June 25, 2009, 12:00 AM

Sheet Music Plus tunes up its web site for the holidays

The retailer of sheet music has relaunched SheetMusicPlus.com on an internally developed platform designed with improved search and navigation and dynamically updated pages, CEO Keith Cerny says. "We hope to see a 10-15% boost in holiday sales," he says.

Sheet Music Plus LLC, a web-only retailer of sheet music, recently relaunched SheetMusicPlus.com on an internally developed platform designed with improved search and navigation and dynamically updated pages, CEO Keith Cerny says.

"We hope to see a 10-15% boost in holiday sales," he says. Sheet Music Plus, which is No. 258 in the Internet Retailer Top 500 Guide, carries more than 550,000 SKUs and sells to more than 170 countries.

The retailer launched its new site on May 15 on the Ruby on Rails open source technology platform, with Solr open source technology for site search. It also uses New Relic, a technology associated with Ruby on Rails, for site performance monitoring, and analytics applications from Coremetrics and Google Inc.

With about 30% of its customer traffic arriving during the holiday shopping season, the May launch, followed by its slowest period in June, was timed to provide ample time for testing and tuning the site in time for the fourth quarter, says Cerny, who is a former partner at systems integrator Accenture as well as a pianist, conductor, opera coach and the former chief operating officer of the San Francisco Opera.

Among other improvements:

  • The retailer has deployed a new data center, and it is now able to automatically generate new product pages as it enters new information into its online product catalog.
  • It has upgraded the capacity levels of both its non-secure servers for graphics and search functionality and its secure servers for its checkout process. The checkout process has also been streamlined to provide for quicker entry of customer information and to conduct real-time verification of credit card account numbers.
  • To further encourage holiday shopping, Sheet Music Plus has begun offering more expedited shipping options, effectively extending its customers` holiday shopping season, Cerny says.
  • For shoppers who miss the deadline for delivery by Christmas, the retailer will be proactive with e-mail marketing to let shoppers know they can purchase gift certificates that Sheet Music Plus e-mails to recipients within 24 hours of an order.
  • The retailer is continuing to build on a behavioral targeting program that complements its new site search and navigation.

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