california app design company

Grubstreet

An elegant, scalable ecommerce platform for creative writers

  • web design
  • web development
  • cms
  • e-commerce

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We collaborated with Grubstreet to build their non-profit ecommerce platform, which enables users to sign up and pay for world-class writing classes online. Within the first week of launch, the platform had already more than paid for itself, not to mention covering Grubstreet’s donation quotas and the cost of running the writing classes. We relished the challenge of architecting an elegant ecommerce platform which delivered quick and scalable results, and we’re proud to be a part of Grubstreet’s continued success.

Challenge

Create systematic architecture to support Grubstreet’s rapidly growing user base, enabling scalable ecommerce expansion and providing a centralized solution from which Grubstreet can manage its entire business.

Solution

Design and build a completely custom CMS and ecommerce platform, enabling administrative users to manage the website at a very granular level, including scheduling of classes, blog post management, and creation of custom back-end data reports.

Outcome

An elegant, scalable ecommerce platform which has propelled Grubstreet to consistent growth in traffic, user acquisition, and engagement. Within a week of launch, the platform had more than paid for itself as well as covered Grubstreet’s donation quotas.

BUILDING A TOOL FOR THE FUTURE

Rebuilt E-Commerce, Custom CMS and Redesigned Core Functionality

Since 1997, GrubStreet has been one of the nation's leading creative writing centers. They came to Yeti when their website no longer fit the needs of their growing community.Part of the solution for GrubStreet was to rebuild their e-commerce solution from the ground up. We integrated with Stripe, giving users and our client a trustworthy solution that companies such as LYFT, Rackspace, Foursquare and a number of other large organizations use. Similar to many growing companies, as GrubStreet expanded, so did their site. A big upgrade Yeti worked on was the navigation organization. We helped simplify the navigation, making it much easier for users to find what they were looking for while on the website. Yeti also built GrubStreet a completely custom CMS and backend component to manage their website. Users have the ability to add new classes, post blog-articles, create custom reports for their data in the backend, give users specific permissions, refund users that have withdrawn from classes, and more. 

Front Facing User Profile

To give users an easy way to manage their profiles and subscribe to different content from GrubStreet, Yeti built a Front-Facing user-profile. Similar to other robust websites, this feature allows users to customize their relationship with the website.

A screenshot of GrubStreet being used to find a class.

Geoff House's GrubStreet profile page.

A GrubStreet class description page that shows about the different options.

Checking out on GrubStreet's website after picking a few classes.

Find a Class, Class Details, and Checkout

GrubStreet has a lot to offer to their users, including a variety of on-site classes as well as online courses. To make it easy for users to find classes that may interest them, we built a search-tool that enables users to filter their search results and view class information on the Class Detail page.

Example of a Subpage

In the multiple-tiers of navigation/sub-pages on the site, there is a dynamically generated sidebar menu, which allows for a large amount of functionality to be offered, while keeping navigation clean and simple.

A breakdown of the Novel Incubator program by Grubstreet.

Grub Daily Blog

GrubStreet needed to keep the blog portion of their website active so Yeti transferred all existing content from the old blog and integrated a blog plugin for their website that gives specific users the ability to schedule or post blog posts in “Grub Daily.”

GrubStreet: The Grub Daily, their daily blog page.

Manage Classes

From the creation and scheduling of a class, all the way through taking attendance, the backend class management tool enables users to add, schedule, and describe classes.

Editing a GrubStreet class with the admin panel.

Overview Of The Dashboard

The main dashboard for GrubStreet houses links to areas in the CMS that enable administrative users to manage the website at a very granular level. From blog posts to creating a custom report to analyze data in the backend, a user navigates to these functions of the CMS from this dashboard.

User Tracking

Within the backend, admins to the CMS have the ability to track users interactions with GrubStreet and its website, including classes they’ve attended/are going to attend, gift certificates they’ve purchased, parking passes, donations made, membership level, pledges, miscellaneous payments and many more datapoints.

GrubStreet's admin panel

GrubStreet's report building tool.

Custom Reporting And Exporting

Some of GrubStreet's administrative users wanted functionality to run unique reports on data within Excel. Part of Yeti's solution was enabling those users to export .csv files, giving them total control and extensibility over the data collected.

Kiss-Metrics Integration

We integrated with KissMetrics to give GrubStreet a clearer indication as to where their users were navigating on their site. Rather than providing basic analytics, like Google Analytics, KissMetrics gives users the ability to track where someone came from, what they do on the site and can tell you who actually purchases.

Mailchimp and Mandrill Integration

To give administrative users the ability to send out emails through our CMS, we integrated with MailChimp and Mandrill. These integrations enable GrubStreet to send out email campaigns, target specific users when sending out an email and customize the layout of their emails.

Takeaways

Yeti built a tool for GrubStreet that gives them a centralized solution for managing their entire business. This provides them with a seamless experience bringing their class registration, user management, and financial reporting into one system. From an e-commerce platform to managing and scheduling classes, the custom CMS and website have prepared GrubStreet for continued success.