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Too Many Cooks in the Kitchen? How to Handle Thousands of Admins and Still Make a Sale

April 30, 2013

by Jade La, Project Manager

Most eCommerce sites usually only have one admin who has control over the look, feel and functionality of its one store. 

But what if your eCommerce site is the foundation to multiple, hundreds, if not thousands of online stores – each with different brands and products?

How does one admin manage all that catalogue information?

One doesn’t.

How many admins?

Advanstar Communications approached us to design, develop and launch a new online marketplace that would connect participating brands at their MAGIC Market Week (MAGIC) and PROJECT fashion trade shows, with buyers and retailers spanning the world of fashion from apparel to accessories to footware.  Participating brands and buyers number into the tens of thousands, so the potential for users (admins and otherwise) was great.

Guidance delivered a Magento Enterprise website, shopthefloor.com, capable of handling thousands of MAGIC exhibitors to create private, branded show rooms that showcased their upcoming lines.  The site also provided buyers and attendees with the tools required to preview new products, add favorites into “Look Books”, then create “Line Sheets” and order requests before, during and after the tradeshow events. The tool also provides navigation by show, category, and market, as well as an individual note taking ability.

How did we do it?

By extensive customization of the Magento code, registered users from  participating brands such as Hugo Boss, TOMS and American Apparel have access to streamlined versions of the administration interface where they can easily create, edit and import product content to showcase their new lines every season. Guidance used agile methodologies and iterative feedback to quickly implement new UX elements to life.

What about performance issues?

Very early on, Guidance recognized the risk of performance problems due to numerous administrators constantly making changes to the product catalog. Our development team intercepted these issues with a variety of innovative solutions, including incremental updates to product indices and judicious use of custom database tables to avoid performance bottlenecks.

Final Results?

With more than 3,200 brand users, shopthefloor.com showcased more than 1,000,000 products to nearly 60,000 buyers who attended MAGIC in February 2013.  shopthefloor.com featured major brands such as BCBGeneration, Cole Haan, Crooks and Castles, Fossil, T.U.K., Rebecca Minkoff, Red Wing, Desigual and many more.

3,200 admins?  Yes, a large number of independent administrators are possible on a single Magento installation.