How does a success story sprout?  In the case of YardFreaks.com, it all began with two friends drinking beer over a fire. Fast-forward 10 years and you’ve got a high demand backyard product and a thriving online brand.  YardFreak CEO, Matt Doll, took a simple conversation and turned an idea into an eCommerce success story. 

Along the road to success, Doll worked hard to inspire and build a dedicated team – a crew that supported his goals.  Erik Cruz, the Web Designer Specialist behind YardFreaks, is an important part of that lineup.  For 10 years, Cruz has worked closely with Doll and monitored the company’s progress.  He knows a thing or two about eCommerce development and what leads to success.  Cruz has tracked many of the details along the way and is awesome enough to take part in our Client Spotlight and share some insider’s secrets on eCommerce success. 

YardFreaks

One of the many great examples of a backyard fire pit from YardFreaks.com.

When it comes to eCommerce development, Cruz especially enjoys the process of getting customers to engage with his company.  He also values the ability to see data come in through analytics. Essentially, Cruz uses analytics to look into what worked well and… what didn’t work so well.  He then focuses on what he can do to improve the process. Above all, Cruz thinks it’s awesome to see his hard work and efforts pay off and start bringing in sales. This is part of what makes him invaluable to YardFreaks.

Why PinnacleCart?

PinnacleCart eCommerce was fortunate to partner with YardFreaks and support their custom designed online store.  When shopping for an eCommerce platform, YardFreaks chose to work with PinnacleCart because they thought having a platform that anyone could pick-up and learn right away was essential.

We looked at many eCommerce platforms that offered the functionality and tools we needed. But ultimately, we decided that Pinnacle Cart was the best fit. Since then, we haven’t looked back and have experienced growth year-after-year.  We are excited to see what the future holds.

The Challenges of eCommerce

client spotlight

Doll and Cruz chose PinnacleCart for it’s easy-to-use interface.

During our interview, Cruz went on to talk about the challenges that he has experienced while working in eCommerce.  There can be a learning curve for those who are just getting into the online retail and marketing arena.  That’s why a bit of research should be done before choosing a platform that you and your team will work daily with.  Also, it’s best to invest a bit of time to learn some key online tools. This will help you save time and money down the road.  

And speaking of online tools, in addition to PinnacleCart, YardFreaks feels there are a handful of other applications that make their daily life easier.  These include MailChimp, Mandrill, Kayako, and Assembla App.  One that Cruz uses frequently is MailChimp, a great feature that helps save online business managers time with automated email marketing.  Another favorite is Mandrill, a transactional email tool that works with MailChimp.

eCommerce Words of Advice

One of the biggest eCommerce tips Cruz wants to share is that it’s important NOT TO RUSH! And by that he means, don’t rush into launching your website.

Building your online store is an exciting step but you want to make sure you’ve covered all the major pinpoints before you go live.  These include SEO, content marketing, social media, paid advertising, etc.. You’ve got one shot to make that initial good impression!

Cruz continued talking about the importance of double-checking every last detail.  

Once your eCommerce site is up and running…test, test, test!

Online stores should continuously check analytics to make sure they are hitting their goals.  Also, stay on top of Social Media and watch paid advertising to make sure your budget is being used wisely. Keep track of your progress and tweak things along the way.  Remember to be patient and engaging. Your hard work will pay off!

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