The Web Guy - Bryan Thompson

Affordable & Effective Web Services

To B Maternity – A new direction in websites?

I recently started working with a ‘Brick and Mortar’ business in Branford, Connecticut. She has a maternity clothes boutique. She wants to start selling her clothes over the Internet. An initial attempt at a website with shopping cart met with limited success. The problem was that she wasn’t happy with the way the shopping cart solution integrated with the website.   She was using an open source (free) shopping cart software. 

A New Prototyping Tool 

Based on conversations with her and finding out her competition, I came up with the following prototype for her new website.

to b maternity

www.ToBMaternity.com

Evaluating the Competition

One of the reference sites she liked was  www.MoreOfMeMaternity.com. She also indicated a couple of other sites who are big players in the maternity market that she didn’t like. She liked the clean lines and elegant appeal of the site.

So I took it as a challenge to come up with something reflecting  ‘A Chic Maternity Boutique’, while not appearing to steal a site design.

moreofmematernity

I’ve been working quite a bit with WordPress (and specifically the Thesis Theme). I noticed that More of Me was built using the WordPress platform.  I like WordPress because it can be maintained from anywhere and once the design is set, even a non-technical type can maintain and update the site. The downside of using WordPress is that the initial custom design can be pricey. I don’t know how much More of Me paid for her site, but I have gotten estimates of $1500 -$2000 to replicate this site using WordPress/Thesis.  While my prototype is not WordPress, it can be can be delivered for much less.

My current proposal is to implement the prototype on the front-end  with a robust shopping cart on the back-end. I’ve found a real good ‘hosted’ shopping cart solution. They can ‘scrape’ my design to give the shopping cart.  This will provide the shopping cart with the same ‘look and feel’  of the main site.

The other upside of this company is that they are located right here in Connecticut. Down the road, if it appears that WordPress is the better platform, we can then find an adequate Theme Designer to replicate the proposed site design and still keep the shopping cart software in place.

Difference in Business Models

More of Me has a limited line of clothes and using affiliate sales for much of their revenue. ToBMaternity has over 300 items available.  I mention this because More of Me uses Google checkout for their items. This is a good solution for someone with a limited or custom line of goods. However, it becomes very labor intensive when a significant amount of items are included in the catalog.