A few years ago, I started following a Facebook page for a rescue group based out of Anna, Texas. They would rescue dogs from puppy mills as well as strays or dogs that were in shelters where they were most likely be euthanized. The Dog Ranch Rescue would rehabilitate these dogs and find them forever homes—no expenses spared.
One day they made a post asking for proposals for a website redesign. As the owner of Tiny Stars Creative, a web design firm in Mukilteo, WA, this project resonated with me. So I looked at their requirements and knew WordPress and WooCommerce would be the perfect choice. I wrote the proposal and it was accepted.
Dog Ranch Rescue’s volunteers had an existing website but they were limited by its lack of capabilities. Almost everything they did seemed to direct visitors to a third party website.
They wanted to sell their products and track their inventory which wasn’t possible with their previous cart. They wanted it to be a seamlessly integrated into their website which it wasn’t. They wanted to give people the ability to RSVP and pay for tickets to events. They also wanted a way for shoppers to make donations and raise money through auctions. Their other requirements included automating their donation process and allowing people to view dogs available for adoption as well as apply to adopt them.**
While the website was a rather large undertaking for my team, we were able to provide them with everything they hoped for on their limited budget.
We not only used WooCommerce to sell their merchandise, we were able to give shoppers the ability to Round up for Charity* when they bought something from their site. This wasn’t limited to merchandise since it could be used when someone purchase tickets to their events thanks to WooCommerce’s integration with the Events Calendar Pro. They could also using Round up for Charity when they had their first auction using Auctions Pro*.
Through the use of Auctions Pro, visitors could bid and purchase auction items right from WooCommerce. They could also purchase additional items from their store at the same time. All their items were paid for and shipped in the same transaction. Virtual or local pick up items could be purchased at the same time.
There was no leaving the site to go to a third party websites such as eBay, Eventbrite or third party shopping carts. Everything was seamless.
Through the use of WooCommerce’s reporting and inventory management, they would never sell items they didn’t have in stock. When an item was bought it was deducted from their inventory and they would receive notices about items that were out of stock. They were able to determine which products were worth carrying again and which items should be phased out.
They also able to determine which Auction items were paid for and whether it was time to move to the next bidder. While the system did send reminder emails to bidders, volunteers could remove a bidder and go to the next highest bidder within WooCommerce if they needed to.
Don’t get me wrong, there were a few hiccups along the way since their third party vendor didn’t allow their products to be exported, we had to manually enter their products into WooCommerce. We also ran into a few hiccups when PayPal had a few processing issues. Overall the project was a success and we were happy to be apart of it.
**This was accomplished using custom post types in WordPress and Gravity Forms for donation process.
*Auctions Pro and Round Up for Charity uses WooCommerce extensions from IgniteWoo.