Greg Radziewicz came to dbdc with an unusual request: he wanted an online store but didn’t want to sell anything online.
The name of Greg’s business is Quirky Homebrew Supply. It gets its name from Greg’s own nickname—Quirky. So his unusual request was true to form. Quirky Homebrew Supply stocks over 4000 different products, boasting over 300 types of grain a walk-in cooler filled with over 150 hops varieties. But when they approached dbdc there was one problem: nobody believed them.
Greg thought that if the website had an online store listing everything that was in stock, complete with inventory information, he would be able to convince people that their exhaustive selection was the real deal, and to come to the store to see it for themselves.
- Huge Inventory but Low Online Visibility
- A website that wasn’t getting enough traffic
- Wholesale customers had to call or visit the store to see current inventory
- A new online store using WordPress + WooCommerce
- Creating a custom Theme recreating the design of the old site
- Custom WooCommerce development to provide full integration with their existing POS System, allowing customers to place orders online and pick them up in the store
- Higher foot traffic in the retail store driven by Search Engine traffic
- 10x increase in website visits
- Streamlined Wholesale ordering that appeals to a new generation of brewers
Without an online store, Quirky Homebrew’s impressive numbers were only that—numbers. Despite a distinctive and unique design by Quirky himself the website just wasn’t convincing people to come into the store where they could see the whole range of products with their own eyes.
Connecting Retail and eCommerce
Creating an online store filled with thousands of products from scratch can mean many long hours taking product photos and writing descriptions. Fortunately Quirky Homebrew already used a cloud-based Point of Sale system called PHP Point of Sale that had all of their products entered into it. Even better, PHP Point of Sale integrates with WooCommerce through the WooCommerce API, which made populating the online store’s inventory and keeping it in sync with the retail store a simple task. dbdc also worked with PHP Point of Sale to develop custom code that went beyond WooCommerce’s API to import store-specific wholesale data from PHP Point of Sale into extended product fields in WooCommerce.
dbdc also built a custom theme for the online store that replicated the look of the old site, and extended it to include the design of the online store catalog and products. We customized the Checkout process with custom fields that allow customers to request pre-milled grains, and specify whether the grains should be kept separate or combined into one big bag.
Keeping a Local Focus
Even though Quirky Homebrew occupies a large space, the number and volume of their product doesn’t leave much space for a packing and shipping room. That means that the Quirky Homebrew online store only accepts orders for pickup—but that’s fine with their homebrewer customers who have always appreciated the ability to buy products in bulk.
The online store also lets Quirky Homebrew’s wholesale customers submit their orders in advance online instead of over the phone, or by bringing in a list and waiting for it to be filled. dbdc designed the store to make ordering in bulk easy, with the ability to add multiple products to their cart from a single page instead of having to visit multiple product pages individually.
“We regularly have people come into the store to make a purchase and comment ‘we saw it on your website’.
“Has the site served its purpose of creating greater awareness of the selection and pricing at a large local homebrew store? You bet.”
— Greg Radziewicz, Owner, Quirky Homebrew Supply
Online Presence means Offline Sales
Adding all that content in the form of product listings has helped Quirky Homebrew Supply’s website climb Google’s search rankings quickly, promoting them to an even wider audience. Visits to the Quirky Homebrew site increased 10x almost immediately after the store launched, and has maintained that level of traffic every since.
The site has brought more traffic to Quirky’s retail store, too. Instead of calling the store to ask about a particular product, customers are going to the online store to search the inventory and then coming in to the retail location once they see that Quirky (almost) always has what they need in stock.
When it comes to wholesale, Greg says that many experienced brewers still prefer to call or email in their orders, but that offering online ordering has led to them picking up new business from younger brewers who appreciate the convenience and are more likely to embrace new technology.
In the end, Quirky Homebrew Supply’s online store has worked pretty well for a store that doesn’t sell online. They even get calls from out of state, but so far Greg has remained firm in his focus on his local brewing community.
By taking advantage of the WooCommerce API and the ability to extend is store with custom WooCommerce development, Quirky Homebrew has been able to expand their business from brick-and-mortar retail to eCommerce without changing their in-store process or adding to their workload. And that’s a good kind of Quirky.
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Article images copyright and courtesy Quirky Homebrew Supply.