Nearly nine years ago, we launched Exhibit Design Search (EDS), using OSCommerce. It required each distributor to maintain their EDS site and have an online ecommerce account. For all but a few distributors, it was a disaster. They didn’t have time to maintain their site, and the ecommerce function was superfluous. Rarely, rarely, rarely did anyone buy an exhibit online. So, we changed. We created a Classic-maintained EDS and removed the shopping cart.
Since then, there have been countless version changes, but the basic approach has been consistent and successful. One of the features we’ve experiment with the most has been “Calls to Action.” Web consulting gurus insist that a Call to Action is one of the most important features of websites to capture goals. We’ve experimented with various ones, such as Contact Us and My Gallery. Both work fine, but success will always be measured in how often customers contact you.
Recently, we asked ourselves if it’s time to reconsider an ecommerce site. It would be a major software upgrade and would work with about 40% of the kits, like banner stands, table tops, pop-ups, etc. It would be costly, but we’re not opposed to the cost if it spurs more sales. But before we jump headfirst into the pool, we’d like to judge the “true” temperature by wading up to our waist.
Effective on Friday, we’re adding a “Buy” button on all branded Exhibit Design Search sites, except the Classic website and on the two unbranded EDS sites (remember, we don’t sell direct). The “Buy” button will go to a contact form with the following language:
Over the years, we’ve learned that purchasing the ideal display takes more than “one-click.” You have questions, we have questions. Together, we’ll ensure that the display you choose reflects your marketing goals and budget.
Give us a call or complete the form. We will respond ASAP. Let’s make your NEXT SHOW your BEST SHOW.
Our distributors tell us that customers call or email if they are interested in a display on their website, even if they have ecommerce available. Sometimes they’ll purchase a basic item online, but even then they will call to confirm. The EDS “Buy” button serves two purposes: 1) It’s a definitive “Call to Action” and 2) It reinforces the idea that purchasing an exhibit should be a consultative process. And, as with ALL contact forms on distributor-branded EDS sites, the information is sent to you (and never to Classic Exhibits). This will be true with the Buy button as well.
Is this THE ANSWER or the PERFECT SOLUTION? No. But it’s a good first step. Over the next few months, we’ll contact you about your experience with the “Buy” button on your website. This will tell us which direction to go.
Should you have any questions, please give me a call or send me an email. Your voice matters, whether about EDS, our products, or our service.
Based in Portland, Oregon, Classic Exhibits Inc. designs and manufacturers portable, modular, and custom-hybrid exhibit solutions. Classic Exhibits products are represented by an extensive distributor network in North America and in select International markets. For more information, contact us at 866-652-2100 or www.classicexhibits.com.