Bear Group Case Study

Seattle Chocolates Custom Drupal and Magento Website Case Study

Launch Date: 
Since March 2009

Web Development Challenge

Seattle Chocolates’ extensive line of gourmet, all natural chocolates can be found at more than 8,000 grocery stores nationwide. They also maintain a large online store for not only their main product line, but also for JCoCo, their premium brand. The company’s marketing team has always had a strong vision for their web presence and needed to find a development partner who could deliver on it.

In addition to their substantial e-commerce needs, the Seattle Chocolates site has a number of other requirements. Their shipping forms, for example, require some advanced functionality to mitigate the risks of shipping perishable chocolates. The company also relies on integrations with their fulfillment and accounting systems to keep things moving smoothly. Plus, the site serves as an outlet for a steady stream of content about the company’s products, promotions, and philanthropic activities.

Seattle Chocolates had previously contracted with a digital marketing agency for their development but found that it wasn’t quite the right fit. The internal marketing team had their vision and strategy well in hand, they just needed a technical partner to execute their plans. When they came to us in 2009, we deployed a development team and got straight to work.

Custom Magento Store and Drupal CMS Solution

Our initial engagement with Seattle Chocolates centered around getting them set up on a Magento for eCommerce and Drupal for marketing content. Working with the open source tools we know best, we were able to leverage our expertise with both platforms. We built the main Seattle Chocolates store, plus a sub-store for JCoCo (and the now-retired J. Truffles brand). Our developers built integrations with their third-party systems, and we delivered a publishing toolkit that made it easy for their marketing team to manage their content.

Since that first project, we’ve been Seattle Chocolates’ development partner delivering on a variety of web initiatives from their marketing roadmap:

  • Several head-to-toe redesigns – Working with external design firms, we’ve implemented several full refreshes to the front-end of the site. The most recent redesign was also fully responsive, which has boosted mobile traffic to their site considerably.
  • A suite of community building tools – To support the marketing team’s efforts to build community among Seattle Chocolates’ customers, we helped them incorporate a number of social features into their site. For example, we built a section of the site for chocolate-inspired recipes with built-in social sharing options.
  • An SEO overhaul – When the marketing team brought in a search engine optimization consultant, we worked with them to reengineer the way their SEO is processed across their entire site.

Over the years, we’ve built a strong collaborative relationship with the Seattle Chocolates marketing team. We look forward to continuing to provide the development expertise they need to support their digital marketing goals.