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MetalsNet - metal marketplace in America


Alt-team developed the metal Industry website. It's a B2B marketplace for selling metal online.

Client Overview: Our web development studio recently completed a project for a B2B marketplace specializing in the sale of metal products. The client's core business revolves around facilitating the buying and selling of a wide range of metal products, including but not limited to aluminium pipes, tubes, and various other metal commodities such as brass, copper, steel, stainless steel, and exotic metals.

About project

MetalsNet Marketplace provides access to the largest assortment of materials in the USA. The products offered by MetalsNet range from the most popular metals to rare, unusual things.

Within one marketplace functionality, we created a comprehensive quotation system in the admin panel that enables buyers to obtain quotes with pricing and terms from several suppliers. As a result, the client has the chance to select the most suitable offer from the supplier.

Our team created this marketplace using the CS-Cart MultiVendor platform. Alt-team web designers, front-end developers, and back-end developers spent months building extra capabilities for this marketplace that were not available in the basic CS-Cart MultiVendor edition.

The feature for requesting quotes on the home page and the extensive updates to the admin panel for the marketplace are the most important aspects of our development.

Our team has a lot of experience designing feature-rich marketplaces. Since 2010, we have worked with big e-commerce websites as web developers. But every project is unique for us, and we constantly meet challenges on how to do the same task in a more effective way with less code.

CS-Cart MultiVendor

The marketplace is built with CS-Cart MultiVendor edition

2 years cooperation

The project takes more than 6 months to launch. We started our project in May 2021 and plan to debut it in November 2021. We continued our collaboration after that.

More than 1000 working hours

Before we launched the project, the Alt-Team professionals worked on it for over 900 hours. Working hours are continually growing as we continue to support this project.

Full IT team for project

There are 4 different specialists who worked on this project:

  1. Front-end Developer,

  2. Back-end Developer,

  3. SEO Consultant,

  4. Google Ads manager

Difficult tasks

There are several complex tasks on this project that puzzled us a bit. But we managed to find the most effective way to implement: different order types, 3 different checkouts for different types of users, RFQ Builder, Complex mathematical calculations for the metal products, their shipping, etc

> 1000
Number of hours
> 24
Number of specialists

Working team

Back-end developer

The back-end developer changed the admin panel design seriously by adding new functionality

Front-end developer

The website is far from the original CS-Cart themes, as we created the website design from scratch.

SEO expert

SEO consultant gave recommendations to coders during the development process + SEO strategy for the next 3 months after website launch.

Content manager

Content migration from the old website to a new website

Goals:What did this metal marketplace require?

Design integration
User-friendly metal marketplace differs from the competitors.

The development of a metal marketplace provides many advantages for metal distributors in America. First of all, the USA is a country with a robust industrial sector. The second point is that there is fierce competition on the US market for metal goods.

The company benefits greatly from having an online marketplace where local steel manufacturers, distributors, suppliers, and final customers can connect with one another and provide the best rates and best possible terms for sales.

Increase of the website performance
RFQ (Request per Quote) functionality on the metal marketplace

The Metalsnet company demanded to build a marketplace that was superior to its competitors.

Metal fabrication websites have their own problems selling steel products online. These kinds of goods are not trivial items for online orders. If there is a simple form for the quotation on the website, the managers of the marketplace will work faster and more effectively, and the metal suppliers will sell more products.

Development of the Product Pricing Calculator
SEO consultations

The metal fabricators are eager to draw in their target market and increase online sales. As previously stated, there are numerous rivals in America, and one of the clients' requests was for an SEO-oriented marketplace.

Challenge: What we had to face

During our long-term work on this project, our team faced different interesting challenges.

Task management with Trello

We make every effort to provide a convenient service to our customers. Our client got used to using the Trello service, but our team usually uses GitHub. Nevertheless, most of our specialists are familiar with Trello, so revising all service functionality and beginning to add tasks in this system was a minor challenge for them.

Technical Issues connected with SEO

When the SEO experts joined the Metalsnet project, all major development tasks had been completed. The website was up and running, and Google had already indexed it. The SEO specialists discovered numerous technical errors because the developers were unaware of Google recommendations and SEO rules for website indexation. As soon as the client realized Google didn't like the website, they invited an SEO expert to work on the project. It was February 2022. After a few days, the SEO specialist created a list of urgent tasks for the developers to complete, and all technical SEO issues were resolved and the organic traffic increased.

Results:What we have at the end of the project

Alt-team’s developers have made sure that the metal marketplace development is user-friendly and provides all the necessary features businesses need to efficiently source materials and services. 

  • The metal marketplace is more convenient than its competitors.

  • The Request for Quote form's user-friendly functionality

  • The admin panel was created for the benefit of managers.

  • Google-friendly, SEO-oriented website

The user-friendly RFQ form

RPQ form for the metal marketplace

There is a client-oriented banner on the homepage.

When metal buyers visit the website, the first thing they see is the clear and attractive banner with the call-to-action button.

Their quote starts with entering the ZIP code; it's an essential part of the quotation process.

After the website visitor enters the ZIP code and clicks the Get Quote button, the client starts their way to order with the several steps in the quotation form.

Step 2 of the quotation form

Step 3 of the quotation

The website is built on the CS-Cart MultiVendor CMS. The main problem was that this CMS doesn't have RFQ functionality. Our team added new functionality based on the marketplace owner demands.

Easy-to-manage admin panel

admin panel

Pay attention to the fact that we cannot show all the details in the admin panel, as it's a business secret.

The client provided us with mock-ups of the admin panel in Figma. Our design intergator implemented these designs into the admin panel. There were around 20 mockups to add to the CS-Cart MultiVendor admin panel.

It was a comprehensive task as we developed a new admin panel for this project.

New admin panel design is connected with the Request for Quote Builder on the storefront and this RFQ is designed under metal brokers demands.

SEO-friendly marketplace

Key competitor website analysis

First of all, we conducted an analysis of the key competitors on the client's website. We checked the website functionality on the storefront, the keywords they use to promote their website on Google, and the backlinks to their website. After the analysis, SEO specialists give recommendations for the new website content.

This preparation process to real SEO work made while the developers were developing the new website.

SEO specialist joined the development process on the finish step and consulted the developers on the on-page SEO optimization of the new website.

SEO expert gave the correct robots.txt and sitemap.xml files.

In addition, we have added the data structural markup on the website to have attractive Google snippets on the Google search pages.

Our team about this project

It is preferable to consult with an SEO expert before beginning the development process. It helps to avoid many technical errors and save time in the future. I wish MetalsNet a long and prosperous business history and hope to work with this project again in the future.

SEO expert Elena Tikhonova
Elena Tikhonova
SEO specialist

It was a long and interesting project. I'm happy to work with Basil and I'm very impressed by his engagement with our developer's work. He helps us a lot by fast feedback and challenging tasks he gave us.

Evgeny Shakhin
Team lead and Architector

This project was very interesting to me, as the theme of metal is close to me. We spent a lot of time with Evgeny discussing the project, finding the best solutions, and this paid off. This was not an ordinary CS-Сart MV project. We have added different order types and the orders have been linked to the same master ID. Because initially we went the right way, it ended up saving a lot of time and did not complicate the development. There were a lot of improvements in the project, autotests were introduced, 3 different checkouts for different types of users. The client wanted to use artificial intelligence in the project in the future, unfortunately, it has not yet reached this point. I am really looking forward to this moment.

Ildar Bibaev
Ildar Bibaev
Back-end developer

Client about Alt-team

Thanks a lot for the effort. Guys, thank you so much! It’s been a long journey but I like how it looks

Basil Sabbah
Founder of Metalsnet

Do you need a metal fabrication website or metal marketplace?

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