The Herman Story
Herman Street is an eCommerce website that launched in 2005. They sell and service computer software and electronics to both consumers and other businesses from their website at http://www.hermanstreet.com. They chose ShopSite software for their launch and it initially met their needs. Herman Street enjoyed vigorous business growth and added developers to their staff to create and customize the website. Their growth and success was rewarding and also presented problems that Herman Street needed to solve to ensure they could scale the business.
Herman Street found that their business demand outstripped the capability of the ShopSite’s eCommerce application. Herman Street’s in house software developers had the skills and talent to modify the shopping cart software to meet their needs; however, the software vendor ShopSite did not allow anyone else to have access to their application code. Herman Street was also concerned about their conversion to sales metrics. Their cart abandon rate was 49%; that meant a high percentage of customers started shopping but abandoned their cart before they completed the purchase. This metric was in line with the industry average but Herman Street thought they could do much better by improving the shopping experience for their customers. This issue was linked to another shortfall of ShopSite because Herman Street was not able to test their marketing theories with their current shopping cart software. ShopSite did not support split testing for marketing purposes.
Finding a Solution
The first step Herman Street took was to make a list of all of the things they needed in a new shopping cart solution. First, they needed access to the code so they could customize parts of the application, they also needed security so open source was out of the question, they preferred PHP scripting, they needed to be able to perform A/B and multivariate testing so they could try out various marketing testing on their site and they needed solid well written code and robust performance in the application to handle their increased online order demand.
Their next task was to find the right shopping cart software.
Herman Street has a sister company, Top Ten Reviews, that specializes in comparing various products. They went to Top Ten Reviews and compared the various shopping cart software solutions. By accessing the shopping cart comparison information from Top Ten Reviews, Herman Street was able to perform a comparative analysis quickly and easily. They were also able to determine that Pinnacle Cart’s shopping cart had the key requirements they needed for their new eCommerce application and it was also a top rated ecommerce software package. Pinnacle Cart has proprietary code, allows clients to have complete control of the code, supports A/B and multivariate testing, uses PHP scripting, has well written solid basics including front end, back end, search engine optimization, export capability, reports and marketing. Pinnacle Cart’s eCommerce software was a perfect fit for Herman Street in all areas of their key requirements.
Herman Street switched to Pinnacle Cart’s shopping cart software and they are totally satisfied with their choice. Herman Street’s in house developers modified the shopping cart check out process to put their own customization in place. Their customization delivered the results they wanted and improved their conversion by 27% improvement over their previous conversion rates. This metric is also significantly higher than the industry average and represents an increase in revenues and in their customer’s satisfaction with the shopping experience. Herman Street is also able to perform A/B and multivariate testing on their site so they can try out new ideas for improving their response rate, ROI and market perceptions.
All other areas of the Pinnacle Cart code were put in place without customization and function very well for Herman Street. They use the export capability from Pinnacle Cart to support their existing inventory management, order management and accounting programs. The export feature allows Herman Street to prioritize and stage in changes to their systems at their own speed. They are planning to migrate to Pinnacle Cart inventory management in the future but are not forced to make migrations until they are ready.
The MyWebsiteSpace.co.uk Story
MyWebsìteSpace is a web design company that offers a number of web based products and services including eCommerce site design. www.MyWebsiteSpace.com was founded in 2005 and in the beginning used ecommerce solutions with lower start up costs and limited functionality. However, they were not satisfied with the poor support of these “economical” eCommerce applications. They struggled but managed with them, for a time. The driving force for change came in June of 2010, when PCI compliance began to financially impact their clients. When MyWebsiteSpace eCommerce clients started getting assessed higher charges for non-compliant PCI transactions it was imperative that MyWebsiteSpace find a better, PCI compliant, ecommerce solution.
MyWebsiteSpace needed to find an eCommerce solution that would meet all of their customer’s needs, including PCI compliance. High on the list of requirements was user friendliness and intuition for for clients and their shoppers. MyWebsiteSpace also needed an application that their eCommerce clients could manage easily and have a user friendly GUI (Graphic User Interface) that would support that goal. When their eCommerce clients are able to build and market their stores effectively it builds trust and confidence in their ability to use the software. Another factor in selecting an eCommerce application was the number of shopping transactions completed, and not abandoned. Better conversion rates meant increased sales metrics and revenues. Finally, shoppers needed to be happy with their shopping experience and more likely to return to the merchant’s website.
Their next task was to find an eCommerce shopping cart solution that met all of their requirements. MyWebsiteSpace had previously identified Pinnacle Cart as a software solution they wanted to investigate further because it was one of the few PCI compliant ecommerce applications available. Over a three month time period beginning in June 2010, MyWebsiteSpace tested 12 different ecommerce shopping carts. Pinnacle Cart scored in the top of the class for the majority of the categories they considered to be a priority.
Pinnacle Cart was PCI compliant, which was absolutely essential. ln addition, Pinnacle Cart’s shopping cart software scored high in global attributes, easy thumbnail generation and intuitive functions. It was an eCommerce software that MyWebsiteSpace could provide their clients with confidence. An added benefit was the shopping experience provided by Pinnacle Cart, they saw that it was user friendly and supported a higher conversion to sales rate both because of ease of use and features such as drift marketing that allowed merchants to push email communication to shoppers who had abandoned their orders.
In November of 2010, MyWebsiteSpace converted the first of their clients, www.a3sports.co.uk, to Pinnacle Cart. They followed with conversion of the Crufts Store (The Kennel Club) to Pinnacle Cart in January of 2011 followed Toy Crufts-merchandise in February of 2011. Now, Pinnacle Cart’s software is the only eCommerce application that MyWebSiteSpace offers to their customers.
In addition to easy client use and acceptance of Pinnacle Cart, MyWebsiteSpace also monitored shopping metrics and shopper reviews. One of their clients, www.crufts-merchandise.com, has received an overwhelming number of thumbs-up reviews from their members/ users and Crufts is in turn very happy with those results.
Some of MyWebsiteSpace clients receive as many as 11,000 visitors per week. The Pinnacle Cart software handles this volurne with ease and has always come through with top performance. It was very important that their frame work and technology be up to the task of handling high traffic and volume on their servers. Initially there was only one MyWebsiteSpace of clients using a back office system that integrated with Pinnacle Cart that gave merchants the ability to upload product customization attributes, but this feature is available for all of their clients now. The client that is using system integration with Pinnacle Cart actually integrates a complete stand-alone application. The client www.a3sports.co.uk has an application that is used to upload designs and logos for tee shirts, sweatshirts, hoodies and other personal products. This feature was a must-have for their business.
MyWebsiteSpace owner, Matt Carroll, has stated that ”Pinnacle Cart has a world-class support team, that in our view is unrivaled in the eCornrnerce software sector and they are paralleled with the best in the whole website industry.” Matt went on to name names of people at Pinnacle Cart who have delivered exceptional service and said, “the Pinnacle Cart team has offered a level of support that we just don’t get from any other supplier.”
MyWebsiteSpace is, “Very satisfied” with the Pinnacle Cart’s ecommerce application and their World-class support team and intends to continue referring Pinnacle Cart eCommerce Software exclusively.
The Dolly Hair Extensions Story
Dolly Hair Extensions was a startup business founded in 2008. They specialize in 100% human hair extensions ranging from quick fix clip in extensions to permanent hair extensions. They also sell hair straighteners and application kits. Dolly Hair Extensions wanted an online store and knew they would need to find an eCommerce system for their online sales process.
Finding a Solution
Dolly Hair Extensions had only basic computer technology skills and didn’t want to have to hire a professional web designer or developer to manage their eCommerce solution, so ease of use was a big consideration. They spent several months looking at various eCommerce platforms, considering the various features and options. A friend kept insisting that they needed to look at Pinnacle Cart’s shopping cart software. Their friend had been a customer for over 4 years at the time Dolly Hair Extensions was trying to find eCommerce hosting, and absolutely loved Pinnacle Cart’s e-commerce platform.
Dolly Hair Extensions chose Pinnacle Cart’s shopping cart software and have been very pleased with their selection, for the following very important reasons:
- Pinnacle Cart was easy to update even for users with basic computer technology skills.
- Pinnacle Cart has simple search engine optimization tools that help them improve their online search results quickly and easily.
- Pinnacle Cart has a one page checkout process for shoppers, which makes it simple to use and improves their own customer’s experience. Side note: It is amazing how clunky or archaic checkout processes can reduce conversion rates.
- Pinnacle Cart has great customer support! Natalie Padjan, Sales Manager at Dolly Hair Extensions, complimented Pinnacle Cart on their level of customer support and went on to say that Pinnacle Cart provides fast responses to calls for support and have even called Dolly Hair Extensions regarding system updates.
Dolly Hair Extensions has used Pinnacle Cart’s shopping cart from the beginning of their eCommerce launch, so they have no comparison with any other shopping cart system, but there are features in the software they know contributed to their success. They are so happy with Pinnacle Cart’s software they have no reason to shop for alternative solutions.
Dolly Hair Extensions uses Pinnacle Cart as a stand-alone system because they do not have other back office systems and thus do not have a need for the Pinnacle Cart software system integration capabilities.