When a leading work-shoe importer invested in a better web presence, its customers jumped on the site.
And they never slipped away.
There was a time when websites for small and midsize companies were not the no-brainers they are today. Even in business-to-business, a lot of our client companies weren’t even on the internet. Of those who were, a lot were still on dialup – networks and broadband were just getting going.
Step 1. Sites by kids.
Companies started by putting up rudimentary, do-it-yourself sites that looked like their kids had done them.
In many cases, they had.
Step 2. Sites by programmers.
Those were a little better. But they still weren’t communicating anything useful to customers – the message was still, "We have a website – look how technologically cool we are!"
Finally, as the dot-com boom got going, sites got into the hands of communicators. People who understood words and pictures.
Still, for your basic small B2B company, it was hard to tell if a decent site, that actually talked about customer benefits, would be worth the investment.
Of course, looking back now, we know that good sites nearly always paid off for those early adopters – and fast. Sometimes the sites started to improve businesses measurably just hours after going live.
Even without commerce, Warson’s experience was exactly what we expected – though it did surprise management.
From almost the minute the site went live, everyone in the company’s ecosystem started using the web for just about everything, streamlining communications and improving results across the company and down the distribution channel.
The times kept changing – and that was a good thing.
In just a few years, Warson’s customers were clamoring for commerce. Naturally, we didn’t have a clue at that point. (We weren’t even writing our own markup.)
Warson moved on to a firm that could take them where they needed to go.
Now, of course, my skillset and the technology have both improved to the point where I can deliver the online solutions you need practically singlehandedly, with the help of a few good friends or some very low-cost online tools.
Warson Group. A test case for the times. (And our very first site.)
Warson Group, Inc., is a leading importer of high-performance steel-toed shoes and boots and the sole occupational licensee for big brands like Florsheim, Everlast and Converse.
We first upgraded Warsons site when we helped launch the companys slip-resistant sole technology. Then we upgraded again to shift the emphasis from that brand to the whole line.
In the process, we made it easy for a visitor to find any shoe from any page of this nearly 200-page site.