Ecommerce Spot

Meet the Maker: Massimo Arrigoni, the maker of ProductCart

Meet the Maker: Massimo Arrigoni, the maker of ProductCart

Today we have the first of our "Meet the Maker" series of interviews. We start of by chatting with Massimo Arrigoni, a lovely guy and the man behind some great ecommerce innovations including the excellent ProductCart and ProductCart Build To Order.

Tell us who you are.
Massimo Arrigoni, CEO and Co-Founder, Early Impact LLC.

I have personally been involved with ecommerce since 1995. It was a fascinating new arena back then, so I decided to do some research and ended up writing a long paper on the subject. I remember talking to people about it and they couldn’t care less. Most didn’t even know what the word “electronic commerce” meant at that time.

What is the most important thing someone thinking about setting up an online shop should consider?
There are a lot of different ecommerce solutions out there: do as much research as possible up front. It’s in pain the neck, but it’s worth it. Look at ecommerce stores you like. Try to understand which tools they are using. Find those that are within your budget. Base your decision on how to get started on this research. It’s time consuming, but it’ll pay off.

What do you think is the most common cause of failure of an online shop? How should people avoid that?
Let’s put aside stores that try to sell products that people don’t want, because otherwise the answer is obvious. Let’s say you sell stuff that there is a market for. Your customers expectations when shopping online are set by all of the experience they have accumulated so far. It doesn’t matter that you’re not Amazon or Gap.com. They expect a similar experience. If you store does not look professional and if the checkout process is not well designed, customers will feel uncomfortable and will not buy.

Your customers expectations when shopping online are set by all of the experience they have accumulated so far
What trends do you see happening in small to medium business ecommerce stores in the next few years?
I see fewer and fewer first time users of ecommerce software. Some companies will give up. Those who have been somewhat successful with their first attempt at running an online store will now be ready to upgrade their ecommerce tools. They will be looking for ways to grow sales and new ecommerce features to make that happen. For example, I could ask myself: “how can I quickly send an electronic coupon to everyone that’s purchased product XYZ in the last 2 months to get them to buy again?” Then I’ll go and look for new software that allows me to do that kind of thing. Entry level ecommerce software lacks sophisticated marketing tools. So companies will upgrade.

What one thing do you think most shop owners should do more of?
They don’t do enough marketing. And the marketing they do is typically focused on acquiring new customers, which is very expensive (e.g. pay-per-click campaigns). Instead, they should focus on things like increasing the average order amount, increasing the percentage of repeat customers, increasing the “word of mouth” effect, etc. Unfortunately, in many cases they can’t do much because the software they use doesn’t give them the tools they need. There is a lot of entry level ecommerce software out there, and it typically can’t help you grow your online business.

Who do you see as the primary audience for your software?
ProductCart is being used in almost any industry you can think of. But our focus is on the Web designer and Web developer. We strongly believe in a leveraged sales channel. We are good at developing ecommerce software. These companies are good at providing complete solutions to their clients. So we focus on writing great software, and providing outstanding technical support. Web designers then use our software to build great online store. They like working with us because we keep listening to them and improving ProductCart accordingly, and we never compete with them (i.e. we don’t provide web design or web hosting services).

Why should shop owners choose Product Cart over the competition?

Great features, outstanding support, one-time fee. There are so many features that ProductCart User Guide is over 370 pages long. Store owners have so many options that they often send us enthusiastic messages saying they couldn’t believe what they found after they started using the software. And we support our products with truly outstanding technical support. The “Testimonials” page on our Web site speaks clearly about that. ProductCart can truly help you build a great looking, professional online store. On top of that, it comes with the full ASP source code, so you can work with a Web developer to modify the shopping cart to even better meet your needs, if you ever need to. All for a one-time license fee that starts around $500. It’s a great buy.
 

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