One of Manifesta’s most comprehensive web projects to date, Waremakers includes a complex backend system allowing for multiple sellers from many countries to trade across borders and keep track of all transactions. The custom system is also capable of handling multiple VAT-rates, integrating multiple shipping solutions and rates, splitting orders, handling returns and refunds etc.
Waremakers is an ambitious project targeting a global market. The aim is to promote, and supply, high quality products from smaller, independent producers.
In order for these producers to better compete on a market dominated by large, multinational companies, Waremakers brings them together to form a virtual repository online.
Even with clustering to increase supply, making Waremakers an attractive destination was a challenging task. For how do you convey a feeling of quality and heritage when the brands offered on the platform are mostly unknown?
Manifesta approached this in a multitude of ways. To name a few:
- A magazine-like feel to the site offers content that is useful and valuable to visitors — also if they are initially not on the site to buy. After launch, The Guardian wrote: “This site is worth a proper browse” and the Financial Times: “Those who relish informed decision-making will find delight in this site.”
- Users build relationships with the producers and products through storytelling.
- Neutral guides inform and stimulate interest in the nature of the objects featured on the site — as well as establish Waremakers as an authority in this niche.
- A clean and simplistic design both rubs off on the products on display and keeps the site itself in the background — letting the products themselves take the main stage.
To keep development costs within a tight budget Waremakers was developed using open source software — combined with custom developed functionality as needed.
Waremakers has been featured in, among others: