Archive for the ‘Custom Development’ Category

Auto Parts Cheaper Case Study


Custom Solution: Search Refinement

The Results

With extraordinary variability across inventory, Auto Parts Cheaper needed a way to decrease click paths and the time it took customers to find the proper part for their vehicle’s specific make and model. In order to ease a buyer toward checkout – without completely overhauling the landscape of their site – Brand Labs implemented our custom-built search refinement.

The advanced, Volusion-specific product filter then allowed customers to display their desired car parts, which stuck with them throughout the site. This enhancement allowed consumers to avoid having to sift through thousands of unrelated products, which ultimately resulted in quicker conversions and a subsequent 10% increase in revenue.

Oh Boy! Jerry Leigh Launches Mickey Mouse-Filled Volusion Site

Jerry Leigh's Volusion store designed and developed by Brand LabsJerry Leigh is one of the largest producers of licensed souvenirs & apparel in the United States.  Based in Orlando, Florida, they’re well positioned to serve their target market: tourist destinations.  That’s right – they make the things that cause your suitcase to be dramatically overstuffed on the way home from your vacation.  The next time you’re jumping up and down on your Samsonite in an effort to squeeze in that Donald Duck water bottle, you can thank Jerry Leigh.

Other than the fact that Mickey Mouse is always fun, there’s another good reason to talk about Jerry Leigh’s new Volusion store: it’s not a retail outlet.  It’s a wholesale site that can only be utilized by preregistered clients.  That’s not necessarily earth-shattering news (that a wholesaler would use Volusion to better serve their clients) but it’s worth pointing out when it happens simply because there are far too many wholesalers out in the world that have failed to recognize what a useful tool an ecommerce site can be.  There are wholesalers out there (you know who you are) who still take orders over the phone while working from a printed catalog.  We know the old ways can be comforting, but come on!  It’s the 21st century for crying out loud!  Put down the invoice pad and pick up your mouse!*

*Don’t actually “pick up” the mouse or it won’t work.  We’d like to assume that you already knew that, but if you’re a wholesaler without an ecommerce site, there’s a chance that the operational subtleties of the personal computer are entirely baffling to you.

10 Reasons Your Volusion Store Needs Custom Development

Brand Labs is about a lot of things, but our real bread & butter is custom ecommerce development.  Yes, we design Volusion sites.  Yes, we build ecommerce apps.  We do a lot of things for a lot of online merchants, but custom development is the one thing we do that gives our clients an undeniable edge.  We say “undeniable” because when your store has something that your competitors don’t have, you’re ahead of the game before the shoppers even arrive.  By definition, you’re more prepared to serve their needs.  You’re more prepared to earn their trust.  You’re more prepared to win.

… but maybe you don’t think you need custom development on your site.  After all, Volusion does a good job of providing a feature-rich platform.  Why not just do what you can with what you’ve got?  Well, off the top of our heads, we can think of ten reasons…

  1. You’re unique.

    No matter what Volusion introduces, they don’t know you personally.  They don’t know the exact thing that you need to express your individuality properly.  They don’t know your particular value proposition.  That’s not a failing on their part, it’s simply a fact.  You are uniquely qualified to identify your store’s specific needs and to act on those needs.

  2. You’re not doing everything you can with your Volusion store.

    You know that smart phone in your pocket?  You’re currently using about 4% of its total capabilities (we may have just made that figure up).  That phone can do amazing things and you’re using it primarily to text people that you’re running late.  Your Volusion store is like that.  It can do amazing things that you’re currently not using.  Are you using the Deal of the Day function?  Is your mobile store set up properly?  Are you doing everything that Volusion allows you to do out of the box?  Probably not.  So, if we may continue to use the smart phone comparison: even though your phone is capable of doing a lot of things that you aren’t using, you still paid extra to download Angry Birds because it was a specific need that you were able to identify and address (i.e. your deep need to throw birds at pigs).  Custom development is like that.  You should definitely try to use all of the great functionality that’s built right in to Volusion, but just because you’re not, that doesn’t mean that you can’t add some features of your own.  Custom development for your Volusion store is just like apps for your iPhone.

  3. You’ve got ideas.

    Just because we’re ecommerce experts (and Volusion is filled with ecommerce experts), that doesn’t mean that we (or they) have thought up every single thing than could ever possibly be thunk.  You have insight.  You have a plan.  You know things about your business that we don’t, but we definitely know how to act on your ideas.  Don’t let your ideas die in your head.

  4. You’re probably right.

    You know that one thing that you think you know better than anyone else?  That one annoying thing that seems so simple and would make your life as an ecommerce merchant so much easier?  Or make your store more successful?  You’re probably right. Why not fix it instead of just letting it drive you insane?

    Read the rest of the list after the jump… (more…)

10 Reasons to Reexamine Your Ecommerce Site

You’re an ecommerce merchant.  Let’s say that your store has been up and running for a while.  Let’s also say that it’s doing well.  Of course, it may not be doing as well as you’d like, but if that’s the case, you sure don’t need a list of reasons to reexamine your site.  If your store isn’t doing what you’d like it to do, you should be going over it with a fine-toothed comb.  On the other hand, if your store is doing well, it’s easy to get complacent.  If you fall into that group, this article is for you.

We’ve said it a bazillion times: a website is a living thing. You have to nurture it – help it grow. If you neglect it, it’ll die… or worse. It’ll grow beyond your control until it’s a huge, rambling jumble of awkward navigation, dead ends and baffling content. Still unconvinced? Check out the list for the scolding you so richly deserve.

Read the rest after the jump…


Custom Volusion Programming RFQ Workflow

Custom Volusion Programming RFQ Workflow by Brand LabsAs a part of our continuing effort to make the custom Volusion development process more transparent (and therefore, less intimidating) we offer this Custom Volusion Programming RFQ Workflow.

In case you’re unfamiliar with the acronym, RFQ stands for “Request for Quote”.  It’s the process that you’ll go through when you come to us with a custom programming need for your Volusion store.  Of course, every need is as unique as the website it’s attached to, so there will be differences between what you experience and what you see here, but if you’ve never gone through the custom programming quoting process, this will give you a general idea of what to expect.

The most important part of this entire process is in the big fat circle in the upper left corner of the chart.  That’s the conversation (or series of conversations) that you’ll have with your account manager before the project moves an inch.  We know a lot about ecommerce and we want to know a lot about your business before we start any custom Volusion development project.  We want that info so that we can look at every possible solution available to you.  You may well have an idea of what you’d like to do, but it’s more important for us to know what you’d like to achieve.  If we know and understand your end goal(s) we can explore solutions that may not have occurred to you.  We want to solve your problem in the best possible way, even if we have to build the solution from scratch.

So, if you’re considering taking on a custom Volusion project, we’d like to help… and now you know how we plan to do it.  Of course this chart can’t answer all of your questions, but we can.

Interactive Volusion Landing Page for Unichip

As we take on more and more eCommerce clients who are also manufacturers, we find an ever-increasing need to express a lot of information on a single page.  Recently, Unichip (a manufacturer and distributor of custom car tuning products) approached us with just such a need.

Unichip wanted a single landing page that offered a side-by-side comparison of several different aspects of several different products.  They also needed the ability to associate live links and video to the chart itself, making for a potential infographic nightmare.

Our custom-developed solution resides on Unichip’s existing Volusion site and allows the user to simply roll over each intersection on the chart to see a informational pop up.  Some windows contain explanatory text while others contain links or video.

Click here to check out the custom Unichip landing page.  We’re pretty happy about it and we think Unichip is, too, if this direct quote is any indication: “You all rock to no end”!  So do you, Unichip!


Brand Labs Integrates iShop USA Into Sorella Jewelry Volusion Store

This blog tends to talk quite a little bit about website design, simply because we like putting up pictures (pictures are pretty) and some of our other services are difficult or impossible to show visually.  Well, that’s not going to stop us today…

We recently completed an iShop USA integration for Sorella Jewelry’s Volusion store (shown in the lower right corner of the screenshot).  For those who don’t know, iShop USA is a remarkable service that allows any retailer to sell their products worldwide without having to concern themselves with all of the pesky details involved in such a transaction: customs paperwork, international shipping and returns, currency conversion… all part of the integration.  It’s like a dream for online retailers, allowing you access to potential customers all over the world, with one little hitch – it doesn’t integrate natively with Volusion.  We can fix that.

With our integration, your international clients will have a nearly seamless shopping experience and you won’t have to learn a thing about exporting, currency exchange or international shipping.  With one move you can expand your potential client base from 300 million to 6 and a half billion.  That’s billion with a “b“.  So, if you’re interested in having about a gazillion more customers, it’s something to consider and we can help.

Also, it pays to remember that we can do pretty much anything you’d like to do with your Volusion store.  Just ask…

Dealer Direct Parts Comes to Volusion With Something Extra

We recently had the pleasure of launching Dealer Direct Parts‘ brand new Volusion store!  This was a big one and we’ll tell you why…

In addition to designing the site and the logo, we created and developed a unique search refinement tool, specific to Dealer Direct’s business model.  You see, they’re a network of dealer-authorized parts dealers and as you can well imagine (with the huge number of different makes and models) it could be pretty damn challenging to search their site in the hope of finding a specific part for your car.  That’s where we came in.

Read about our solution after the jump…


Carnal DaMMAge Is Ready To Smack The Crap Out Of Your iPhone

Carnal-Dammage-iVolooCarnal DaMMAge, one of the leading online retailers of MMA-related goods, took a big step forward today with the launch of their iPhone-friendly website.

Now, Carnal DaMMAge’s customers will be able to shop (and buy) on a mobile-optimized Volusion site, eliminating one more barrier between browsing and conversion.

You, too, can have an iPhone-friendly Volusion store for less than a thousand dollars!  (Okay… it’s $995, so not a lot less than a thousand… but still, it’s less.)

If you’d like to capture some of the ever-expanding mCommerce market (quickly and affordably) check out iVoloo.  On the other hand, if you’d like to beat the tar out of someone, but you’d like to be sure you’re properly outfitted first, check out Carnal DaMMAge.

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