Case StudiesChicago Fair Trade

Recommend an eComm platform solution that integrated with CFT’s current website

TODO: Connect Alt Text



Chicago Fair Trade (CFT) is a non-profit started in 2006 that educates people about fair trade but showing them how they can use their purchasing power for good in organizations, individually, etc. They are the biggest organization of its kind. Their business membership has taken off and contains a mix of 60 nonprofits and for-profits shops.

The Challenge

Recommend an eComm platform solution that integrated with CFT’s current website.


Code for Chicago (CfC) facilitated a competitive analysis to identify the best solution for their shop front site, by doing this they provided long-term visibility for CFT on their decision to switch to a website builder that best suited their company/business needs moving forward. In doing so, CfC assisted them in developing their shop front site, integrating the eComm platform and provided documentation for their vendors.

Project Month/Year

October 2020

Problem Statement

Chicago Fair Trade hosts a pop-up storefront during the Holiday Season. Previously, CFT would have a brick & mortar location, but now wants to expand online due to COVID. Their current website is hosted on Wix, which serves as both their informational website and their storefront. They wish to keep their current informational website, and are only looking to replace their online storefront.


Competitive Analysis

In order to gather the best solution for CFT, a competitive analysis was conducted to identify which eComm platform would meet the following requirements:

  • Square payment processing
  • Inventory management
  • Customizable
  • CMS Capabilities to incorporate 30-40 different vendors with each vendor having 10 products to sell within the marketplace
  • Long-term costs


After CfC presented the competitive analysis, CFT decided in order to better suit their needs moving forward they would need to transition from Wix to Weebly (which is owned by Square - their POS system). CFT used a 3rd party agency to support them in building their informational website but the agency was not able to support them on the shop front site and integrating Square with that site.

CfC supported CFT in the transition by:


Developing the shop front site using a template different that the informational website as requested by CFT.

By having the external shop front connected to the informational site, this was better in the long run because zero coding and CFT (most importantly the vendors) can import products with a CSV.

Square Payment

Integrating Square payment processing and inventory management with the new shop front site.


Provide documentation on the process for the various vendors to add content, inventory updates, pictures, etc.