon filled the gaps and allowed me to concentrate on what I do best without needing to worry about the technology of the website or how to maintain it. NetBlazon is constantly monitoring the eCommerce industry for best practices and applying the technology for us when it helps our bottom line. NetBlazon is critical to our success and growth.”
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