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Colorado Standby sees stability, sales increases after moving from Magento

Posted by Josh O'Connell June 21, 2017

Topics: Merchant Success Stories

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The highlights

  • Colorado Standby is a business that sells residential, commercial and industrial generators that’s been in business for nearly 20 years.
  • Early on the company used OS Commerce, but had been using Magento for the past few years. The instability of their site made edits difficult, and frequent outages cost them business.
  • They almost selected Big Commerce to make their move, giving up features for the hope of stability. Just before their move, their partner Infront WebWorks found Zoey.
  • Thanks to Zoey, their site has been stable and allows for frequent updates without a developer. With the time and money saved, Colorado Standby has been able to invest in growing their business instead.

Colorado Standby was founded in 1999 by Larry McCormack. The company started by selling residential generators, and after the Y2K potential crisis was a bust, the company was able to capitalize on interest in the generators available to reach a market demand that many didn’t know existed. The company over time has grown to sell larger generators, including even some the size of a tractor trailer. Their business, although it’s grown to ship all over the world, still maintains a local presence through their service operation.

The Challenge

eCommerce has been an important part of the business for a long time. The company started with OS Commerce, and moved to Magento about four years ago. However, their time on Magento was not ideal by the end of the run. “We loved all the features but it was so buggy and difficult to maintain,” said Brad Orgill, Sales Engineer at Colorado Standby and a more than 15-year veteran of the company. “We’d have the site go down randomly and have to restore from an image and hope everything worked.”

The instability of the site also made updates difficult. The company worked with InFront Webworks, an SEO and development agency, to help with their search engine optimization and other updates, but making changes to the site was tricky and could put the site at risk of an outage. The time to move on had arrived.

At first, the company looked at platforms like Shopify and Big Commerce, and Brad and the team were heavily leaning towards Big Commerce. “We were pretty much committed to Big Commerce. Not that we were happy with it; the features weren’t what we wanted. But it was stable. We were willing to sacrifice price and features for stability.”

Brad wasn’t happy, though, so he continued his search and ultimately found Zoey. “ It seemed like the best of both worlds,” he said. “We’d get the functionality of Magento, features, etc. without having to deal with maintaining Magento.”

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Zoey's drag-and-drop design tools empowered the Colorado Standby team to enhance their local services pages, which in turn has helped them drive more business.

The Solution

Infront Webworks and Colorado Standby decided to take the plunge with Zoey. Both sides worked together to build the site. They took advantage of the move to address some long-standing issues with their old site.

For instance, they had long been unhappy with some of their static content pages, such as their service department page or installation page. With the accessibility of the drag and drop tools on Zoey came the opportunity to refresh them and make them more relevant, Brad said. “If you go to our installation page now it looks super professional and reflects what we do as a company. We’re going to continue to build on local service, local installation. It’s really interesting that an ecommerce platform helps us with that.

“In the past, we were afraid to touch those pages because of the site going down or an issue with Magento. Now, go look at installation page or service department page, and it shows the flexibility of Zoey.”

The Colorado Standby team was also happy with how Zoey allowed a clean and crisp display of related products. “The biggest thing I wanted to have is our accessories listed,” Brad said. “Some of our generators have 12 to 15 accessories. The layout for accessories is just so nice on Zoey and makes it so easy, where these other solutions had this long list.”

The Infront Webworks team was tasked with recreating the existing Colorado Standby design, which they were able to successfully do by customizing a theme from the Zoey library. This allowed for a familiar and consistent experience for their customers.

Colorado Standby specifically noticed the support Zoey offered before, during and after the site build. Brad said, “Support during the trial was phenomenal. When we said we’re not quite sure how to do this, support would get back to us pretty quickly and help us figure out the issues and questions we had. That support that remains. Many times you get a lot of support pre-sales but have trouble getting support after that. I haven’t noticed that and that’s been important, especially when this is your livelihood.”

amazon-pay.jpgThe addition of Amazon Pay, a free app in the Zoey marketplace, has helped boost sales that previously had not been going through the website.

The Results

The company has seen sales success since the launch of the new site. “The conversion rate is up - the people coming to our site are more likely to purchase. We’re not sure if they called us and are buying now.” Aside from direct sales, having the site remain up more consistently also means customers are also more likely to call.

Brad also noted the addition of AmazonPay as helping sales: “I like the integration with payment services like PayPal and Amazon. How easy it was to set up AmazonPay. We’ve seen conversion rates go up since we added Amazon Pay.”

Those increased conversions have also led to purchases that used to not take place on the site. “We’re seeing sales we didn’t get before - smaller items that people just add to cart and buy. We sell $3,000-$5,000 generators. They call; normally they don’t just add on the site.” Now, however, they are seeing additional sales through the site directly.

Colorado Standby is also able to rely less on technical resources to manage the site. Without site outages or instability to deal with, their team is able to focus on growing and improving their site.

Kelley Zincone, Colorado Standby’s Marketining Administrator, has been able to leverage Zoey’s design tools to keep the site fresh. “The design features on Zoey are obviously the most useful for me, as I do not have a background in coding, but am able to do a lot with the drag and drop options. I especially like the custom mobile and tablet design, along with the live preview.”

Brad noted, “We had someone working here running the website. That’s all they did. They just maintained Magento the backend and other IT projects. Now we’ve got two folks working in our marketing department. We can spend money on marketing our products instead of maintaining our website.”

Brad added they’ve been able to get more products listed than ever. “We added 50 generators one week to our site, where it would’ve taken forever on the old platform.” Brad said their business plan includes expanding their offerings over time, something Zoey now affords them to do.

For Brad, spending the time to do the research and finding Zoey paid off. “I think there’s a lot of inexpensive sites out there. You think it’s going to save you money but it costs you a lot more than it saves you. I would look more at the features, at the support, than at the price. Price is always an issue, but what is your total cost vs. what is your monthly cost for one thing.”

Brad added, “I definitely see Zoey’s going to help us expand. … I’m happy we found you guys.”