How a B2B promotional products company expanded sales using a B2C e-commerce site


A leading promotional B2B products company wanted to expand sales by offering customized products directly to individual customers. Our client, the largest towel supplier to the promotional product industry, wanted to develop an e-commerce site to allow individual customers to create personalized gifts for friends and family as an additional revenue stream. The system required a user experience that would help elevate the product offering in a crowded marketplace.

The solution had to be designed, developed, and deployed into the market in an aggressive time-frame to meet the holiday shopping rush.


fivestar* identified several heavily configurable in-market solutions that could be leveraged based on the e-commerce solution. The integration of these components allowed for extensive functionality to end-users while also cutting the time and cost of bringing the complete solution to market. User experience was paramount for both customers and their support staff that executed customer orders.

fivestar* visited our client’s production facility and observed the end-to-end workflow of capturing, processing, and shipping orders. On the customer-facing site, fivestar* employed a user-centric design process to streamline and optimize the ordering experience.

The e-commerce solution allowed customers to select a specific product, upload their own images or select previously uploaded images, resize them, apply stylistic filters, and add editable, movable, scalable text. Once a product had been customized and previewed, the customer could complete their purchase and share it through social media and/or email. After the purchase was finalized, customers would have the option to return to rate and review their item. The site integrated with our client’s ERP system to facilitate production, shipping, and payment.

fivestar* combined off-the-shelf technologies with an intuitive user experience to create a configurable solution that could be launched quickly and within a tight budget.


The storefront was developed in the Shopify e-commerce platform and Zakeke photo editing tool, along with a custom API that supported Microsoft Dynamics NAV (ERP). Products had to be customizable for our client’s proprietary high-quality dye sublimation printing process and required a complex product configurator that could be used by customers to intuitively incorporate high-resolution imagery onto their custom products with pixel-perfect precision.


built with Microsoft .net
Azure DevOps
Shopify Ecommerce Platform
Microsoft Dynamics
Zekeke Photo Editing Tool
fivestar developed an ecommerce website that expanded sales


The decision to integrate with existing, proven e-commerce technologies like Shopify has provided an opportunity to reduce cost and development time which allowed fivestar* to guarantee a quick turnaround and ensured that the site would launch in time for a peak ordering season.

Why a custom solution?

During the analysis phase, fivestar* evaluated numerous licensed platforms that could be utilized to streamline the development process.

The final solution consisted of a hybrid approach of a licensed platform coupled with custom components. Our client did not have the programming capability to develop the ecommerce site in-house.

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