Gill was founded in 1975 by Nick Gill, a keen sailor who wanted to create a range of sailing product without compromise. Now trusted for over 40 years, Gill has grown into the world’s leading technical apparel brand, combining innovative design with the latest fabric technology. Distributed around the world to 37 countries, and more recently through a global eCommerce platform. Gill approached us to re-platform their existing eCommerce businesses comprising of a B2C website and a unique Magento B2B website offering direct sales to distributors across the world.
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Our client, Gill Marine, approached us to replatform their existing ecommerce businesses comprising of a B2C website servicing over 20 countries and a unique Magento B2B website offering direct sales to distributors and outlets from across the world.
Gill’s business logistics is operated using Protex – an open source management software system – which needed to be integrated with our ERP solution to enable processing of orders, stock management and customer management. This presented many difficulties, as individual customers and companies needed their own pricing structure, and product inventory was different depending on the country and company.
We integrating Gill’s Protex system with our own in-house ERP connector, which enables complex business logic to work seamlessly with Magento. We decided to develop the site on Magento Enterprise Edition. This allowed Gill to utilise a wide variety of out-of-the-box features, including gift cards, speed performance with full page cache and a more streamlined production line with optimised code. We combined this with other standard Magento features such as multi-site setup and translations, advanced catalog search and faceted navigation (available in all Magento versions).
We were required to operate a B2B and B2C site from the same installation – both sites operating differently. Gill wanted a wide variety of features available on the website, these include multi-site setup and translations. The Magento version at the time did not support multiple prices per company & customer (B2B & B2C), multiple warehouse for inventories, multiple product status per store view etc., and the native customer group is not efficient enough to handle thousands of individual customers and prices.
When dealing with the issue of operating a B2B and B2C site, we used our ERP system to handle this integration and allow Gill to maintain multiple sets of data in Protex. This enabled imports into Magento accordingly throughout the day. Behind the scenes technicality aside, a new look and design was required for Gill, one that was in keeping with the client’s new branding experience. Working with our design and UI/UX partners Phoenix Wharf, we were able to create a fresh and on-brand design that also fitted seamlessly, incorporating said functionality with maximum focus on user experience.
Another key factor in the build was to use the Magento 1.14 responsive (RWD) base framework. This allowed us to launch Gill’s website with a responsive design which would work simultaneously across desktop, tablet and mobile (one design working across all platforms) without having to maintain multiple codebases – vital in ensuring efficiency and upkeep of the site.
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