Founded in 1960, Laferté is a renovation, hardware and materials store and centre with 3 branches located in Drummondville, Saint‑Hyacinthe, and Acton Vale. The company carries a vast inventory of products and materials, and offers advice tailored to all types of renovation and construction projects.

An online sales site that combines marketing and operationalization

The website redesign was a perfect fit with Laferté’s brand awareness plan. The technical aspect used for product management and blog creation was an important asset within the mandate. It allowed us to present the products, create an intuitive and pleasant customer experience, and do justice to the advice of renovation experts, just as they would in‑store.

The brand wanted to be able to sell its products online via its showcase site. Following a needs analysis, the Nmédia team looked for the ideal solution to synchronize this new site with the existing technologies used daily by Laferté’s teams. Existing e‑commerce tools did not support online sales with inventory and operations management. After careful consideration, our team finally opted for a modular development approach, which included custom development of e‑commerce components for online sales and a data administration platform enabling us to deal securely with existing technologies and resolve technical issues.

Nmédia aimed to offer simplified content management so that Laferté’s teams could act autonomously. A solution had to be found to enable Laferté to manage the showcase part of the website while maintaining its brand image and adding items online. The solution found was to create a website using the Umbraco tool.

Our teams also used the Elasticsearch solution. This non‑relational database allowed us to carry out advanced searches on the inventory and meet a major challenge in inventory management, with over 30,000 references produced.

The other challenge our team faced during development was integrating two technologies that were not designed to work together.

Laferté already has its in‑house technology for its inventory management system, which also serves as a database for recording all transactions, customer files, and products. However, this technology cannot be used as such, as it is not standardized to web codes. A solution had to be found to use this data despite its raw state and the impossibility of making the two systems communicate natively.

Our developers created a tailor‑made technology to transform the data and standardize it for publication on the web. Product sheets now contained what you’d expect from a web page, with images, descriptions, translations, etc. Product categorization work was also necessary to better restructure the product tree structure for web use and offer a more fluid and intuitive navigation for Laferté customers.

The “Sales” section was then redesigned to enable online payment for products, stock management by branches, and the choice of in‑store pick‑up or delivery. Users are notified of the status of their order via a communication flow.

Our teams also worked on improving the search tool using Elasticsearch Enterprise. This advanced version of the technology aimed to give the Laferté team more control over managing its search tool without the need to code.

This work can influence the weight of specific terms by giving them more values to obtain more relevant, precise, and better‑adapted results.

Laferté’s teams can thus put forward certain products on promotion, manage the numerous equivalent terms and translations for each product, or even better, direct searches with typos. Moreover, when a result is unsuccessful, the Laferté team can access the logs to anticipate needs or necessary modifications.

Nmédia’s teams are improving, and work is in progress on setting up a customer account that will give customers access to order history, payment records, a wish list and much more.

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