We have recently completed a web project for a local New Jersey company called Rugged Shark. Rugged Shark, also the brand, is a subsidiary of a larger company (SG Companies) that has a long and storied history of manufacturing the best in casual and athletic shoes and apparel. While this company remains at the forefront in shoe design and technological innovations, Rugged Shark does not sell online; they only have a web presence.
Rugged Shark is a 21st century manufacturer of marine footwear and needed to find an ecommerce solution that matched their products innovations. A company using the latest technology in boat shoes also needs to have cutting edge technology supporting their first online sales efforts. Our process here at Dotcomweavers, as with any customer, is to understand the business goals and implement a solution that best achieves those objectives. With Rugged Sharks first entrance to selling online, it was important that we integrated a complete ecommerce solution with support for B2B sales including customer specific pricing, volume discounts and customer specific payment methods. This is a brand that has multiple colors and sizes for the footwear, so this system needed to be dynamic and multi dimensional where customers choose the variants from the drop-downs on the front end but on the backend, each variant can be managed separately for pricing.
Rugged Shark (SG Companies) has a long history of operating and uses many different tools, programs and solutions to run their business on a daily basis. One important factor in our choosing a ecommerce solution was its ability to integrate with Rugged Shark’s back office systems seamlessly with little manual intervention. This ecommerce solution needed direct integration with their Footworks proprietary ERP system therefore allowing the website to receive all key product information directly from the ERP through a Flat File format. The Rugged Shark team then adds the web content to the products and all inventory updates are obtained directly from the Footworks ERP, again using a Flat File integration and inventory updates are sent at regular intervals.
Instead of manually processing orders as done through most ecommerce solutions, all orders generated on the site are automatically sent into the Footworks system for processing. The website only authorizes the customer payments using the Authorize.NET payment gateway and then Footworks charges the customer after completing the order in the ERP. Even taxation is automated using a third party solution called AccurateTax. The website is integrated to this service through their ERP and all tax calculations are returned from that service during the ordering process. Once the order is completed, the information is committed to AccurateTax, which is then available for tax reporting purposes.
As ecommerce specialist, our team at Dotcomweavers is often surprised to still find local businesses that sell products offline but do not sell online through ecommerce. However foreign this may sound, it’s understandable and more common than not because many old brick and mortar businesses fear technological change, especially when it comes to an industry shrouded in so much ambiguity. In other words, we fear what we don’t know or understand and with so many web design and development companies offering the Brooklyn Bridge, it’s no wonder that some still consider the “fax machine” relevant.
Keep in mind that not all companies that have a product should sell online. Some products offer customizations that require more human intervention in order for it to be sold. Some simply require testing before purchase that goes far beyond what ecommerce can offer. Take for example; buying and selling a car or purchasing a house online may be something of the future but for now, these products require the customer to experience all their senses before buying. Many companies offer services or intangibles that require more human resources in order for it to be sold. However, if your business is brick and mortar selling a tangible product/s with little variations then ecommerce could be another revenue stream from a worldwide market.