New Site and Shopping Cart

(Originally Posted 11/23/2009)

It’s been one week now since CableJive put a new face forward. We had been running a somewhat static site with a JavaScript-based shopping cart from a third party. It has worked OK, but we needed something better.

We’d been hunting for a better full-featured cart system for some time, had even downloaded a few and done some development work in an attempt to get something working. After months of looking, talking, thinking, coding, and trying different options we found a home run. Well, pretty darn close.

We settled on Interspire Shopping Cart. We didn’t choose it because it’s built by marketers (that wasn’t high on our list), or because it was the cheapest. We chose it because it came out of the box with more things the way we envisioned a cart should be than any other cart, by a long shot.

At the top of our list was the customer experience. It’s amazing how many carts miss even the most basic things. For example, our cart needed to have a simple, single-page checkout that didn’t require creating an account. Customers simply don’t need the headache of having to create yet another account to buy a cable for their iPod. We also wanted built-in real-time shipping cost calculations, and wide range of payment options.

We also had a bunch of business process and workflow requirements from our in-house fulfillment operation. Again, Interspire Shopping Cart was closer to on this than any other cart system we tried. The management interface gives you a whole slew of controls, including a pretty awesome order fulfillment interface.

Like I said, we’d been on and off looking for a new cart for about 10 months, but nothing was really jumping out as a sensible solution.

On October 19th we came across Interspire. After having reviewed so many cart systems we’d become pretty good at working through a demo and noting how it would/wouldn’t work for us. It was clear after watching a few of the videos that we’d stumbled into something good. For a few days we played with the demo account, working through a bunch of business process scenarios and noting things things that would need tweaked.

We heavily scrutinized the cart’s reseller/wholesale functionality, which is fairly simple. It didn’t seem like out of the box we could use it to drive the kind of business we were doing with resellers, but after much back and forth and analysis of how we could use Interspire we decided with some modifications we could get it working good enough.

So we took the leap and purchased a license.

We made a few good pushes over a 3 week period to get the site designed, configured, data migration scripts written, the shopping cart templates set up right for us, the order fulfillment pages customized to enable our high-volume shipping, SSL certificates, etc, etc, etc.

And then in the wee hours of Monday, November 16th, four weeks from the day we first saw Interspire, we ran one last data migration script and went live.

One week into it I can say the transition went pretty smooth.

I hope those of you who are here as customers like things like tracking your order and being able to choose from a variety of carriers to deliver your package.

We had many “wow” moments during the trial, during our short conversion, and still are having them as we really get to understand the system.

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