Multi-Site Shopping Carts and Web Site Design


The NextLevelShopper Multi-Site Shopping Cart allows retailers to create and maintain multiple web sites. Each web site caters to a different customer segment, addressing the needs, preferences, and nuances of that segment.

Although retailers can create a (theoretically) unlimited number of web sites using NextLevelShopper, all web sites share the same code base and the same database. That means that the only cost of adding a web site is the cost of web design itself. Product master and other database records don't have to be duplicated or adjusted, and the NextLevelShopper engine remains untouched. It will readily accept new web sites as required.

Design requirements for new web sites will depend on the characteristics, needs, and preferences of the targeted customer segment. Some retailers will realize that only web site text needs to change. Other retailers will want to change images and link labels. Still others will want to change the navigation system and the layout of the web site.

NextLevelShopper does not put any limitations on these web site design decisions. Headers, footers, menu systems, links, layout, etc. are all controlled by the retailer. The only thing that is important is that the designer adhere to a few rules regarding the NextLevelShopper API. If the rules are followed, the designer has carte blanche in designing the site.

As an example, let's say a retailer already has their first shopping cart up and running. The catalog pages are all written in PHP (a common and popular server side programming language). The catalog pages contain a logo, a slogan, and a couple of promotional items (in addition to product images, etc.). The retailer values a secondary market that hasn't been attracted to his current site. Consequently, he decides to create a new site for this secondary market.

The retailer wants to start simple. The retailer knows something about this secondary market and decides to keep the logo from the first web site, but change the slogan and some promotional items. The retailer also decides that this new market will only see some of the products that are seen on the original web site, but explain the value of those products in more detail.

Designing the new site is a breeze. The slogan is changed, a few promotional items are changed, and the NextLevelShopper engine is told only to display some of the products in the new site. Within days the new site is in production.

After a few months, the retailer decides things are going much better than expected. This gives the retailer confidence, and he decides to make a major investment in the new web site.

Instead of relying on PHP code to display his wares, he hires a high-end design firm to make his catalog pages. After some consultation, the firm decides that the catalog pages should be built using a combination of PHP and Javascript. Javascript will help make the pages come alive and add capabilities PHP can't.

After three months of design and development work, the catalog pages are completed, and they are beautiful. The pages look like a Nieman Marcus Store, and customers can walk through the store and pan left, right, up and down. Products are displayed in 3D and can be turned at any angle. Video and audio files demonstrate product usage, and customers can drag and drop products into their shopping cart. The retailer is thrilled, and puts the new site into production.

For the retailer and the web site design firm, the NextLevelShopper engine was barely an issue. In fact, it was almost forgotten. The NextLevelShopper engine readily accepts the new web site and starts accepting orders immediately.

NextlevelObjects would be happy to do this work. The point, though, is that NextLevelObjects doesn't have to do work. Even more importantly, the retailer and the design firm have complete control over design decisions and implementation. NextLevelShopper doesn't care.

If you'd like to learn more about how micro-sites, micro-retailing, and multi-site retailing can help your business, we would love to hear from you. Please fill in this contact form and the owner and lead developer of NextLevelObjects will contact you ASAP.

Thank you and we look forward to hearing from you.


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