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Blue Palm and Amazon - A Tale Of Discovery & Technical Success

Jul 23, 2013, 06:47 AM | Published under Web Development by Andy Meng

Ok, we're a tech company, so we're not talking about strangely colored trees on the world's longest river, but we are talking about something that is just as interesting to our client and to our web development team.  Blue Palm Jewelry is an online retailer who, for years, has sold lots of unique body jewelry through the two largest online retailers in the world - Amazon and eBay.  While they achieved good success through both these platforms, what they lacked, and what both Amazon and eBay couldn't deliver is strong branding and "credibility" through their online presence.   Because Amazon and eBay limit the look and feel of the online stores that their retail clients can create, Blue Palm was not able to create a brand or an online identity that stuck with their customers and created the level of brand loyalty and repeat sales they wanted and needed to grow their business. 

We preach that there are three critical elements for a successful online presence:  1) Credibility, 2) Usability, and 3) Findability.  While Amazon and eBay can provide some measure of usability and findability, they both lack seriously in the credibility department - an Amazon and eBay "identity" is nearly identical to every other retailer on their platforms.  Blue Palm recognized this limitation so they came to us to create a website that would be totally dedicated to creating an online brand that would be memorable and sticky - that would bring their happy clients back for more online sales.  We, of course, jumped at the chance to create a really cool, completely "credible" ecommerce website, but there was one major hurdle:  getting all of Blue Palm's inventory into this new website.  

Over the years, Blue Palm had added thousands of products and product variants to their inventory of jewelry they sold through Amazon and eBay, and the thought of some human entering all of these products, including descriptions, pricing and photos, into a website shopping cart platform was daunting both from an effort and a cost perspective.  SiteWorks has a great web based product management system for its built in shopping cart platform, but adding products one by one through a web interface is not an efficient way of getting 3500+ products into the website.

So, we put on our thinking caps, and did a little digging.  We discovered that Amazon has a mechanism and APIs (application programming interface) in place for their retail merchants to access all their product databases and export these databases into files that include all the information about the products in the database.   When we found this out, our developers were jumping for joy because they knew that now they had a way to get products en masse into the database.  At this point, it took some hard core web development and database expertise to transform the Amazon exported product database into one that could be imported into SiteWorks.  But our team figured it out, and created a system for not only uploading all products (including all the descriptive info, pricing and photography) in on fell swoop, but they created a mechanism that makes it easy for the non-technical folks at Blue Palm Jewelry to upload additional products at any time.  

The Blue Palm Jewelry website is undergoing final grooming prior to launch, but it will be live very soon.  Keep an eye on our website portfolio page - that's where we'll post information on the launch of this great new website that will accomplish the client's goal of creating a full featured ecommerce website that solidifies their online brand and identity.  

Please don't hesitate to contact us if you have a similar issue or need for importing your products into a website shopping cart platform.  The combination of SiteWorks and an incredibly talented team of web developers and designers made this a very successful effort.

About the Author

Andy co-founded Data Made Accessible, the predecessor to Infront Webworks, in 1994. DMA became Infront Webworks in 1999 and Andy presided over the business as his company grew for nearly two decades to become the premier online agency in Colorado Springs. Andy and Joan Meng sold Infront to Matt Palis in April 2011, and Andy remains as the “Director of Business Development” for Infront.

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