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Drupal for Business

At Duo, we build connections.

Botanic Garden Drupal Ecommerce Integration

Michael SilvermanWritten by Michael Silverman
Dec 15, 2017 10:34:00 AM

At Duo, we love having clients come to us before embarking on a major project and saying they want to collaborate with us from day one all the way until launch date, and hopefully beyond. But sometimes, we have clients come to us — well, for lack of a better way of saying it — in need of rescue. They started a project with one firm and for one reason or another, they weren’t satisfied with the firm or the final product.

They are looking for someone who can deliver.
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Photo by Lukas Juhas

That is just what happened with the Chicago Botanic Garden.

For those who don’t know, the Chicago Botanic Garden is one of the world’s greatest living museums and conservation centers. The Garden has 50,000 members — the largest membership of any U.S. botanic garden — and more than 1 million guests visit annually, making it the second most-visited garden of its size in the United States.

The Garden hosts all types of events throughout the year, from the Wonderland Express and Model Railroad Garden to The Orchid Show and The Night of 1,000 Jack-o’-Lanterns.

With so many events, and so many people entering each day, ticketing for the Garden is complex. In the past, the Garden operated an ecommerce site that was not connected to its website; it operated on a subdomain that was completely separate. What that means is there was no way for the Garden to integrate data from the ecommerce site with the website.

They wanted that integration capability so that they could know more about their visitors — and at the same time provide a more customized website experience.
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Without getting too much into the details, the Garden partnered with a different Drupal developer, and the developer couldn’t deliver. Deadlines were missed. Elements of the platform kept breaking. And there was no communication. That was what we were told most troubled the Garden. They felt like they were in the dark when it came to what exactly the developer was doing. They wanted a partner they could work with that was communicative. 

So, they came to Duo

There were two major aspects of this rescue project. The first problem was there were major performance issues with the new ecommerce component. Once we tackled that issue, we moved on to the second part of the project: integrate the ecommerce platform with the Garden’s website, which is built on Drupal.

We’ve written a number of times about Drupal’s flexibility and ability to integrate being one of the platform’s biggest strengths. Well, the Garden wanted to take advantage of that. By helping them integrate the ecommerce platform with the website — as well as a data lake — we gave the Garden countless new opportunities to connect with — and learn about — their customers. 

At the same time, we delivered an improved user experience for Garden website visitors, who no longer have to be sent to an external platform to purchase tickets. Now, everything happens within the same system, making for a more unified experience. 

We were honored that the Chicago Botanic Garden came to us to help rescue a project that was falling apart. We look forward to doing more work with the Garden in the future.

If you have a project that needs to be rescued, please contact us today.

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