“The only growth we’ve had is through web sales,” Bouma said. “We’re reaching out beyond Michigan to places that are doing better. Because of the quality of the website, we have optimized and the market is expanded.
Eco-Building Products sells green building products from Traverse City which has a tourism-based high season that runs from May to September. Bouma tapped The Marketing Square programmer Jon Maue for a WordPress e-commerce website rebuild in March.
“It’s not ugly, but it’s not good,” Bouma said of Michigan’s economic climate. “About 80 to 90% of new business comes from e-commerce.”
Reach Beyond State Lines
“We wouldn’t do business outside the state or past the season or in this economy,” Bouma said “The only growth we’ve had is through web sales. The website has really improved sales.”
Eco-Building Products provides renewable-energy systems that are environmentally friendly, natural-resource sensible, energy-efficient, non-toxic and affordable. The company is trained in the science of green building.
User-friendly, Flawless Shopping Mandatory
The Eco-Building Products site had to be able to handle online traffic for more than 200 products and provide a flawless buying experience for its customers.
Clients can shop 24 hours a day, seven days a week with an easy-to-use store and click through with a shopping cart that works smoothly and simply with every purchase.
“We started in ’06 with a website that by 2010 had grown beyond capacity,” Bouma said. “Now it’s user-friendly.”
WordPress Was Bouma’s Choice
Bouma also wanted a WordPress-based program because of its user-friendly reputation.
“We used to do postings and they weren’t going anywhere,” said Bouma who writes a blog for
Eco-BuildingProducts.com. “Now it’s real simple because it’s tied to Facebook and Twitter and Jon (Maue, The Marketing Square Programmer) made it an easy thing for us to do.
“The Blog platform is set up so people can make comments. We post more and use it more.”
Using Technology to Work for the Business
Eco-Building isn’t afraid to try new digital technology and Bouma encourages businesses to learn by doing like he did on the Eco-Building Products website.
“We don’t sell out of the country, but we get calls from Africa, South America, the Middle East, Europe,” Bouma said. “We’d never reach that audience if we didn’t have a website.”
Blog, Facebook, Twitter, Workshops, Client and Community Outreach
Eco-Building Products’ philosophy includes integrated marketing on the site to teach visitors about what they do.
Visitors are encouraged to attend DIY Workshops. Bouma writes a blog, there’s a company learning center.
Eco-Building Products is on Facebook, Twitter and Bouma is willing to try what he hasn’t done before.
“Scott worked on the site and learned first-hand how to do things,” Maue said. “So it’s not perfect the first time…you fix it right away and learn for the next time.”