Web Sales Made Simple
As seen in
SiteLINK Eases Online Commerce, Saves Valuable Time
By William Van Winkle
"Using SiteLINK, Power Technology Group was able to create a Web site and begin selling products over the Internet."
"I wear too many hats keeping this business growing to take on programming in my job description," says Gail Coopersmith, Director of Marketing for Power Technology Group, a Georgia-based VAR/distributor of uninterruptible power supplies.
Customers were pressuring PTG to begin selling over the Internet, but like most small firms, it could ill afford the many thousands of dollars needed to establish a top-notch commerce site. Nevertheless, Coopersmith, with no training in Web design, was tapped to become Power Technologyís Groupís Webmaster.
"You have to be technologically savvy", she said. "An online brochure is a minimum to be considered a player today. The commerce site was a natural outgrowth from that idea. But to make anything, I had to have tools."
Coopersmithís quest led her to Dydacompís Development Corp.ís Web store creation software, SiteLINK.
SiteLINK works with Dydacompís Mail Order Manager (M.O.M.), an accounting program, to create a complete commerce solution. "I needed a package that was client-centered, not accountant-centered," says Coopersmith.
While M.O.M. tackles the work of inventory control, order processing, and reports, SiteLINK brings this information forward to build and maintain the Web store. Product pages can either be pulled from Dydacompís repository of stock samples or, for those versed in HTML, written from scratch. Standard store features like Secure Socket Layer (SSL), product search, and shopping cart are included.
"Ease of use was paramount in my decision to use SiteLINK," says Coopersmith. "I purchased M.O.M. in December, two months before SiteLINK. Itís logical, easy to use, and extremely powerful. To create my store, I just pressed a button to select which products from my inventory I wanted online. I didnít have to learn a lick of programming. All I have to know is my own business."
Once created, the site is then uploaded to Dydacompís host server, alleviating the need for an in-house server. Dydacomp does offer a Toolkit version for clients who wish to run their own Windows NT-based host, and Coopersmith says Power Technology Group is considering using this version later. Up front, the emphasis is on low cost and lower time commitment, she says.
"I have support for both my front and back office system with one phone call to Dydacomp," says Coopersmith. "Thatís a very powerful advantage." She also stresses the importance of having two seamlessly integrated software packages. Changing both databases at once has saved her countless input hours.
Most SiteLINK setup difficulties have centered around America Onlineís browser and were quickly remedied by moving to MS Internet Explorer, she says.
The number of purchases involved in establishing a full SiteLINK Web store reads like a very short grocery list. The setup fee, including SiteLINK software is $595 and the monthly hosting fee is $195 (figuring 200MB monthly data transfer). Some users also may need to register a domain name and establish a merchant credit card account.
The only significant bill is Mail Order Manager, which costs $1,795 for the first station,$695 for stations two through 12, and $195 for each terminal.
Coopersmith evaluated other packages before deciding on SiteLINK, but found the pickings meager. Similar titles carried price tags approaching $5,000. "I could have justified it if the features were better than SiteLINKís, but that just wasnít the case," she says. "SiteLINK provided all of the features, the ease of use, plus furnished the Internet site server. It was a standout E-commerce solution for a small operation like ours."
The payoff for Power Technology Group was immediate. Coopersmith conducted an initial trial by registering the companyís site, http://www.ptgweb.com with Yahoo!. "We were blown away with the number of hits during the initial two-week honeymoon period," she says. "About 5,000 people visited the brochure site, which netted us 800 E-shoppers. We even got an inquiry from France - in French, no less. We needed some help responding to that one."
While Power Technology Groupís Yellow Pages ads cost twice as much as its Web presence, the latter has generated eight times as many qualified leads. Still, Coopersmith is quick to point out that conventional advertising brings in more actual revenue. "I look for that to change in the coming months as I hone my skills in business-to-business Web marketing," she adds. "Pay-off for your time is the critical factor. So far, Iím on the happy side of the formula."
Call us now at (800) 858-3666 and learn more about how upgrading to PCI compliant Multichannel Order Manager and cloud hosted SiteLINK ecommerce software will accelerate order processes across all channels of your business from ecommerce and catalog fulfillment to retail and third party marketplaces like Amazon fulfillment and eBay software.