3dcart Success Stories: Featuring American RV Company

americanrvcompany

American RV Company features more than 12,500 RV parts, including generators, hardware, kitchenware, electronics, lighting, and more. But before it found massive success as an online store, the RV parts store found initial success per a humble sales channel tactically utilized by countless aspiring entrepreneurs: eBay.

In 2005, American RV Company’s founder was working for another manufacturer of RV parts, a business that earned a whopping $270 million annually at its peak. Just a short while later, armed with invaluable industry knowledge (50+ years) and an unstoppable drive, American RV was born. Unfortunately, only two years after the launch of the up and coming manufacturer, the RV industry crashed, and the fledgling company was forced to hurriedly sell their acquired parts via eBay.

In 2011 the business bounced back stronger than ever, boasting a catalog of more than 12,000 products. As the business grew and expanded, acquiring more and more parts via wholesale, it was finally time to expand beyond the limitations of eBay in favor of a dedicated online store. John Nelson, general manager of American RV Company, says the company’s eCommerce search revealed 3dcart as the front-runner.

But as the RV parts store continued to grow with the power and features of a hosted eCommerce solution, new demands emerged that would test 3dcart’s capabilities: “We needed something more robust, so we decided to implement an ERP system. Forecasting, inventory planning, automation, coordination—these were features we needed to help us upgrade our business,” recalls John.

American RV eventually settled on SAP Business One, and John and his associates hit the eCommerce market yet again to evaluate which platform would work best with their chosen ERP system.

“We pitted options like Magento against 3dcart,” John says. “In the end, 3dcart’s advanced API won the day. It gave us the flexibility we needed to build a completely integrated technology backbone for the company.”

John attributes his business’s success in large part to 3dcart’s powerful system: “One of the factors that really sets 3dcart apart is its third-party integrations,” John explains. “The company is willing to play nice with other solutions. 3dcart’s leadership knows that some businesses need functionality beyond the scope of an ecommerce solution.”

American RV Company is able to provide top-quality customer service via third party integrations such as GoDataFeed, Lexity Live, Amazon and Google Checkout, and 3dcart features like CRM and the built-in newsletter feature.

The RV parts store hasn’t abandoned their roots either: “We still push products through eBay, who we’ve been with since the beginning. They process around 15 percent of our total sales, and we pay fees on all of it,” John says. “But we do eight times the sales with 3dcart than we ever could have done with eBay—and we keep all of that revenue. What we save on fees is huge.”

To learn more about American RV Company’s eCommerce story, visit 3dcart Success Stories.

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3dcart Success Stories: Featuring Allparts Music Corporation

allparts

Allparts Music Corporation has provided manufacturers, wholesalers, musicians, retail stores and guitar repair shops around the world with guitar and bass parts since 1982. As the world’s largest distributor of guitar, bass and amplifier parts, with international distributors on six continents, Allparts uniquely understands the symbiotic relationship between quality guitar parts and quality music, a notion their success attests to.

Having experienced wholesale success since the early 80s and an online presence since the mid-90s, Allparts is all too familiar with the ins and outs of eCommerce. Over the years, their business has developed a unique structure that allows them to cater to B2B and B2C, although the bulk of their sales still stems from manufacturers and shops. But like all growing businesses, Allparts’ needs and demands evolved as their business found global success.

In 2009, Allparts’ IT director, Dean Peckenpaugh, decided it was time to upgrade the company to a new software platform, and sought the help of Volusion, with whom he’d worked with in the past. Only a short while after the transition, however, Dean began to notice that things were amiss.

“Volusion had undergone a huge migration, moving all of its content off of Rackspace and onto in-house servers,” Dean explains. “Soon after, the company started experiencing problems with uptime for its stores. That problem continues today.”

To complicate matters further, partnering with Volusion threatened Allparts’ business model, with Dean continually having to evaluate and update an enormous amount of custom code. “Every time Volusion changed something, we were concerned about how it might affect the site,” says Dean. “There were actually times when things suddenly broke. It made us feel vulnerable as a business.”

A year later, after being hit with consistently astronomical bandwidth overage fees, Allparts decided to look for another long-term eCommerce solution.

Although their search initially led to Magento, it didn’t take Dean long to realize their platform would require a dedicated team of people to run the site: “I’m the one-man show running our software platform,” he says. “I’m not a developer or a designer. We didn’t have the budget to hire on extra specialists, so Magento was clearly out.”

Further research led to 3dcart, which Dean found appealing for a number of reasons.

“Not only do we pay lower fees with 3dcart—it’s also a slimmer platform that consumes less bandwidth than Volusion to perform the same actions,” Dean explains. “We get more bandwidth with 3dcart and use less. Even if we went over our core package, which we rarely do, it wouldn’t cost us half as much as Volusion.”

In addition to 3dcart’s low monthly cost, Dean also found the platform’s ease of use, customer segmentation, and simple customization as appealing factors that swayed his decision.

After switching to 3dcart, Allparts witnessed immediate results:

  • 25 percent reduction in site response time
  • 20 percent increase in page views
  • Around 33 percent increase in per-visit page views
  • 3 percent decrease in bounce rate
  • An extra 600 visitors a day
  • 2 million monthly page views
  • 150,000 unique monthly visitors

As the cherry on top, Allparts was able to save tens of thousands of dollars by using 3dcart over Volusion.

To read more about Allparts Music Corporation’s eCommerce journey, visit 3dcart Success Stories.

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3dcart Success Stories: Featuring Morgan Sports

MorganSports

Morgan Sports, an industry-leading wholesaler and supplier of combat sports and functional fitness equipment, was founded in 1988 by Aly Suleman. Based in Shellharbour, NSW, Australia, Morgan Sports has garnered universal praise, widespread media exposure, and thousands of devoted fans worldwide in its short lifespan.

Like many startup businesses, Morgan Sports’ story shares a humble beginning. After uncovering an untapped gap in Australia’s market – an absence of locally owned companies supplying high-quality boxing and fitness equipment – Aly realized an exciting business opportunity was afoot.

After extensive industry and market research, Aly put together a product catalog, and at only 19 years old, rang in his first sale from a cold call. Spurred by the initial taste of success, Morgan Sports continued its pursuit to redefine the combat fitness industry. In just a few short years, operations exploded, with the company acquiring suppliers in India, China, Pakistan, Taiwan, and China, as well as in-house manufacturing units.

After years of exciting, non-stop progress, Morgan Sports came to realize their business was missing a key ingredient necessary for global, widespread success: they didn’t have an online presence. Their search for the best eCommerce solution led them to 3dcart, a decision that would catapult the company into a new, exciting chapter in their business’s journey.

In the first year of launching their online store, Morgan Sports’ sales nearly doubled, marking the start of a thrilling future. Over the next five years with 3dcart, traffic piled in from every direction: high-quality SEO, word-of-mouth and industry-based referrals. To keep up with their customers’ demands and business’s growth, Morgan Sports looked to 3dcart’s professional services, such as myWebmaster service and Responsive Design service, to help improve their online store.

Today, Morgan Sports’ catalog includes more than 15,000 products and is featured in boxing and fitness magazines worldwide.

So what’s next for Aly?

“We have just launched a new website with 3dcart, and within the first 48 hours of going live, we’ve seen sales and user interaction increase by about 25%. What we had invested to re-designing our store was paid back to us within the first day of trading!”

To learn more about Morgan Sports’ eCommerce journey, visit 3dcart Success Stories.

3dcart Success Stories: Featuring Quadrocopter

quadrocopterQuadrocopter is a fully MikroKopter licensed corporation and an aerial cinematography business based in Northwest Montana. Their goal is to provide its clients with professional solutions for all multi-rotor aerial applications, featuring an online store that offers the industry’s largest selection of multi-rotor/aerial related products.

In 2006, Quadrocopter launched a non-commercial support website for universal aerial video platforms that were a part of the MikroKopter and UAVP projects. Operated by a group of copter enthusiasts, the site offered detailed instructions on how to assemble the complicated hardware as well as links on where to find parts – an impossible feat for consumers in the US.

Quadrocopter’s founder, Flori Seeger, recalls this dilemma as the inspirational force for his business’s founding: “You’d have to have them shipped from Europe. They’d take awhile to arrive. That’s when it hit us: instead of pointing our visitors elsewhere, why not supply the parts ourselves?”

Flori, a java developer and experienced designer, set out to find a shopping cart solution that offered innovative built-in features, out-of-the-box website tools, and a customizable framework that could support his vision for a top-of-the-line online store.

After reviewing his available options, Flori decided on 3dcart, which he found appealing for two main reasons: the plethora of ready-made features, such as 3dcart’s social media plug-ins like the Facebook Store, easy integration with ShipWorks and QuickBooks, built-in CRM, convenient admin control, which allowed him to setup admin access for 16 different employees, and most importantly, 3dcart’s flexible framework.

“I built the entire site design from scratch,” recalls Flori. “It was very easy to understand the template and pull in certain code elements. We had access to the complete layout and CSS.”

Since having joined 3dcart two years ago, Quadrocopter has exploded into a multimillion dollar business, success he partially attributes to 3dcart’s reliable platform and support.

“When we send a ticket or call in, there’s always someone around to respond and resolve the issue.”

To learn more about how Quadrocopter found success in selling online, visit 3dcart Success Stories.

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3dcart Success Stories: Featuring Software CW

Softwarecw

SoftwareCW, a growing provider of computer software for personal, business, government agencies, and educational institutions, started its eCommerce journey for reasons many online merchants share: greater flexibility and more control.

Colton Wiles, owner of SoftwareCW, knew that despite his business’s impressive client base, a strong online presence would be the only way to expose his business and products to a large customer base.

“We decided to open a website because we wanted the flexibility that just wasn’t available with marketplaces,” Wiles explains. “We also wanted to be less reliant on selling on marketplaces.”

Colton, driven by a specific image of what’s entailed in a perfect online store, started his search for an eCommerce platform capable of fulfilling his vision.

But finding a tailor-fit shopping cart is anything but easy, especially when they’re so many options to choose from. “Shopping cart providers we used in the past were very restrictive on what pages you could edit,” recalls Colton. “One did not allow the checkout pages to be edited at all. We wanted the ability to add custom features that just weren’t possible with other providers.”

Fortunately, SoftwareCW eventually came across 3dcart, which Colton found appealing for the platform’s ease of use, particularly when it came to editing coding. “Our favorite features of 3dcart are the ability to completely edit all pages’ code and the ease of doing this. We also love the built-in Product Review and Q&A features so we do not have to pay a 3rd party to do this.”

Colton, however, wanting to ensure his business’s success and provide customers with the best shopping experience possible, looked to 3dcart’s professional design service for an answer. 3Dcart’s design team, communicating with Colton every step of the way, worked tirelessly to help Colton achieve his desired website appearance.

SoftwareCW continues to offer consumers with only the latest and best digital programs available, providing renowned customer service and memorable shopping experiences thanks to their powerful, refined website.

To read more about SoftwareCW’s eCommerce journey, visit 3dcart Success Stories.

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3dcart Success Stories: Featuring Stockade

Stockade

Stockade is a family owned business of more than 40 years with a simple goal: provide creative people with top-quality products.

The company was founded by Ross and Colleen, who dived into the craft industry by making and selling a selection of wooden toys, games and piggy banks in the late 70s at craft fairs and gift shops across Canada.

It wasn’t long before the company expanded by selling individual wood parts to DIYers, and in 1988, Stockade relocated from Salmon Arm, British Columbia to a more central location in Guelph, Ontatio.

Sarah, daughter of Ross and Collen, recalls the exciting yet challenging aspects of running a business in the 90s: “After relocating to Ontario the toughest obstacle we found was keeping up with demand. The 90s were a crazy time for do-it-yourselfers. The economy was down and people were finding creative ways to make and save money. People were selling or making wooden toys for their own use and to sell at craft shows.”

Stockade’s customer base grew considerably as they began targeting a new craft niche: crafters and decorative painters. But although the business was experiencing great success, and boasted an online presence for more than a decade, they soon realized they needed a more powerful site to deliver the best shopping experience possible.

3dcart was recommended to Stockade by their marketing company, and their recommendation proved rewarding. “They were correct with their recommendation as 3dcart has all the features we can’t do without (ie: the promotion manager and discount quantity pricing) at no additional monthly charges.”

Today, Ross, Colleen, their daughter Sarah, and their awesome staff continue to supply Canadians with the best craft supplies available.

To find out more how Stockade grew from a small gift shop presence into a nationally-recognized brand, visit 3dcart Success Stories.

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Bean Bag Chairs and the Pursuit of Search Excellence

 

Sumo Lounge Bean Bag Chairs

Sumo Lounge’s bean bag chairs were the first of their kind. But it takes more than a great product to establish a lucrative retail business.

Over the past decade Sumo Lounge became a booming brand on the strength of powerful marketing. Creating a new product niche of high quality, affordable bean bag chairs filled a big gap in marketplace, helping establish the company as an extremely successful international e-commerce business.

Building on its tradition of scrappy marketing, Sumo Lounge is one of the latest 3dcart customers to tap into our in-house SEO services. From daily sitemap submissions and optimizing Google Shopping feeds to URL optimization and broken link cleanup, online stores like Sumo Lounge build the search traction they need to drive more traffic and, ultimately, more sales.

SEO (search engine optimization) isn’t just for bean bag chair shops. It’s a critical piece of the marketing puzzle for online businesses everywhere. Along with social media and advertising referrals, search traffic often plays a crucial role in how people find online stores, whether through Google or through more targeted search services like Google Shopping.

But SEO can be both time-consuming and technical. In the long run, it ends up becoming a full time job. For small online businesses that are already spread too thin, it’s extremely difficult to find the extra time to commit to it. Not to mention, it takes quite a bit of know-how to do a really comprehensive job on it.

We saw a lot of online stores struggling with SEO, which is why we decided to build a team in-house as a value-added service for 3dcart customers. Bigger, more established online merchants can get a lot from engaging our e-commerce marketing team to supplement search marketing specialists you might already have on your team. Think of it as a full, consistent SEO site scrub that includes detailed reporting to help you make sense of your investment.

Since they started on the 3dcart e-commerce SEO services late last year, Sumo Lounge has seen an upswing in traffic and sales stemming from better search rankings. The company’s online store for bean bag chairs is a potent example of how small businesses can use outside resources to fill specialized roles, keeping things lean, profitable, and growing.

May’s Partner of the Month: Avalara

Avalara and 3dcart

3dcart is currently partnered with over 200 eCommerce companies. We’re constantly on the lookout for vibrant, innovative partners that can bring state-of-the-art solutions and services to our customers.

For the month of May, our Partner of the month is Avalara.  Our team interviewed Whitney Williams, Partner Alliance Manager at Avalara, to help 3dcart merchants get insight into their company and solution.

  1. Please provide some general background and history on your company:

Avalara, Inc. is a leading provider of tax compliance automation for business.  For more than a decade, Avalara has pioneered innovations in tax compliance for businesses of all sizes. Today, we offer hundreds of pre-built connectors into leading accounting, ERP, ecommerce and other business applications. Avalara calculates $100 million in taxes for customers and free users every day, files hundreds of thousands of transactional tax returns per year, and manages millions of exemption certificates and other compliance related documents.

Avalara is a privately held company; our venture capital investors include Sageview Capital, Battery Ventures, Warburg Pincus, Technology Crossover Ventures, Arthur Ventures, and other institutional and individual investors. Avalara’s headquarters are in Seattle, WA and it has offices across the U.S. and London, England; Brussels, Belgium; and Pune, India

  1. What’s the main service your company offers?

Avalara’s Compliance Cloud™ solution for sales tax management helps businesses of all sizes achieve governmental compliance by automating and simplifying the process, including tax determination, exemption certificate management, and tax return preparation, filing, and remittance.

We work within a customer’s own financial, billing, ecommerce, or point of sale systems to automate manual processes, delivering cloud-based compliance services that are fast, easy, accurate, and affordable.

Avalara continually broadens and deepens its reach, combining powerful technology with deep content to provide businesses with a single user-friendly place to manage key governmental compliance obligations.

  1. Describe the integration and how long you’ve been a partner with 3dcart.

3dcart partnered with Avalara in 2009 to provide automatic sales tax calculations within the cart, streamlining the tax compliance process while saving time, reducing errors, and cutting costs. Avalara AvaTax™ works with an extension that plugs into 3dcart, so buyers get an accurate calculation automatically on every shopping cart checkout.

  1. What are the benefits for 3dcart merchants that use your solution?

While 3dcart integrates with various financial applications, the cart itself requires manual entry of sales tax rates for each jurisdiction in which products are sold. Avalara saves 3dcart merchants time, money, and helps mitigate their risk by automating the process. As a result, users no longer have to research rates, build tables or make tax decisions. Avalara integrates with 3dcart to take care of these complexities, and more. 3dcart merchants have the option to buy Avalara Avatax™ online, making it a breeze to quickly get started.

  1. What are your solutions’ biggest strengths?

Manually managing governmental compliance requirements can be difficult, expensive and time consuming, and businesses can face stiff penalties if they don’t get it right. Avalara removes this complex burden, giving customers more time to focus on driving their own business success

  1. How does your solution compare to similar solutions in the market?

Avalara prides itself in offering a complete end-to-end compliance solution for customers and provide each merchant a support representative to ensure they are taken care of every step of the way. We provide more than 500 pre-built integrations into a broad base of leading business application in addition to 3dcart. If your organization uses other accounting platforms or a POS systems, Avalara can grow with you. In addition, Avalara offers its AvaTax customers “Guaranteed Accurate” financial protection in the event of an audit.

  1. Any other thoughts for our readers, who are mainly e-commerce merchants?

When considering how to best manage your organizations sales tax, compatibility with your current software is important, but so is compatibility with a wide range of ecommerce and accounting software. You may not use the same tools forever, so versatility is key for your sales tax solution.

No matter how you choose to manage sales tax, the single most important consideration is how well your solution will scale with your business. Minimizing compliance “growing pains” ensures that tax rules won’t hold back your business.

3dcart Success Stories: Featuring Lukie Games

Lukiegames

Many online merchants have found success by pursuing their passion, and for Jesse and Sara Cover, that passion was video games.

Lukie Games, a gaming retail store that sells more than 45,000 games monthly, started out where many store owners’ eCommerce tales begin: eBay. In 2005, Jesse and Sara turned their hobby of selling used Nintendo video games on eBay into a business, a decision fueled by their brand’s growing reputation.

“It was more of a hobby—a way for my wife and I to expand our video game collection,” Jesse recalls. “When we moved down to Florida, the success we enjoyed on eBay was enough to support my decision to leave my career in IT.”

Steady growth on eBay, combined with the marketplace’s harsh transaction fees, led the couple to Amazon, where they could expand their customer base and sales potential. But despite their steady growth, it wasn’t long before Jesse and Sara came to the conclusion that they needed more control; they needed their own storefront, and greater control of their brand and customer shopping experience.

“Amazon was definitely a good resource for us, and Ebay was a great jumping off point,” Cover says. “But things really came to a head for the company when the Ebay fees started reaching between $20-30,000 a month. Amazon contributed another $8k of monthly expenses. You can build repeat business with both brands, but you always have to pay the fees. It was clear we needed to strike out on our own.”

In 2009, the couple started their hunt for the perfect shopping cart platform. Jesse required a cart that was not only compatible with his back end management platform, Stone Edge, but a cart that offered ultimate customization, openness, and flexibility.

Their search came down to two carts: Volusion and 3dcart. Jesse cites 3dcart’s positive customer reviews, transparency, and record of uptime as the main contributing factors for going with 3dcart.

Today, Lukie Games sells to more than 250,000 shoppers worldwide. Jessie identifies several key 3dcart features that have aided in his business’s success: Built-in SEO, Autoresponders, a Rewards Program, Wish Lists and Waiting Lists – and SearchSpring, which helped boost sales by 27%.

To read more about Jesse and Sara’s eCommerce journey, visit 3dcart Success Stories.

Want to share your own story with the world? Fill out our form to be featured on our website and/or blog. 

Stay tuned! We’ll be sharing more success stories soon!

From SunShop to 3dcart: Featuring Gridsport

gridpsort-migrationThe eCommerce industry is ever-evolving, and in order to compete in one of the most competitive markets, online businesses are forced to adapt and embrace the latest trends and technologies. Unfortunately, few eCommerce platforms offer merchants the necessary tools and services to succeed long-term.

At 3dcart, we’re dedicated to ensuring every business, whether small or large, has access to the latest, most innovative resources. Our SEO, social media, and design services, in conjunction with our feature-rich platform and 24x7x365 awesome technical support, allows businesses to grow and expand domestically and internationally.

Today we’d like to showcase a website that moved to 3dcart after 4 years with SunShop, Gridsport (www.gridsport.net).

gridsport.net

Gridsport is a retailer in the Auto Racing Industry, based in Indianapolis, providing drivers and teams with racing safety equipment, driver accessories, and custom apparel. Their customer base includes top level professional drivers in IndyCar, NASCAR, as well as amateur and youth racers.

So why did Gridsport switch from SunShop to 3dcart? Like many businesses that have moved to 3dcart, they needed a solution to Google’s “mobilegeddon.” With many eCommerce platforms failing to implement the latest trends, countless websites have found themselves daunted by the mobile friendly update. Fortunately, with 3dcart’s 100+ responsive template selection, Gridsport was able to easily upgrade to a mobile-friendly theme, utilizing and modifying design templates with great success.

In our interview, Bryan from Gridsport praised the 3dcart platform’s ease-of-use and SEO features, which have proven themselves critical in his business’ success. Furthermore, with the 3dcart platform, Gridsport is now able to manage and update products with extreme ease, a hindrance they faced at SunShop.

3dcart is proud to host Gridsport, a premier provider of racing and karting safety gear, featuring brands such as Alpinestars, Arai, Bell, HANS, Oakley and Sparco, and safety gear including helmets, race suits, driving gloves, racing shoes, racing team apparel as well as auto and karting accessories. Browse their store today and see why the top teams from IndyCar and NASCAR rely on Gridsport to outfit their crews.

If you’ve switched to 3dcart from another platform and would like to share your experiences, fill out this form here.

Stay tuned, we’ll be featuring another wonderful 3dcart powered website soon!