Solebich is a German web community for interior design and home decorating. It is a dynamic magazine-like project which interacts with users. Visitors can find here photos, tips, articles, decorating suggestions and they can upload their stuff too.
One of the Solebich community activities is that of shopping. The website presents products from different manufacturers. Users can share these products on social sites, ask questions about them to community members or flag them as their favourite. The products come from selected manufacturers and e-shops that wish to promote their work via Solebich. Users who wish to buy a product have to visit an external e-shop.
We had to respond to many different needs. Apart from setting up a Drupal 6 site, we developed a CSV import process, which allows shop owners to upload their products in CSV format. During the import progress based on the sku, a mechanism checks if a product exists and either updates it or imports the new one. Additionaly we handled the case of massive product uploading with the drupal batch api, whilst properties like price, category and product image are being stored correctly as product fields.
Each shop owner sets his monthly budget and also an amount per click, ie 10 cents per click. The products should remain available on the website, as long as the owner is on budget. Our main developing challenge was to built a tracking logic for counting visitors’ clicks on the listed products and charge products’ owners’ budget accordingly. It was important to exclude bots clicks, so we could have accurate results. Lastly, we integrated all our tracking fields into Views 3, which provides a very flexible way to create various displays according to shop owner’s needs.
Our last step was to connect the shopping with the community site. Due to the fact that Drupal is capable of sharing tables across multiple installations, we could share some of shopping’s features like user favorite products, product recommendations on articles or community questions. Overall Solebich shopping was a challenging project that gave us the opportunity to demonstrate our development creativity in combination with the virtues of Drupal.