This is a very large, complex e-commerce system. We also build budget e-commerce websites. A simple PayPal system is more affordable than you probably realize.
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Pure Green International, a steam cleaner manufacturer, contacted us about a new e-commerce website. They had previously had bad experiences with other web design companies, and wanted a clean, modern site. When they contacted us, they had two websites, and both of them were somewhat unfinished. In addition, the websites were old looking, and their site stats were declining.
They had lots of product videos, but they were poorly formatted and in a Flash format, which meant that they ran high bandwidth and were not viewable from smart phones and tablets. They were a national company with very poor quality images of their products. The site navigation was confusing, and the shopping cart was a 3rd party link to another site that was increasingly unreliable. Their hosting server was ancient and slow, and their market share was declining.
After meeting with them, we drew up a plan to:
- Completely revamp their website with a WordPress content management system
- Schedule a green screen photo shoot to get new images of their products
- Photograph the product accessories, which had not been done properly
- Create a YouTube channel to organize their videos, making them accessible to all platforms
- Present their voluminous instructional pages in an easy to understand way
- Give them an online e-commerce system that they could control
- Add a live chat system to communicate with online customers
- Add search engine optimization to all pages
- Streamline their Customer Service system and their contact forms
- Set up a modern dedicated server to speed up the site
The green screen shoot was a long one, but it went very well. We now had good product images to show their customers. We also had to shoot some products against a white screen, because reflective surfaces on those products were showing the green background. There were around 135 accessories to photograph. We set the client (who was a joy to work with) up with a lightbox to shoot these against a white background, which went very well.
Next, we created a YouTube channel and uploaded the videos. Now we could embed videos anywhere in the site, and they ran from YouTube, which reduced the bandwidth for the client’s website.
Programmer Doug Bischoff chose the CartPress shopping cart. This is difficult to set up, but it allowed the client to add items such as accessories, reviews, comparisons, videos and support links to the product pages. Once completed, we tested the system thoroughly.
We chose the Zopim Live Chat system because of cost and ease of use. The client was able to add multiple chat operators and navigate the system easily.
After adding search engine optimization to all pages, and putting everything together, Doug Bischoff began the difficult process of building the dedicated server. We migrated the new site over a weekend, when traffic was reduced, and password protected the site while we tested everything. We took it live at 10 PM on a Sunday night, and by the morning multiple orders began to arrive.
It was one of the toughest jobs we have ever done, but it was hugely satisfying.