The RAE Pumps website
RAE Pumps was a new website. The company had been recently created as a new Ruthman Company brand. I was tasked with creating a website that showcased the products and enabled users to make orders.
Visit the RAE Pumps website (opens in a new tab).
Creating the website
As I understand it, almost all of the industrial pumps that Ruthman companies supply are built to specification for particular applications. RAE Pumps is different in that the company offers a range of stock products.
The brief for this website was that it should not only be an online brochure for the pumps, it should also enable customers to complete orders.
I therefore decided to build an eCommerce website using the WordPress plug-in WooCommerce (opens in a new window).
Using WooCommerce enabled me to easily add all the products and create variations, different models, for each product. Each model for the products could be priced individually.
Each product page also includes a lot of detail on technical specifications and links to brochures to download.
The design was not too difficult as the website had to fit with the Ruthman Company in-house style and I had already built several websites in that style.
What a learning experience it has been launching a new brand! So proud to finally be at launch day! Huge thanks to the incomparable Craig Murray for working with the most difficult client in the world to build us our first e-commerce capable site! (Any design or UX shortcomings rest solely with me.)Lisa Wallner (on LinkedIn)
Director of Marketing at Ruthman Companies
Customising the system
WooCommerce is a full eCommerce platform that makes it reasonably easy to set up an online shop. The problem I had to overcome was that RAE did not want to accept full payments for orders as is normal with eCommerce. The company only wanted to receive orders without payment. They would then contact the customer and discuss their needs in more detail, possible discounts and shipping costs.
I therefore had to strip out all the purchasing and payment options. I also had to make it clear to the user throughout the ordering process that it was an order, not a purchase, and that on completion of the order someone would contact them.
This wasn’t as easy as I first thought. It involved creating new text fields in certain areas and editing the language files to change mentions of “purchase” to “order” amongst other intricate changes.
The emails that are sent out after an order is made also needed customisation and extra fields added for items such as Purchase Order Numbers.
There was also a request for the ability to save multiple shipping addresses in a user’s account. It was thought this would be a useful addition for distributors with several regular customers.
I could probably have built this myself but to save time I found a plug-in that did exactly what I wanted called WooCommerce Address Book (opens in a new window). I am not a huge fan of using plugins but this one seems well maintained and frequently updated so I was confident in using it.
An update for Pumps In Stock
Following the successful launch of the website it was realised that we had a small problem. Many of the pumps were in stock but some were not available. A user might visit the product page only to find that the pump model that they wanted was not in stock. I was tasked with creating a “Pumps In Stock” page that was basically a mini version of the whole eCommerce website.
An “In Stock” page is not something built in to WooCommerce so I built it myself. The page lists all the products and all of the individual models that are in stock. It also lists the number in stock and the price. There is a clickable link that adds the pump model to the customer’s order making it much easier to use and less frustrating for users.