Online Retailing Site Design Resources

A forum for and about wine retailing. Consumer questions, retailer rants, etc. All are welcome to post
Post Reply
Message
Author
User avatar
Scott VZ
Posts: 196
Joined: May 8th, 2010, 10:20 pm
Location: Boston, MA

Online Retailing Site Design Resources

#1 Post by Scott VZ » April 18th, 2011, 8:38 pm

I'm looking into website design, inventory management, and an online checkout counter for designing a retail website. Does anyone have any resources that they use in aiding the design and maintenance of their site, or recommendations on places to do further research on the subject?

I've got more experience on the UXD and graphic side of website design, but not as much on the implementation and maintenance of a customer/product database and POS system. In short, I can make things look pretty, but want to know more about what makes them work.

Also, for Berserkers with retail sites, do you use your own designer/IT guy to design/maintain, or do you shop it out to a web design firm like Beverage Media Group or Bottlenose?
Scott Van Zile
Boston, MA

User avatar
PeterJ
GCC Member
GCC Member
Posts: 1819
Joined: June 25th, 2009, 1:24 pm
Location: Mission Viejo, CA

Re: Online Retailing Site Design Resources

#2 Post by PeterJ » April 18th, 2011, 11:32 pm

I don't know if they will let you do your own interface, but I found that http://www.bottlenose-wine.com has the nuts and bolts down quite well for a turnkey site and cart package. I believe inventory management is still the retailers issue with them, though.
Peter J@ckel

User avatar
Richie Caplan
Posts: 34
Joined: May 25th, 2011, 7:45 pm
Location: New York, NY

Re: Online Retailing Site Design Resources

#3 Post by Richie Caplan » May 27th, 2011, 8:37 pm

Scott VZ wrote:I'm looking into website design, inventory management, and an online checkout counter for designing a retail website. Does anyone have any resources that they use in aiding the design and maintenance of their site, or recommendations on places to do further research on the subject?

I've got more experience on the UXD and graphic side of website design, but not as much on the implementation and maintenance of a customer/product database and POS system. In short, I can make things look pretty, but want to know more about what makes them work.

Also, for Berserkers with retail sites, do you use your own designer/IT guy to design/maintain, or do you shop it out to a web design firm like Beverage Media Group or Bottlenose?
Shopify is pretty good to do it yourself. They have great monthly fees, solid customer support, tons of templates, and lots of apps. If you are familiar with liquid than you should be gold...

User avatar
Brent C l a y t o n
Posts: 5461
Joined: May 6th, 2009, 9:21 am
Location: Kew Gardens, NY

Re: Online Retailing Site Design Resources

#4 Post by Brent C l a y t o n » May 27th, 2011, 8:44 pm

Scott,

Bottlenose will integrate with MA wholesale pricing, that is the first place I would look if I were in MA.

http://www.bottlenose-wine.com/main?id=K27PUqpX

I would also contact Peter Tryba from Marty's and/or check out their site to see what they do.

We have a similar setup in NY run by the Beverage Network http://www.bevnetwork.com/ but I don't know if they work with MA stores.

Good luck!

Brent
‘Purveyor of Plonk’
Threadsinker
ITB Sales
IG@bigdaddyb420wine

User avatar
Peter Tryba
Posts: 3145
Joined: March 25th, 2009, 6:55 pm
Location: Newton, MA

Re: Online Retailing Site Design Resources

#5 Post by Peter Tryba » May 28th, 2011, 6:22 am

Brent C l a y t o n wrote:Scott,

Bottlenose will integrate with MA wholesale pricing, that is the first place I would look if I were in MA.

http://www.bottlenose-wine.com/main?id=K27PUqpX

I would also contact Peter Tryba from Marty's and/or check out their site to see what they do.

We have a similar setup in NY run by the Beverage Network http://www.bevnetwork.com/ but I don't know if they work with MA stores.

Good luck!

Brent
Scott works for me, Brent. He should be able to contact me pretty easily! hahaha
We already use Bottlenose, but are stymied by our inability to immediately make changes or additions. We also want total control over design and content.
ITB
kidney fund: youcaring.com

User avatar
Brent C l a y t o n
Posts: 5461
Joined: May 6th, 2009, 9:21 am
Location: Kew Gardens, NY

Re: Online Retailing Site Design Resources

#6 Post by Brent C l a y t o n » May 28th, 2011, 7:57 am

In that case I would be talking to Ian at the Wine Library to find out what they do. They are probably more at the level of scale that you're looking for. However I think all their internet stuff is in-house, not sure if they are willing to 'share.'
‘Purveyor of Plonk’
Threadsinker
ITB Sales
IG@bigdaddyb420wine

User avatar
Ken V
GCC Member
GCC Member
Posts: 38626
Joined: January 27th, 2009, 12:42 pm
Location: Delmar, NY
Contact:

Re: Online Retailing Site Design Resources

#7 Post by Ken V » May 28th, 2011, 9:25 am

Peter Tryba wrote:
Brent C l a y t o n wrote:Scott,

Bottlenose will integrate with MA wholesale pricing, that is the first place I would look if I were in MA.

http://www.bottlenose-wine.com/main?id=K27PUqpX

I would also contact Peter Tryba from Marty's and/or check out their site to see what they do.

We have a similar setup in NY run by the Beverage Network http://www.bevnetwork.com/ but I don't know if they work with MA stores.

Good luck!

Brent
Scott works for me, Brent. He should be able to contact me pretty easily! hahaha
We already use Bottlenose, but are stymied by our inability to immediately make changes or additions. We also want total control over design and content.
LOL!

I believe that Devin Vollmer at Spirit Shoppe in western MA uses Bottlenose. He also posts here occassionly.
Ken V @ s t o l @
The Fine Wine Geek
Click on the W W W button under my name to see my website.
"Don't be meek, embrace the geek." -Terry Theise
Twitter: @FineWineGeek

User avatar
Rick Gregory
Posts: 8729
Joined: January 27th, 2009, 12:42 pm
Location: Seattle

Re: Online Retailing Site Design Resources

#8 Post by Rick Gregory » May 28th, 2011, 9:53 am

Scott/Peter,

When you say you want control, are you meaning over the commerce section (product descriptions etc) or other parts of the site? You should be able to create a site in something like Wordpress and use that to manage the home pages, blog and other non-commerce related pages, then have the product section of the site run by a specialized commerce package and integrate the look and feel pretty easily (though I've not looked at bottlenose). Alternatively you could use one of the more general purpose product catalog/cart solutions. However, when I've looked at doing this for wine clients*, the sticking point with most stock commerce solutions is the shipping complexities involved with wine. You can adapt an off the shelf product catalog/shopping cart to this use, but you need to encode the shipping rules yourself and keep on top of changes.

To the "do people shop this out or maintain it internally" I'd STRONGLY recommend that any system you use should be easy enough that you can maintain all of the content yourself with no need to know anything about web development. All of the content should be easily editable by anyone at your shop and adding/editing/deleting products should also be easily doable by you guys. There's zero reason why this can't be done and any developer or agency that tells you otherwise is one to avoid. Now, when you want design changes... I'd outsource that since that's not a core part of your business and you probably won't be doing design updates often at all.

Oh and since the other part of my business is helping people improve how their website drives business... lose the age verification popup on your site. You have to be losing potential visitors just with the annoyance factor of that and I can't see any business reason for it. It's as if you had a bouncer at the door of your store, carding people who might just want to come in and look around.

*(disclosure: developing websites is part of my business)
Dang Rick, I think that's right on the money. - K. John Joseph

User avatar
Brent C l a y t o n
Posts: 5461
Joined: May 6th, 2009, 9:21 am
Location: Kew Gardens, NY

Re: Online Retailing Site Design Resources

#9 Post by Brent C l a y t o n » May 28th, 2011, 10:06 am

Another option that might work for you is Magento. We used them for a few years but it is one of those 'developware' sites that allows the whole community to use things that you might figure out yourself. It was very customizable however, which is what you're looking for, but there were definitely some 'quirks' that might make it prohibitive for your needs.

http://www.magentocommerce.com/
‘Purveyor of Plonk’
Threadsinker
ITB Sales
IG@bigdaddyb420wine

User avatar
Rick Gregory
Posts: 8729
Joined: January 27th, 2009, 12:42 pm
Location: Seattle

Re: Online Retailing Site Design Resources

#10 Post by Rick Gregory » May 28th, 2011, 10:19 am

Yes, Magento's good too. Remember, you can always find a developer who can take a platform like that and mold it to your needs. In fact, that should be one of your evaluation criteria, IMO - how easy is it alter the look and feel of the platform? Modern products should have no issue with this.

With hosted solutions where your cart and catalog are hosted by someone, poke around the forums of that product and see if there are comments about uptime. Do google searches for things like "{productname} downtime" or {productname} reliability" etc to see of people are seeing issues.
Dang Rick, I think that's right on the money. - K. John Joseph

Post Reply

Return to “Wine Pimps”