October 8, 2009, 12:00 AM

Tool King builds a new retail site in time for the holiday shopping season

The e-retailer of tools ranging from power saws to welding machines and heavy-duty flashlights is launching a new e-commerce platform and site design next month to provide a better shopping experience while supporting the roll-out of new niche sites.

Tool King LLC, an e-retailer of tools ranging from power saws to welding machines and heavy-duty flashlights, is launching a new e-commerce platform and site design for ToolKing.com next month to provide a better shopping experience while supporting the roll-out of new niche sites, founder and managing partner Don Cohen says.

“The new site will be like the old version on steroids, better from both a user experience and back-end operations,” he says.

Among the new site’s features: Spanish as well as English versions, compatibility with mobile commerce, improved site search, a more streamlined checkout process, and the capability to scale up with both visitor volume and a planned series of new sister web sites that will be focused on selling particular lines of products and brands.

An overarching goal of the new e-commerce platform and design is to present more content and easier ways to shop. The retailer also expects the platform will be easier to manage and to update with new content and functionality, supporting better search engine optimization, Cohen says.

Tool King is migrating off its original in-house e-commerce platform, which was built in Microsoft Corp.’s .Net technology environment, to a platform built on a PHP framework. PHP is a programming language that uses open-source technology and provides a flexible environment for making changes to web sites, says Tool King director of marketing Ben Skigen.

It supports, for example, Object Oriented Design, which can assign multiple attributes to an online product, such as the size, speed, and power of an electric drill. “It provides us an incredible amount of flexibility, and makes it much easier to add functionality in the future without worrying about what was developed in the past,” Skigen says.

Tool King is No. 320 in the Internet Retailer Top 500 Guide.

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