PHP ecommerce integration for The Elegant Farmer

PHP ecommerce integration and The Elegant Farmer’s Apple Pie Baked in a Paper Bag.  A match made in heaven allowed this brick and mortar store to expand its ecommerce operations.  Their crisp apples, crunchy topping, and sugary crust will make your mouth water! I’m not a food editor by any means but I know good food when I taste it and was able to assist them in getting online.

The Elegant Farmer is a Wisconsin based business that primarily sells pies (really good pies).  They had the unique problem of having to ship perishable pies next day air, packed with ice, to customers so wonderful pies would not be ruined by mother nature.  The farmer’s paired up with a fulfilment center and me to connect the two systems and make them “talk” – if you will.

The original ecommerce system was Squirrel Cart.  I wrote a cron script that would query the MySQL database for orders and submit them to the fulfilment center in a specified format.  After the fulfilment center completed their processing they would keep a semi-colon delimited file on their FTP server to be fetched and parsed to retrieve the tracking information for the orders.

The code was written fairly modular.  When The Elegant Farmer switched the ecommerce platform to Open Cart I made a few modifications to the script to make it work.

Successes

The Elegant Farmer was able to lower their pricing by half and made their tens of orders rise to hundreds of orders.  The Elegant Farmer’s success allowed them to invest more time into increasing their products listed online.

Challenges

With any PHP ecommerce integration there are some challenges.  The challenge in this instance came down to getting the proper file formatting to the fulfilment center.  I encountered other challenges when I was trying to migrate to a different ecommerce solution but they were mainly data challenges.

I learned a lot about this project while doing it and will be contributing a PHP ecommerce plugin for several different commerce systems in the near future.  This plugin is aimed at connecting stores to other fulfilment centers.