Multi-Vendor E-Commerce System for Vintassion
To create a customised ecommerce website that would not only serve to sell Vintassion's own products but be a platform for other vintage stall holders to promote their goods online too. As this was a start-up company, Evergreen were required to build the website from scratch.
Evergreen built a marketing, ecommerce and fully featured CMS multi-seller website for vintage stall holders, driven by a bespoke online database system.
- Search functionality for the customer, customer review systems and a paginated sellers' directory listing active items on the site.
- Sophisticated but easy to use with access for an unlimited number of sellers, items, reviews, customers or banners that can be stored on the website and underlying database.
- Database driven calendar search function to highlight upcoming vintage fairs and events.
Vintassion director Martin Evans was guided by Evergreen's vast expertise in online database management systems and appreciated the guidance he received on realistic time frames and budgets and further cost-effective enhancements that could be made as his business grew. He now has a positive platform on which to build his online vintage fair to complement the many vintage fairs that he attends across the UK as well as encouraging like-minded vintage stall holders to showcase their wares on an affordable online platform. Since the website was launched in March 2013, he now has over 30 new stall holders selling their wares via the Online Vintage Fair.
Advanced Functionality Needed
Sharing a passion for vintage, Martin Evans and his wife, having attended many vintage fairs across the UK were looking for the best outlet to sell their brand of classic and collectable vintage items online to complement the fairs they were attending. Sites such as E-Bay, Gumtree and the like had good online selling features but were too generic to do their 'Vintybits' brand and others like theirs justice and far too expensive to advertise in. Spotting a gap in the market for an affordable multi-seller website for vintage stall holders, Martin's concept for 'Vintassion', which stands for 'passion for vintage' was born. He approached bespoke software development specialists Evergreen to create a custom website with advanced functionality to enable him to launch his new start-up online vintage fair.
There is no substitute for a face to face meeting
In November 2012, having done extensive research online and keen to engage a local web development company, Martin was very impressed when his search led him to Evergreen, the Gloucestershire bespoke application software specialists. Martin cites that the Evergreen website had lots of interesting and relevant case studies and far more substance than some websites that he had seen which were 'slick but lacking in real content and substance.' Whilst visiting the Evergreen office he was guided through examples of online database applications that the company had completed for other satisfied clients and so had every confidence from the very start that Evergreen had the expertise to deliver what he needed and describes the Evergreen team as 'very approachable' and having the 'full skill set' to see the project through. Martin explains,
'There is no substitute for face to face meeting and walking through with Andrew all the examples of what kinds of websites and web applications that Evergreen had created clinched the deal for me.'
Vintassion.com is the primary marketing tool for this new vintage business and is a "virtual vintage fair" where sellers can easily set up their own online stall and list vintage and retro items for a simple fixed fee over a fixed selling period and customers can, at their leisure, search the entire fair to find and buy items of interest direct from the online stall holders. So both stall holders and customers needn’t miss out any more when they can’t squeeze in enough time to go to all the vintage fairs they’d like to...
As this was a start-up company, Evergreen were required to build the website from scratch from a very detailed brief and Martin leant on Evergreen's expertise and experience in developing the detailed functionality of the website, including the search functionality to the customer, the customer review systems, the paginated sellers directory listing active items on the site and so many other different facets and how they would function. The online database application built by Evergreen is complex but simple to administer and there are no limits to the number of sellers, items, reviews, customers or banners that can be stored on the website and underlying database.
A website with the right look and feel and easy to use.
The look and feel of the website was very important as it had to appeal to a discerning audience who were as passionate about vintage as Martin was. The site had to contain items from retro to collectables and it was important that an artistic balance was achieved.
Martin also readily admits that through Evergreen's vast experience, they were also able to manage his expectations from the start, offering guidance on realistic time frames and budgets for what he wanted to achieve prior to launch, whilst discussing a further list of enhancements that could be made in future phases of development. Further enhancements will include a more sophisticated newsletter system to dovetail into the existing vintage fairs, a noticeboard section, so sellers can promote which fairs they will be attending and developing the e-commerce section of the site further.
Martin praises the work that the Gloucestershire web based software development company has done to get the project off the ground by saying, 'Evergreen have truly done a great job in meeting our brief and have developed from scratch a website with the right look and feel, and ease of use that we were looking for.'
So how has the Evergreen experience and support been as far as Martin is concerned? He recalls that whenever he asked Evergreen 'can we also get the site to…”', the answer was inevitably 'yes we can do that' and one of Project Manager Jon’s great replies was “it’ll take a bit of “database bashing”, but yes”. This typified Evergreen’s flexible approach throughout the very taut development time line.' Martin knows that help is only at the end of a call or email if there are any issues and as the site is hosted on Evergreen's robust and secure servers, he is confident of continued reliability and ongoing support.