We were approached in July 2020 by the lovely folk at Bird & Carter to improve on their digital offering to help them keep up with the expansion of their business and the effects of Covid. Conveniently a few hundred metres from our office, we were very familiar with their offering because so many of our lunches come from there! The Fonthill location in South Wiltshire is one of two locations, the other being closer to Salisbury just off the A36. Bird & Carter is not your average farmshop or cafe, they do catering, bed and breakfast accomodation, teas and coffees and even Friday night lates (more of that later).
The current website was hosted on Wordpress and functioned more as a directory of locations and services with no eCommerce capabilities. Bird & Carter reacted well to the lockdown imposed on the UK and quickly developed a take out offering at both locations. This has developed further into a very popular local collection point for quality food stuffs and wine. They also have a number of rooms available for rent at their Fonthill location and a private hire dining room in their farmshop. To top that the company also offers catering services to the wider area for weddings and birthdays.
To some, Shopify may not have seemed the obvious choice with the inclusion of an accomodation booking engine and pages that weren’t about shopping. However, we saw this as a chance to explore the capabilities of the platform and develop something that would work as both a click and collect shop, but also an accomodation booking engine and information hub for both farmshop and cafe locations.
The Right Software
Together with Shopify for the click and collect aspect, we chose to use Eviivo’s booking platform. This enables you to add rooms onto a central platform which then shares it with all the other channels you would expect when dealing with accomodation, including Booking.com, Air B n B, Hotels.com etc. From a central dashboard you can change room prices, availability and inclusions. This makes the running of your hotel or bed and breakfast accommodation so much easier.
The Click and Collect shop took some time to develop because it was a bespoke service. With options like timed collections, restrictions on basket size and more we enhanced the funcionality of the basic Shopify platform to make it work.