Moodswings Inc. invests in a re-designed website to stay on top of technology and trends. Includes new features to appeal to the customer, make buying easier, and aid in search engine optimization and new features for the company itself, with complex multi-channel sales reports.
MAPLE VALLEY, Wash. – August 6, 2009 – At a time when many companies are cutting back, Moodswings Inc. is digging in deep. CEO Elizabeth Bighorse and CFO Patty Dreyer are launching an improved website so that their company emerges on top when the economy fully recovers. Bighorse comments that investing in an economy at one of its lowest points was a difficult choice for Moodswings Inc., but they are confident the choice will pay off in the long run.
Moodswings Inc. completely re-created their website, with an upgrade to the new StoreAdvisorPremium (SAP) through ChannelAdvisor, a leading multi-channel software provider for selling on unique domain sites, as well as, popular auction sites such as eBay and Amazon.com.
The design process
Bighorse and Dreyer work together with their warehouse team to optimize their products for online success. The back end of the website, where Dreyer and Melody Mertens, their in-house Data Analyst, focus their attention, worked in coordination with Channel Advisor’s set up team members. “We want a website that appeals to the modern ecommerce consumer. We need something distinct to our niche, but not exclusive to it. The appeal had to draw in a particular crowd of customers, but also needs to serve the gift buyers who come as “looky-loos.” We had to have a design strong enough to turn those lookers into buyers,” says Dreyer.
Moodswings Inc. chose Diztinct Inc. as the design company for their new website’s ASPDotNetStorefront based ChannelAdviosr managed StoreAdvisorPremium site. “Diztinct Inc. had some SAP stores in their portfolio already and were freshly versed in working with both ASPDotNetStorefront and ChannelAdvisor together and that was important to us as we made our choice in teams,” said Bighorse. A fresh new design concept by Bighorse and developed by Diztinct Inc. includes a more professional look, with trendy coloring to appeal to a wider age group within their goal demographic. While the entire team worked to launch the new site, Bighorse did much of the work with Diztinct Inc. on the design, while optimizing for search engines at the same time.
“It was frustrating, because what ASP could do, what SAP and what Diztinct could do, didn’t always match up. We needed to optimize our search results on sites such as Google, Yahoo, and Bing, while appealing to the customer, which of course is every ecommerce site’s goal. Only in a couple spots we had to sacrifice one function for another. The rules don’t always line up,” shrugs Bighorse, “it is the nature of this industry,” she finished.
While many of the changes to the site are exactly what Moodswings Inc. needed, not all worked as planned. “We spent a tremendous amount of time fine tuning the First Class shipping rates, and shipping configurations because we wanted to use the USPS API for real time shipping estimates, allowing customers to quickly see their shipping charges on items as they add them to their cart. Again, the technology of the software companies didn’t always match up and created delays for the live launch date,” says Dreyer. “We also struggled normal “going live issues” like visual site uniformity between IE vs 6, 7, 8 and Firefox. Another headache was the amount of control that ChannelAdvisor releases for design to the one page checkout page. Overall we are happy with the result,” Bighorse added.
A new focus of Moodswings Inc. is the way they are able to market their mostly vegan-friendly accessories. The ability to add a product to multiple categories is one of the new features that SAP offers vs. older versions of ChannelAdvisor software. “We couldn’t have a theme specific category before because the product could not be organized by item type, adding it to multiple categories. We are now able to organize by item type, mood, brand, and even offer a Deal-of-the-Week,” says Dreyer. All of these ways to organize, not only make it easier for the customer to find what they are looking for, but also enable advanced keyword manipulation for search engine optimization that wasn’t possible before the move to SAP.
Moodswings Inc. upgraded to ASP for many reasons. “ASP allows us more flexibility in search engine optimization, such as creating a site map and organizing our products into multiple categories, advanced fiscal reports, one page checkout, and the ability to add the USPS API. Buyers can also now e-mail items to a friend or add them to a wish list with the click of a button, both great for generating sales and hype about a product,” says Dreyer.
A key reason for Moodswings’s move to the new software was that it streamlines customer checkout and condenses it to a one-page check out process. “We want to create the best possible customer experience, so that they not only personally tell their friends when they talk to each other, but also on and through the web email, share widget, Facebook.com, Myspace.com, etc…,” says Bighorse, “the web is the future of our company. In this industry a website has to either keep up or fall to the side; we choose to keep up.”
About Moodswings Inc.:
Moodswings Inc. is a privately held corporation, based in the State of Washington, selling gifts and fashion accessories, with focus on niches such as rockabilly, surfabilly, tattoo flash gifts, and hippie styling, in purses, handbags and accessories for the “alternative” or “culture” fashion shopper on the world wide web. CEO Elizabeth Bighorse has been a round table panelist for Gifts & Decorative Accessories Magazine and World Market Place, on issues pertaining to small business owners surviving in the economy-2009. The company and partners have been recognized in the industry as leaders and have mentored several other Internet start-ups, and have enjoyed local and national media attention. Moodswings Inc., was nominated in August 2008 for Best Clothing Store & Best Gift Shop, Covington-Maple Valley Reporter, and in July 2008 was nominated for Pacific Lutheran University School of Business, Family Business of the Year. Moodswings Inc. was a NWSource.com - Top Finalist in 2005 and 2006. In 2008 MTV requested to use the retail store to film the cable show “MTV Made.” In addition, Moodswings Inc., worked with MTV producers collaborating on the makeover of the reality show coach.