A bit about Tools & Parts Direct…

Tools & Parts Direct (TAPD) are one of the main suppliers of Black & Decker and DeWalt power tools as well as giving advice and guidance to tradesmen and the general public across the UK. TAPD also supply a huge number of spare parts and accessories for their suppliers’ products.

The Challenge

TAPD’s website processes a huge number of transactions and contains thousands of unique products and spare parts for power tools. This posed a challenge in how users find the right product or part. So, working with the sheer volume of products and ensuring the website was on a secure and stable platform was a challenge Reckless was happy to take on.

Our Approach

The TAPD website is complex to say the least. As a brief overview, it has:

 

Products: 95,680
Categories: 13,180
Associations: 411,065

 

Products and categories do what they say on the tin. An ‘association’ is the link between a product (a spare part like a washer or motor) and the product it fits into. However, this is not a one-to-one relationship, as many spare parts fit many products. This results in a huge number of associations, all of which need to be searchable, filterable, browseable and displayed so it is easy for a user to find the part they’re looking for.

Additionally, the system synchronises its product catalogue, images, stock and pricing, with external integrations for warehouse and stock management.

We moved TAPD away from their old and outdated platform (Magento 1) onto a new platform: Aero Commerce. We knew Aero could handle a website of this magnitude in terms of site speed and security so it has enabled us to build bespoke and complex systems for TAPDs online offering.

 

Aero was able to handle the number of SKUs and products that TAPD sell without any issues. Its extendable nature meant it was easy for us to create the concept of associations and to build that into a user friendly frontend.

Because Aero is built on top of Laravel, a framework we use every day to build complex applications, the custom integrations were easy to create but also extremely robust and performant.

The Results

We solved the problem of a dated, unsecure platform by re-platforming the website onto Aero Commerce. This proved to be the best fit for Tools and Parts Direct and fulfils the needs of the website. Its has ensured the buying process and user journey are as seamless and secure as possible, whilst delivering great performance results.

 

Following the switch from Magento to Aero Commerce, TAPD saw a marked improvement in site performance. Year on Year, we have seen a 23% (1.5 seconds) reduction in average page loading time and a huge 40% decrease in redirect time. We consider this a big success given the number of products and associations present for TAPD. This has contributed to a 4% increase in conversions, despite the challenging times for the industry and UK economy as a whole.

Getting Down to the Detail

The complexity of this project came from the thousands of products and product variations that TAPD offer. There are so many ways you could find a particular product, that our development team had to map out every one of these outcomes.

 

Originally, we were going to use Shopify which we won the original pitch with. However, the Shopify platform recently included a cap on the number of allowed categories, (or ‘collections’ in Shopify terms). This meant it was no longer a viable platform for us so we began exploring alternative options.

 

After a lot of research, we found each platform had its limitations. However, when we looked at Aero Commerce we found this to be a good fit for the criteria and uniqueness of TAPD. This provided us with much more freedom to build exactly what the client wanted and needed. It also gave us the flexibility to use whichever payment provider we decided was best suited to TAPD.

Let’s discuss your requirements…

We’re always looking for the next great challenge, let us about your challenges and see how we can help.