Case Study: Sophia Institute Press

The Problem

Sophia Institute is a publisher of Catholic books with international distribution and a heavy e-commerce emphasis.  Their current webstore was inflexible and getting ready to be shuttered and migrated over to another provider.  It seemed like a good time to explore something that was completely customized to them and provided the flexibility they wanted.  The key component to everything was their internal book management software, Acumen Book.  It was crucial that the webstore not only receive it's data from this software but all orders had to route through the software as well for shipping from the warehouse.  E-books are an available purchase option and were being delivered by a third-party which meant an extra layer of integration to make everything seamless for their customers.

The Solution

A significant portion of this project was a custom Expression Engine add-on to integrate with the third-party Acumen Book system to create an easily managed webstore for the staff and a seamless experience for their customers.  Orders are initially processed on the store and pushed to the clients distribution system for shipping.  Expresso Store was used as the base for the e-commerce portion of the site and extended with a custom payment method to suite the clients specific needs.  Numerous CRON jobs keep the store data in sync with their warehouse system.  The front-end is fully mobile-responsive and was built atop Foundation 5.  Google Book previews were integrated into product pages via Javascript.  The site also includes an account section that allows customers to review previous orders, rate/review items, retrieve downloadable products, make wishlists of products, and more.

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