Startup Case Study

Verdant Trade

Multi-vendor E-Commerce B2B
Verdant Trade website screenshot

Overview

Karen Leventhal

Karen is the founder of Verdant Trade, a B2B multi-vendor e-commerce marketplace for wholesale sustainable goods.

Karen found me after several attempts to work with other agencies and developers to build her marketplace. She needed a highly customized multi-vendor e-commerce experience, which other developers found difficult to provide. I built her marketplace from the ground-up.

Concept

Karen wanted Verdant Trade to be a one-stop source for wholesale sustainable goods. She wanted multiple sellers to be able to sign up easily, to show off their company's social causes and certifications, and to make it easy for numerous buyers and sellers to do business.

I took a look at Karen's specifications for her marketplace, and we decided to focus on a few core features:

  • Highlighting sellers
    Sellers would need to be able to sign up easily to sell on the platform, and promote their products using their own branding and marketing messages.

  • Easy negotiation of purchase orders
    Because wholesale orders are sometimes more time-consuming and challenging then single product orders, we needed a way to let buyers and sellers easily create and negotiate wholesale purchase orders. Both parties should be able to revise and edit these easily, and once an agreement is reached, finalize the order into a sale.

  • Payments for large orders
    An ordering and payment system was also needed, which could support wholesale shipping calculations and large bank transfers.

Solutions

  • Customizable Storefronts
    I built storefronts which can be customized by uploading images, videos, and entering custom descriptions. Each storefront is also assigned it's own subdomain to allow better personalization. Sellers can select causes and certifications their business supports from a list, which are displayed as badges on their storefronts.
    This allowed sellers to attract buyers using their own branding, without any technical or design expertise.

  • Proposal tool
    To ease the creation of purchase orders, I built a flexible tool which allows sellers to add any product or service in any amount to a wholesale purchase order, which we dubbed a "Proposal". Shipping charges can be calculated based on the order size and weight, and the Proposal can be easily shared and discussed between the two parties on the platform, using an internal messaging system I also created. Once the details are finalized, the Proposal becomes an order, and shipping labels are created for the seller to ship the order to the buyer.
    This made negotiating a sale simple for both parties, and streamlined the entire sale process.

  • Shipping provider integrations
    Multiple shipping carriers needed to be supported, so I integrated with a 3rd-party service to handle this.
    This saved Karen money, since she wouldn't need to maintain her own internal shipping system and keep track of ever-changing shipping rules.

  • ACH Payment Processor integrations
    I also integrated payment processors which can handle large ACH bank transfers, and built a system to intelligently handle payments and refunds automatically.
    This made purchasing wholesale orders as easy as possible, much like buying an item on a traditional e-commerce website.

Technologies used

Ruby on Rails JavaScript / ES6 React.js Redux Node.js Webpack PostgreSQL Redis SCSS / CSS3 Full text search Amazon Web Services Stripe API Shippo API Twitter API Facebook API HAML / HTML5 RSpec

Founder's perspective

After successfully launching Karen's marketplace, here's what she had to say about my work:

Karen Leventhal

It took me over a year to find Matt and he came highly recommended by one of my tech advisors, whose platform he built. Matt is an expert who delivers great value.

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