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Give Your Site an Extreme Makeover Upgrading your site is an investment, but it could pay off handsomely.

By Melissa Campanelli

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

Giggle, a New York City retailer of upscale baby gear, prides itself on having great customer service. So when it became clear the company's website wasn't meeting the high standards founder Ali Wing, 40, set for the business, she knew it was time for an upgrade.

"Anybody who thinks [selling online] is cheap and easy just hasn't done it a lot," says Wing, who launched the website shortly after opening her first location in 2003. "It is 24/7 selling, which means that data always has to be right, products always have to be right, and the site always has to be updated. From an infrastructure perspective--and also an organizational one--we didn't have a platform that could support the demand." So in April, Wing took on the challenging project of upgrading the site. She now has a fully scalable e-commerce platform. The changes are paying off: Year-end sales are expected to exceed $10 million.

Wing is not alone. According to a July 2006 survey by Internet Retailer magazine, 79.3 percent of the retailers, catalogers and web-only merchants surveyed intended to purchase more hardware, software and services this year over last. In addition, 14 percent of virtual merchants planned to spend as much as 50 percent more on upgrading their e-commerce platforms and digital marketing programs.

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