Local Businesses Weather Recession - Becoming Savvy About E-Commerce

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With the recent economic slowdown, many local small businesses are surviving - and even thriving - by becoming savvy about e-commerce. For Nipomo's Healing Touch Day Spa, that meant investing in a re-design of their website, whatgreatskin.com, which was completed in May of 2009 by San Luis Obispo's TechXpress, Inc. The re-design coincides with a slowdown of the day spa's brick-and-mortar business which offers massage, facials, skin care and tanning.

What Great Skin

E-commerce is essential these days. You have to have a good web presence or you're dead

With the recent economic slowdown, many local small businesses are surviving - and even thriving - by becoming savvy about e-commerce.

For Nipomo's Healing Touch Day Spa, that meant investing in a re-design of their website, whatgreatskin.com, which was completed in May of 2009 by San Luis Obispo's TechXpress, Inc. The re-design coincides with a slowdown of the day spa's brick-and-mortar business which offers massage, facials, skin care and tanning.

"E-commerce is essential these days. You have to have a good web presence or you're dead," said Rudy Stowell who owns the day spa with his wife, Kathleen. "It allows us to tap into a much larger market than what we have locally."

Stowell originally launched a very basic, template-created site created in 2004. His goal was to sell certain lines of skincare products, such as Dermalogica and Bioelements, which are only available through day spas or skin care centers.

"We were losing customers to online sales, so we had to get involved with it ourselves," said Stowell.

His instincts paid off - Healing Touch Day Spa quickly became the nation's top seller of Dermalogica products. Recently, Stowell determined that the rudimentary look of the site was hindering their sales.

"I would imagine that there were a certain number of people who clicked out when they saw how basic our home page was," he said.

"A well-designed, sophisticated website can allow even small businesses to compete with large retailers," explained TechXpress Vice President of Web Services, Louis Camassa. Camassa noted that most Internet shoppers these days expect features like easy navigation, quick-loading pages, and an efficient search engine. A polished presentation lends the site credibility.

In the case of whatgreatskin.com, keeping prices competitive, shipping merchandise quickly, and offering free shipping for orders over $50 were other keys to competing with other online vendors.

Stowell is aware that, with the prevalence of websites that offer merchant reviews and ratings, customer service blunders can haunt an online retailer for years. Their efforts at consistently high customer service seem to have paid off; Yahoo Shopping gives whatgreatskin.com a top rating in all six of their categories, based on over 2,700 customer reviews. Stowell is confident that his newly-designed website will only enhance their image and strong web presence.

"People are already saying how much they enjoy shopping at the site," he said.

TechXpress, Inc. is a leading information technology (IT) company offering innovative products and services that enable small and medium-size enterprises to succeed in today's digital age. Offerings include Managed IT Services, Internet Business Solutions, and Software Training Classes. For more information visit TechXpress or call 782-TECH (8324).

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Jamie Macedo
Tech Xpress
805-541-4400 ext. 215
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Rudy and Kathleen Stowell
What Great Skin
866-929-1117
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