Incline Ski & Board Shop provides and delivers ski and snowboard rentals whether reserving them online or with its two locations in Aspen or Snowmass, CO. The store also provides other winter activity products such as hats, gloves, backpacks, etc. Incline Ski originally approached our partner Blue Tent for a new website design that enhanced its online presence and made it easy for customers to reserve their equipment rentals online before their trip. Incline Ski also wanted a responsive web design so that its new website could be conveniently accessed from any device.
Blue Tent, one of our partners in Internet marketing, brought a client to us that needed robust eCommerce functionality that would allow their customers to make pre-order equipment rentals. This is an unusual eCommerce website as they are not selling a product, but renting it. So, naturally we were eager to learn more and build a custom solution that would fit Incline Ski & Board's specific needs.
There were primary objectives going into this custom eCommerce website were:
Going into the website design process, we had a pretty good idea of what needed to be incorporated into powerful eCommerce website.
The first step in the implementation process was to slice the designs that Blue Tent handed over to us. The design team provided photoshop files that are basically a static image of what the website will look like, then we transfer that image into HTML and CSS code.
This website was being built on our content management system (CMS), so once we had the page template code we could start building out templates in the CMS. With page templates, we are able build one and re-use it many times for all pages that will use the same layout. The website developers went to work on all the page templates and got them as far as their skillset could get them. The web developer will then document the functionality needed that requires an engineer's code, and they pass this list on for more advanced implementation.
Engineers are programmers that write code for complex website capablities. On the Incline Ski and Board Shop project there was a lot of complexiity in building the eCommerce functionality. We built a powerful eCommerce platform that would give even the non-technical website admins the ability to add new products, manage orders, and more. We also integrated a credit card processor so customers could purchase equipment rentals in advance of their vacation via the website directly.
After a month or two of the project being in the developers hands they had created a working website that was ready for quality assurance and testing. The QA team got to work and started beating on the website to put it through rigourous usability testing. They navigated the site on different devices (computer, tablet, mini tablet, phone), with different operating systems (Mac OS, Windows, iOS, Droid), using different browsers and browser versions (Chrome, IE, Mozilla, Safari), all to track down hiccups in the display or functionality bugs. We needed to make sure that any type of user could access and navigate the site, as well as purchase equipment rentals via any device.
As the quality assurance team was working to fine tune the website, the marketing team was in there optimizing the site for the search engine use. There are several search engine opttimization (SEO) items that need to occur on the backend of the website during the build out of a site, so the marketing team needs to get all these completed so that the search engines can accurately index content on the website when it goes live.
When all teams are finished, it's time to go through a GO LIVE process. We have a 25+ item checklist that we run through before sending any website live. Upon completion of the GO LIVE list, Incline Ski and Board Shop had a brand new, custom eCommerce, responsive web design.