IT337 Kaplan

Golf Cart Tires Project – Part 1

The aim of this project is a redesign of an existing site: It is one of about 17 sites that is owned and operated by Cedar Rapids Tire. The site was designed as a platform to sell golf cart tires and wheels for a variety of cart uses: on the golf course, on the road, and off road. A wide range of tire and wheel types are on offer, from smooth course tires, to heavy lug tires, and even camouflage wheels for those that use the quiet electric carts for hunting. The site is a year or so old and has consistently failed to perform to expectations. It is hoped that a site redesign will improve its visitor numbers, and the visitor/order conversion rate.  The addition of a blog and other possible visitor attracting content will be investigated to determine whether that will aid in increasing visitor numbers as well.

Project Breakdown – Needs Analysis and Project Team (unit 2)

The site has in the past focused on 5 specific key phrases for ranking in search engines: golf cart tires, golf cart rims, golf cart wheels, golf car tires and Carlisle golf cart tires. Despite a year of promotion of the site and submission and creation of links the site has risen slightly in the rankings but not high enough to satisfy the company management.

(see table below for key words and rankings)

Keyword/phrase Google Rank Bing Rank Yahoo Rank
Golf Cart Tires 6 2 2
Golf Cart Rims 9 6 6
Golf Cart Wheels 15 44 44
Golf Car Tires 8 19 19
Carlisle Golf Cart Tires 25 8 8

Google analytics reporting shows that visitor numbers, although seasonal, are predictable and fairly constant. However it also shows that the sales conversion rate of visitor to purchase ratio is a very low 0.39%, far enough below the 2% to 3% industry average to warrant concern. The bounce rate of around 30% requires monitoring but is not unusual for an ecommerce site.

The demographics for the site covers a wide selection of the public. The golf course users are more likely to be retired, middle class, of either gender. The off roaders are likely to be male, 20s to 30s and will want something will grip and power. The road users, like the golf course users are also likely to be retired, middle class and simply after a tire to get them from A to B. This means the site needs to appeal to a large spectrum of the public.

Overall this site needs an overhaul and redesign to increase both its rankings and conversion rate, and to take advantage of other areas of site design it currently does not use, such as blogging and social media.

Therefore the project needs to cover several areas of the site:

  1. Redesign the pages on the site in order to be more attractive and appealing to the visitors, thus raising the conversion rate.
  2. Redesign the pages on the site in order to be more ‘attractive’ to search engines to raise the site in the rankings.
  3. Determine other additions to the site that could be used to improve the site, such as blogs, FAQs etc.
  4. Determine what external advertising needs to take place to both increase rankings and attract more visitors.
  5. Determine a remarketing strategy to help gather back lost potential revenue from when visitors simply leave the site.

Project Team

My role as Ecommerce and IT Manager will be one of both project manager and website creator for the redesign project. It will be my responsibility to ensure that the project meets the requirements, stays within budget, and completes on time.

Name Title & Department Role:
1. Robyn Keel Office Manager Robyn will be the management’s representative on the team. She will have the authority to make decisions on their behalf and to arbitrate if conflicts arise. All updates and progress reports will be delivered to Robyn. She will also work closely with Elvis and Lynn to ensure that all the relevant products have been assigned to the site, and that all the information about the products is correct.
2. Elvis Bernauer Sales Manager – Sales Elvis will be the sales team representative on the project team. He will supply the team with information such as which products sell best and which sell poorly and may need to be heavily promoted on the site. He will be able to supply lists of frequently asked questions that his sales team get asked by customers in order that such information can be readily available to visitors to the site. He will also provide information as to how the sales staff would prefer to see the information on the site displayed if they need to help a customer remotely.
3. Lynn Cooper Warehouse Supervisor -warehouse Lynn will be the Warehouse liaison to the project team. His input is one of supplying the team with information such as which tires/wheels are going to be most often in stock, which will be drop shipped from the manufacturer, etc, so that the product information can be collated into a usable form. He will work closely with Elvis to help determine a final product list to put displayed on the site.
4. Dan Vittetoe Database programmer – IT Dan will be responsible for the creation of any databases required for the site, whether it be a product database used for assigning products to site pages, or customer order imports to a separate database.
5. Katie Hamre Graphics designer/Web marketing – Marketing Katie will be responsible for initial site redesign and layout ideas, the creation of the graphics and the layout design on any additional site functions such as blogs, and any external functions such as banner ads.
6. Russ Taylor Accounting Manager – Accounts Russ will be responsible for assigning and controlling the budget for the project. All purchase requests will go through him and he will responsible for reporting any budget problems to both myself as project manager and Robyn.


Software-as-a-service (unit 3)

 We have identified 3 specific software-as-a-service applications that we should incorporate into the site redesign. These applications will be added as part of the redesign and deployment section of the project.

  •  The first action was to identify a shopping cart platform to use to base the site on. As we already use Shopsite Pro as the platform on this, and our other sites, it makes sense to use the same platform for the redesign. This platform is an html based system hosts a website on the front and supports and also handles the order processing and payment authorization, shipping, taxes, and so on.
  •  Next we explored the area of trust seals. These e-commerce seals provide us with several commercial advantages. Firstly they show visitors that we comply with the legal requirements involved in running an e-commerce site, and secondly it helps to increase visitor confidence in the site and as a result it can result in a higher order conversion rate.
  •  The last application identified was the LivePerson chat function. This application enables our sales staff to not only talk to our site visitors via a form of instant messenger but it also allows them to take over control of the website to visually show a visitor where they need to go in the site to find a specific product. It requires a button and some code placed on each page to allow a connection to be made.

 More information about these software-as-a-service applications can be found in this online document at the following link: Software-as-a-service

Firefox Add-on (unit 4)

 One of the areas of concern for the existing site is how it ranks in the various search engines; the higher the ranking, the more visitors that get drawn to the site. In order to monitor how the site in performing in search engine rankings we need some way to track the results, in each of the major search engines, quickly and easily. The firefox add-on called Boounce performs this very function. Simply by clicking the relevant tabs we can see how our site ranks for various keywords in Google, Bing, Yahoo etc. This is a post deployment feature of the project, and will be an ongoing function.

A video presentation of Boounce, and its functions can be found here: Boounce Video

Golf Cart Tires Project -Part 2


August 16, 2011 - Posted by | Golf Cart Tires Project

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