Prodec Networks supplies business-class data, voice and converged networking solutions to thousands of customers across the world.
In addition to providing infrastructure and network services, Prodec also sells a wide range of hardware from different manufacturers. The original focus of the Prodec website wasn't to advertise these products so didn't have any product-specific pages. If the ability to create the pages was to exist, Prodec simply wouldn't be able to devote the large amount of time that would be required to create the thousands of product pages.
Prodec investigated this issue and discovered that GfK Etilize would be able to provide the data and product imagery for the many thousands of products and if it could be integrated into Umbraco would save entering manually. Through investigation and discussions with the GfK Etilize team, it was clear that the service was system agnostic so integration with Umbraco would be possible.
An Easy Way to Find Products
Product search should be integrated into the already existing site search.
Integrate with Related Content and Calls-to-Action
Other content on the website should easily be integrated into the product pages along with Calls-to-Action.
Minimise Amount of Work Required for Content Editors
GfK Etilize is designed to make product content population easy so we should continue this by requiring as little input as possible from content editors.
Easily Updatable with New Products
As new products become available, content editors should easily be able to draw these down from GfK Etilize and into Umbraco.
Post-Import Categorisation and Addition of Pricing
Products should be able to be categorised with Umbraco and custom pricing be added post-import.
How We Did It
Using the GfK Etilize Importer, the content editor can import the product catalogue database and then within Umbraco they can then search for the products they wish to add to the Umbraco database. During this import process our GfK Etilize Umbraco Plugin automatically generates the product node structure in Umbraco - saving a lot of leg-work for content editors. At the same time we store an image URL and description that we will be using elsewhere on the site.
Screenshot of Etilize integration
Once imported, each product node can be moved into different Product Categories and Product Series either within the Umbraco node structure or within the custom GfK Etilize Umbraco Plugin. Optional prices for each of the products can be added directly within the GfK Etilize Umbraco Plugin.
What the User Sees
When a user views a product on the Prodec website our template will draw down product information from the GfK Etilize Database in addition to imagery such as product images and brand logo. As the information is drawn down we handle the formatting of complex specification tables.
To further enrich the integration with GfK Etilize products can be related to content stored elsewhere in Umbraco either on a product category or product-by-product basis. This allows content editors to link to services related to products that customers may be interested in.
We have utilised the Series feature of the GfK Etilize database to group products within a Series. This helps users discover products that are very similar to the one they are viewing and ones that may be more suitable to their needs.
Prodec uses Hubspot for Calls-to-Action throughout the website so naturally needed to use them on Product pages.
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