Multisite with DRUPAL 8 Commerce webshop

The case
Beurtvaartadres is the largest supplier of paper and digital waybills in the Netherlands with 80 million waybills sold each year. After an extensive strategic phase we built a multisite in DRUPAL 8 to create four websites including a DRUPAL 8 Commerce webshop. For this webshop we created a completely customized sales flow with an ERP connection and a loading time of 40 to 50 ms.
Project description
Beurtvaartadres is the largest and oldest supplier of paper and digital waybills in the Netherlands. With 80 million waybills sold to the transport sector each year, Beurtvaartadres is an authority in the field with a high focus on quality and legal coverage. Stichting Vervoeradres is an affiliated foundation originated from Beurtvaartadres, with knowledge specifically focused on the legal aspects of transport, who were also in need of a new website.
Beurtvaartadres came to Flink for help in determining the new online strategy for their websites and webshop. The main focus was to update the website to a modern, responsive and user friendly website and to help convince customers to make the transition from paper waybills to digital services. The latter being a wider aspect of current developments in the transport sector as a whole.
After an extensive strategic phase we decided to build a multisite in DRUPAL 8 to reuse multiple content types across four different websites:, (Stichting Vervoeradres), one to be announced soon and For the webshop we decided to develop a completely custom sales flow where existing customers can order on invoice or by using iDeal, and new customers can register and order through iDeal. To develop the webshop we suggested to be an 'early adaptor' and go for DRUPAL 8 Commerce, with an ERP connection to access the details of over 80.000 customers (with 250.000 addresses).
The biggest win for Beurtvaartadres is that customers can now register directly online and place their orders from a selection of the 300 products, which is directly processed within their ERP-system. Extensive effort was put into the speed of both the website as well as the webshop which show a loading time of 40 to 50 ms, to process the 700 large orders per month. Since the webshop is now online for less than a month, we don't have the numbers yet to back up the positive opinions of customers and Beurtvaartadres itself.
Besides setting up the multisite within DRUPAL 8, which holds known challenges of reusing content types across different websites, one of the main challenges was to create the DRUPAL 8 Commerce webshop and connect to the ERP-system of Beurtvaartadres.
For the webshop we created a customized sales flow. To do so we analyzed and created the optimal flow for finding and ordering the different products of Beurtvaartadres, figured out the use of VAT settlements and added and processed volume pricing.
In addition we created a customized account registration flow. When a visitor of the webshop is creating an account, the system will run a check on the Chamber of Commerce number. If the Chamber of Commerce number is known within the ERP-connection, a new contact person will be added to the existing company account. If not, a new company account will be created with a new contact person account. Additional accounts for other contact persons can be added later. With the newly created company account, the webshop visitor can then directly place an order and pay by use of iDeal. Beurtvaartadres can then approve the company account so that future orders can be placed on invoice.
We created a personalized environment where customers can place repeat orders, edit their account details through simple focused forms and view their order history. The order history is visible by company, instead of by account, so that multiple employees can place new orders and check out what orders have been placed in the past.
A second connection was made with a printshop, with another customized sales flow to allow customers to order personalized waybills. For Beurtvaartadres we then created an extended export where orders are divided into personalized and standard waybills. We also built in the possibility for Beurtvaartadres to shield certain categories of products, like the personalized waybills, for certain users.
The entire webshop is created within a relatively small budget. During the scrum process of creating the website and webshop, we therefore decided to postpone a few developments as discussed within the strategic phase to a future development phase. For example expanding the focus on digital waybills by showing the cost breakpoint for digital and paper waybills. We will also expand the personalized environment with digital products like a subscription flow, discount options and stock management functionalities.
Community contributions
To highlight active menu items and parent items in our navigation, we updated the 'Menu Trail By Path' module to be compatible for DRUPAL 8 and released this back to the DRUPAL community. We also encountered issues in the DRUPAL 8 core in using the 'forgot password' option: the password reset form revealed whether an email or username is in use which could trigger phishing methods. We fixed the issue for the webshop of Beurtvaartadres and provided feedback to the community.