November 5, 2007, 12:00 AM

Specialty lighting store migrates to Yahoo e-commerce platform

Pegasus Associates Lighting has deployed Yahoo’s e-commerce platform ahead of the holiday shopping season. The new platform replaces an in-house system that was draining resources the company wanted to use to fund growth.

Lighting specialty retailer Pegasus Associates Lighting has launched a redesigned e-commerce site running on an e-commerce platform from Yahoo. The upgraded site includes a streamlined ordering process that’s easier to understand, a PayPal purchasing option, the ability to use promotional codes and coupons during check-out, and product images on ordering pages.

The company’s web site, begun as brochure-ware in 1999, was built in-house, says Chris Johnson, director of marketing and technology. From then until this year new functions were added, and maintaining the platform became increasingly expensive. From 2003 to 2006, annual b2c and b2b site visitors tripled, from 242,000 to 737,000, he says.

The company had three Linux servers to maintain, one to run the web site, one as a backup and one for development, in addition to several Microsoft Windows servers, Johnson tells Internet Retailer. “For a small company we had a lot of technology expenses in maintaining the platform and not enough spending on growing the business,” he says.

Johnson and Thomas E. Farin, company founder and president, attended a trade show last summer and explored e-commerce platform options. Johnson’s research included an examination of the Internet Retailer Top 500 Guide which showed that 25 of the smaller companies listed use Yahoo’s e-commerce technology. “We tested it and liked what we saw,” Johnson says.

While using Yahoo’s web hosting option, Pegasus’ technology staff will continue using Dreamweaver web site design software from Adobe Inc., Johnson says.

The company chose Yahoo because it had features including coupons and discounts and free shipping. “They are easy to add and modify,” Johnson says. “We’re offering free UPS shipping now and it took about five seconds to set up. Using the old system would have taken much longer.” The former platform also prevented some visitors’ browsers from accessing some of the old site’s features.

The new platform and redesigned site were launched last week. Sales not only went on uninterrupted, Johnson says, the company set a weekend record. “I can’t say it’s a pattern, because we might have done it anyway,” Johnson says. “But we switched the entire site and platform to new servers and still had a record weekend.”

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