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Thursday, September 7, 2006

From Pickup Trucks to Merchant Dashboards

One business that seems to have hit the nail on the head is Boulder, Colorado's Pedestrian Shops. Store owner, Richard Polk, opened shop back in 1969 and sold shoes from the back of his pickup truck. You can't get more adventurous and low-budget than that! He soon opened two stores in Boulder. Then, six years ago, Polk decided to step things up by hiring someone to develop a website for his local shoe shop.

The site started out as small and basic, but Polk looks back on it saying, "We didn't know HTML, so we couldn't maintain the site ourselves...a site like ours needs constant updating, and without the right skills, it was hard to keep it up." Polk finally hired a webmaster to develop and maintain the Pedestrian Shops site and says that's made all the difference:

I find that many merchants are much like Richard and want to leverage the Internet to help them get more customers and when done properly can result in a wealth of benefit. However, the myriad complexity of the Internet often leads to merchants seeking web experts to help them in their online endeavors and for some this doesn't come cheap.

Of course, enter MerchantCircle and you have a quick way to get online. And for those with websites don't feel excluded, a properly kept up MerchantCircle listing can help increase traffic to your site while also driving more customers through your door.

If you'd like to read a little more about Richard's online shoe store success, check out this article. And if, like Polk, you're ready to embark in an online site, but want to manage it yourself and not worry with a webmaster, take a look at these MerchantCircle samples to get you started:

Sanford & Son Salvage

Charles Townsend Agency

Cafe Nervosa

Let us know if you get good ideas from these or if you have your own ideas for showing off your store online. And be sure to check out the coupon section (everybody loves a discount), the blogs for keeping your customers up to date, and the Business Network in the Merchant Dashboard area where you can invite other businesses to join your business circle.

Best,
Ryan

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