Billy White and the rest of the team at Sitemason, Inc. have done an amazing job building a beautiful, flexible e-commerce website for Kermit Chair Company. Keep reading to find out how the flexibility of FoxyCart was able to help Kermit Chair Company provide a customizable experience to it's website visitors.
Hello! Who are you? What’s your company? How’d you get started in web development or with your business?
Why hello, yourself! I'm Billy White, a developer and product manager at Sitemason, Inc. We're a hosted, proprietary content management platform based in Nashville, TN. I started many moons ago in technical support with an HTML background, and ending up becoming a full time developer.
My favorite projects are definitely commerce ones. They tend to be long-form projects with lots of critical thinking and tons of pieces to put together. They’re by far the most challenging sites, but the education process with the client is really rewarding.
Sitemason serves all sorts of clients. We’ve ended up with a lot of large non-profit and education customers, as our CMS is a great solution for really large sites. However, our clientele really runs the spectrum from sole proprietorships to major universities.
Could you describe this project? What was the goal? What was the vision?
Kermit Chair sells touring chairs, popular with cross-country motorcyclists. Lots of them. They’ve been a loooong time Sitemason customer, but up until this project, had been using a simple credit card processing form to take their thousands of orders. They were actually the first client to respond to our announcement of a new commerce platform built on FoxyCart.
The goal was to provide a really nice looking shopping experience (they’re old site... left something to be desired) with enhanced options and checks in the purchasing process. Specifically, they wanted more control over the embroidery options, max order quantities, and accessory suggestions.
They’ve been very popular internationally, and one of their big problems was enterprising folks overseas buying out their entire stock. A great problem to have!
What were your roles and responsibilities in this project?
I started as the developer only, but ended up project managing, consulting, and shaping the features with the client.
How’d you find FoxyCart, and what need or problem drove you to choose FoxyCart over other options?
Years ago, Sitemason had developed a commerce platform that clients loved, but we hated, and eventually stopped supporting it and told folks to “use at your own risk.” We found FoxyCart a couple years back, and realized it was the missing link! We worry about our CMS, and FoxyCart handles the hard stuff (shipping, taxes, PCI Compliance, payment processing, etc.). There may not be a more perfect union.
How was FoxyCart able to meet the need or problem?
FoxyCart provided the backbone to make the commerce project possible. Without it, Kermit Chair would have had to seek out another solution when their limits were reached.
What was your experience with using FoxyCart?
It’s always exciting. There’s still so much to uncover about FoxyCart. Every project brings on a new set of challenges and reveals FoxyCart features I wasn’t expecting. The simplicity for setting up dreadfully difficult tasks like bizarre shipping options or international customs tax rules is astonishing.
What surprised you about working with FoxyCart?
The first time I played with FoxyCart, I had a working store in 15 minutes. It blew my mind. Its flexibility in the way it accepts orders is an incredible asset. Allowing Sitemason to control what’s sent to the cart, and being hands-off from that point to order completion is such a neat concept.
What would you say to other Developers/Designers/Merchants who are looking for an ecommerce solution?
Developers: If you know and love a CMS, do NOT try and find another commerce platform or service. Use FoxyCart to extend your current CMS so you don’t force clients to jump around to a bunch of different systems to manage one website.
Designers: Holy crap, you can style EVERYTHING
Merchants: I know what you’re thinking “I just need to sell these simple products online, why does it have to be so complicated?” Well, because it is complicated. Unlesss you sell colorless, sizeless, weightless, couponless, taxless, and shipless products, selling your wares online is a complex proposition.
Choose a platform that is as simple to use as it is flexible to mold around the way you sell products online. FoxyCart is both, in spades.