Over the last several months, we holed up in our office here at Wex for weeks at a time, working into the wee morning hours, to complete the new ecommerce site for East Coast Diesel, a performance truck parts store and diesel shop in Jonestown, PA specializing in South Bend Clutch, BD Diesel, Edge, AirDog, and many other performance diesel brands. A few thousand pounds of coffee (and nightmares in the form of running strings of PHP code) later, we launched the new site. Because it is an ecommerce site, it will continually evolve and improve, but we are thrilled with how it has turned out so far!
THE STRATEGY BEHIND THE PROJECT
Previously, the ECD site was built on the Zen Cart e-commerce platform. It was lightweight, easy-to-understand, secure, and stable. So why put the costly, time-consuming effort into changing to the current Magento CE platform? Because long-term growth requires attention to the details.
You see, we made a lot of modifications to the Zen Cart platform to make it work as well as possible for East Coast Diesel’s selling strategy–but as their sales increased and their products grew, we recognized the need for greater attention to the details of their selling strategy as well as the experience of their customers. Thus, rather than modify Zen Cart into instability, it was time to move to a more powerful selling platform. Magento is more complex to modify than Zen Cart, and it requires a much more powerful (and costly) server setup to run, but its complexity provides the basis for a far more flexible structure.
Specifically, due to Magento’s powerful taxonomy, we were able to modify the ECD store to allow customers to sort product listings by price, manufacturer, the specific diesel truck they own, or any other category-specific product attribute. Customers can easily browse a single set of products through three different taxonomic menu breakdowns: product type, brand, and truck application. Like Amazon or other large sellers, East Coast Diesel will now be able to suggest related or complementary products that customers can easily add to their carts with the click of a button. Truck parts can be sold in customizable bundles, allowing the shop owners to create package deals.
Moreover, the Magento platform is an overall solid choice for growth. Even if it is not lightweight in terms of server resources, it is secure and stable. It has a solid backend for managing products, inventory, specials, sales, and transactions. It has a convenient login for customers to track their orders, request refunds, and print invoices. With our modifications in place, it has all the bells and whistles of social sharing options, easy contact buttons, and visual navigation.
THE NEW LOOK AND FEEL
In redesigning the site, we wanted to give East Coast Diesel a big, bold, masculine image while preserving the simplicity and navigability that is essential to ecommerce. Using the blues, oranges, and grays from their branding, we built the site with big buttons, a logo-based brands dropdown, and strong, clean typography. We put a huge slider on the homepage so that they can feature sales and new products, but we also put a box for their YouTube videos so they can show their customers that they are not just distributers–they are diesel truck drivers who compete in pro stock diesel pulls around the country. We also made sure to make the site responsive for mobile and tablet browsers, ensuring that their phone number appears at the top in the mobile version for those wanting to click-to-call from their smart phones.
All said, we are excited to be a part of East Coast Diesel’s marketing strategy and we are excited to help them leverage the power of Magento’s many ecommerce features. Please take a moment to visit their site and tell us what you think: www.ecddiesel.com