Tessa Luu owns the successful home fashion site www.insideavenue.com and was looking to spread her fashion expertise by starting a spin off site selling interior fabrics.
Tessa tried several options before choosing Volusion for www.insidefabric.com. In 2000, she paid a developer $35,000 to build a website from scratch. “The site ran ok but it was very difficult for us to upgrade/maintain it. We then migrated to the Yahoo platform. The main store we have there is doing ok, but everytime we tried to do something we have to pay our developer to do it. Not only did it cost money, it is also time consuming. Yahoo store is built using RTML, a propriety language, which you really have to learn and who has time for that?”
“When we tried to develop our fabric site, the Yahoo store does not have the functions and features that we need. We spent a few thousands and a few months on it then finally have to give up. We find that as a small business company, our options are very limited. That is, we don’t have the big budget to develop a custom solution, so we end up with a platform like Yahoo that is very limited in scope.”
“I was beating my head against the wall trying to get Yahoo Store to work with my fabric store. It was taking 4 days to upload just 5000 items, plus the database editing process was just unbearable. Then I went on line, Googled ‘e-commerce solutions’ and found Volusion. I bought the plan and worked on it over the weekend, and in one weekend I was able to do what I couldn’t do with Yahoo store for four months, by myself, and I’m not that technical. Our site was up and running in two weeks (most of the time was spent working on our product database).”
Although Tessa’s site is new, the signs are encouraging. “I am so impressed with the performance on this site so far. We’ve been live only for 3-4 weeks, and already we got over 40 orders! While this is not enough to pay the bill yet, we never get this on our Yahoo Store! The most important thing is that 60% of our traffic comes from organic, which I contribute to your SEO features. Having that built in, and making it so easy to put in meta-title, meta-tag, meta-descriptions as well as having the product name on the URL is so critically important. I strongly feel that once we get our off-site SEO done, the performance will be tremendously improved.”
Tessa’s plans do not stop with www.insidefabric.com. “We plan to have about 4 more niche sites built, all of which complement our core business, which is home furnishings. We feel having a niche site devoted to one single category is the best way for us to get organic ranking. This is why I was so excited about Volusion. It is by far the most economical package, not to mention the most robust package around. I strongly recommend it for small businesses particularly. I prefer to do things myself rather than hire it out, and Volusion is the perfect package for that.