In an effort to better serve its customers, Lancaster released a new online store and ordering platform. Senior marketing coordinator lead Nick Weiner says the company worked closely with software developer Chris Bevan to create the new site, which will offer better usability and features.
Previously, Lancaster had two separate ordering platforms, Web Order Entry (WOE) and OE Touch. WOE was optimized for a desktop experience, and OE Touch was a native mobile application downloaded from either the Apple App Store or Google Play. Weiner says because they did not build OE Touch, they couldn’t edit it in any way and didn’t have the flexibility to make changes as needed.
The new online store is a Progressive Web Application (PWA) and offers more flexibility for the company to make changes and for users to access the site.
“PWAs are used to cross the barrier between desktop, tablet and mobile,” Weiner says. “They conform to your screen size to deliver you the optimal experience. You can even download them directly to your device, regardless of what it is, without needing to use an app store.”
With the new format, Lancaster can immediately push out updates to customers. Weiner says the new site also bridges the gap between the PDF promotions the company currently uses and the more user-friendly browsable promotional products sections where customers can add products directly to the cart. On Promo, New and Closeout Items are also now clearly marked within the product search.
Other important features of the new site include improved search options, adding products to favorites to create wish lists and other product groups and quick ordering tools. Multiple users can access the site at the same time as well.
“The new format creates a better experience across mobile and desktop and allows us to circumnavigate the app store for ease of use,” Weiner says. “We continue to be forward thinking with technology and processes. We have many, many updates in store; this is just the beginning.”