If you’re an animal lover in Central Texas, you’re likely familiar with Tomlinson’s Feed. Since 1946 Tomlinson’s has been operating locally in Austin, Texas, selling natural, healthy pet products. Operated by four generations of the Click family, Tomlinson’s aims to treat every customer like family with world-class service, and we set out to do the same for them.
Tomlinson’s was scaling and looking to move from a static marketing site to a dynamic e-commerce website to turn their physical stores into a transactional online catalog. With the growth of the internet and improvements in telecommunications technology, e-commerce is becoming increasingly popular and a great compliment to brick and mortar establishments like Tomlinson’s.
Tomlinson’s chose to move to Shopify, an e-commerce platform that allows businesses to create an online store and manage products, inventory, payments, and shipping through one, easy to manage location.
What’s often missed by organizations when adopting an e-commerce platform, though, is that these standard solutions will rarely fit all of your needs. Platforms like Shopify are designed to meet the broadest of needs, and while they’re always augmenting and making available more and more native functionality, there’s only so much they can anticipate. In our experience, more often than not, client’s needs are much like that of Tomlinson’s, that is to say, unique. You have your own needs, desires, partners, brand, and integrations.
That’s where Fahrenheit Marketing comes in.
Shopify cannot possibly provide all of the individual customizations that organizations require, so further development is almost always needed. In Tomlinson’s case, Shopify provided a strong foundation but needed to be adapted to their individual systems, processes, and brand.
Here’s how we helped:
Designing & Developing a Dynamic E-commerce Site
Transitioning from a static marketing website to a dynamic e-commerce system is a fairly large change. E-commerce sites require a lot more data (individual accounts, payment methods, cart status, etc.) and take a lot more computing power. We designed and developed a responsive website that was in line with their brand, values, and customer experience. We gave Tomlinson’s a new look that successfully managed to optimize their customers’ buying experience (which we continue to improve upon today).
Individual Shipping Needs
The challenge with Shopify, like most out-of-the-box solutions, is that it did not work for Tomlinson’s various shipping options. If your shipping methods are straight forward, then Shopify does have standard shipping that works just fine. Tomlinson’s, however, includes many different options to make their customer’s experience as pleasant and easys as possible. We integrated applications like Recharge (which allows your customers to subscribe to your products) and Dropoff (to expedite local shipping) and made them customizable so that customers could adjust their subscription date, pick-up in-store, scan inventory to ensure the nearest store had products in stock and more.
Improvements to Customer and Employee Experience
After building out their site, we continue to make small, but significant improvements for both their employees and their customers. This is the true benefit of having an agency like Fahrenheit to fulfill your development needs. We were able to add tweaks not included in the standard Shopify deployment like:
- Integrating with their POS system, Teamwork to pull inventory for shipping methods
- Sending their employees SMS notifications to alert them to customers coming in for in-store pick-ups
- Adding in custom code so that their Instagram feed is synced to their website so their customers can see the adorable puppies available for adoption
With all of these changes, we were able to connect the power of Shopify with the individuality of Tomlinson’s, all the while, maintaining brand consistency and offering an exceptional shopping experience.
The new updates have helped them continue to sell their healthy pet products not only in Austin but on a national scale. We are happy to play a part in helping spread the word of an Austin staple.
Want to see how Fahrenheit can help you? Schedule a call here.