A child company of Direct Pack, Inc., BOTTLEBOX® manufactures and sells ranges of take-out containers made of recycled beverage bottles.
Business and Industrial Markets
The obstacles the client faced on their former site was having to update their 200+ product catalog along with their respective metadata individually or in bulk throughout multiple places. They were using Advanced Custom Fields (ACF) Pro, ACF’s premium add-ons, as well as Page Builder by Site Origin.
The first task at hand was to develop a method that would eliminate the need to install any single-use third-party plugins on the site.
Implementing this process would eradicate any concerns from installing and activating the third-party plugins such as the following:
- Heavy loading times
- Required knowledge of operation
- Constant upkeep
- Risks of incompatibility (if updated or abandoned by either staff or plugin developer)
Another benefit to this process was personnel could increase their work efficiency and have ease of mind updating products within a single, central location rather than navigating between multiple endpoints to apply any type of product change.
I resolved this issue by utilizing the WordPress Developer Resources guide to programmatically create the necessary custom meta boxes using HTML, PHP, and CSS within the child theme. The meta boxes were hooked into preexisting WooCommerce functions listed in the WooCommerce Hook Reference guide along with the use of add_action() and add_filter() hooks.
In accomplishing all of this, the product fields now load alongside WooCommerce in their designated areas for the user’s convenience.
THE SOLUTION CONTINUED…
The second task at hand was to educate staff on how to export and import product data properly. Their massive inventory caused much headache and dismay whenever information needed to be updated exponentially.
WooCommerce contains the option to export product data into an Excel file where the column headers correspond with the product field names such as: width, height, price, sku, attributes, etc. I used the Column Header Reference guide by WooCommerce to formulate a standard Excel template consisting of up-to-date column headers and product specifications. By constructing this guide, any user could update the product information within the Excel file, import the data using WooCommerce’s import tool, and map the related fields together.
The BOTTLEBOX® was built using the The7 theme within WordPress alongside the plugins Slider Revolution, Visual Composer, and Gravity Forms.
Integrating the assorted product fields together into a unified platform resulted in a simple, straightforward, and coherent system that any individual could operate and complete.
Having the added bonus of importing/exporting products in high quantities provided better inventory oversight, updates, and management.