Caplan’s Appliances turned to Whitecap to integrate and automate business functions, while enhancing their online customer experience, supported by modern applications.
Website Design & Development,
Dynamics 365 CRM
Microsoft Dynamics 365 CRM, MS Power Automate, Whitecap Cloud powered by Long View Systems, .NET, WordPress, Web Application Firewall (WAF)
About Caplan's Appliances
A family-run business since the 1940s, Caplan’s Appliances Opens in a new window is a premium appliance retailer that delivers a rich, immersive, and educational product experience to inspire and support customers while they create their dream homes.
Page views are up 95%
Customer engagement per session is up 107%
Time spent on the site by visitors is up almost 13%
Mobile site visits are up 84%
Whitecap is a technology company that has helped us do things beyond simply redesigning our website, such as integrating elements of our business and using solutions like Microsoft Dynamics 365.
The Caplan’s experience is second-to-none. Customers at the retail store are treated to exceptional, personalized service and hands-on experience with the latest premium products. Caplan’s recognized it was time to refresh their online presence to refine the experience for all their customers including individuals and trade professionals. The challenge was to deliver their exceptional, personalized customer experience online.
“Websites have an expiry date and ours was past that date. It was time for the site to evolve but we needed to find the right company to help us build it the way we wanted,” says Robert Caplan, president of Caplan’s, adding “we wanted to do everything we were doing, only better.”
A key challenge was that Caplan’s needed its developers to make all site and content changes including launching new promotions or events, which extended the time required to do anything.
“We lacked the autonomy to internally change the structure of the legacy site without involving our external partner which was a challenge when time-sensitive changes needed to be made,” says Susan Zuzinjak, VP Marketing, Caplan’s Appliances.
At the same time, Caplan’s was looking to increase automation, improve product categorization, and provide a more streamlined way to report and capture customer leads and sales opportunities.
As a critical first step, an extensive review of the needs and requirements as part of Whitecap’s eRAD process was completed to ensure current priorities and future requirements were defined before deciding on the direction of the project.
This process defined the application modernization strategy and website brand evolution needed to give Caplan’s greater control and autonomy, while setting the table for future growth and digitization. Underpinning any solution was the requirement to ensure that the Caplan’s experience delivered the personalized, premium customer service that’s been a hallmark since the 1940s.
“I was looking for a partner that had the ability to leverage their expertise with technology to integrate the databases of our products, as well as working behind the scenes and integrating with CRM – this is what appeals to me with Whitecap.”
Automating, controlling data flow for over 7,000 products
Caplan’s receives two product data feeds – one from Miele and one for its other appliance brands. In the past this data entered a black box that no one touched. On the back end, it was important for Caplan’s to increase control of these data feeds.
Whitecap created a custom .NET application that maps the more than 7,000 products included in the feeds to align with how Caplan’s categorizes and sells appliances. Caplan’s can now manage how the content in these feeds are categorized, or with a simple call, they can ask Whitecap. It’s part of giving Caplan’s greater control and confidence over their product catalogue that didn’t exist before.
“We’ve made a really great leap forward and we want to continue to evolve and continue to invest so we keep improving. Technology is essential right now.”
“The Whitecap team has been very accessible, very supportive and very good at problem solving. They have been a great partner.”
Cloud hosting and infrastructure
Caplan’s website and Web Application Firewall (WAF) are hosted on the Whitecap Cloud powered by Long View Systems, providing a complete Infrastructure-as-a-Service offering with backup, monitoring, and hosting solutions. Microsoft Dynamics 365 CRM runs on Microsoft Azure.
“Whitecap has been fantastic. I have worked with other tech companies in the past and the designers and developers at Whitecap are top notch. Plus, we could not have asked for a better project manager in Peter (Kaznowski).”
Serving Up What’s Next
Keeping pace with updates and technology remains a priority for Caplan’s. Zuzinjak admits she has a ‘wish list’ of items she’s working on to continue enhancing customers’ experience including expanding the trade portal, guest blog opportunities and trade bookings.
On the operations side, Caplan’s is evaluating a new phase to extend Microsoft Dynamics 365 to provide the service team with the same visibility, tracking and workflow that has benefited the sales group.
“We are going to continue to look for ways to enhance my business using Whitecap’s skills,” concludes Caplan.