History: It’s 1997 and you want a website!

Since WebWise Design & Marketing was born in 1995 and added two employees in late 1996, and launched our first ecommerce website in February of 1997, we know what it was like to create websites in 1997.

Walsh's logo

In rural, southwest Wisconsin, the first challenge was connecting to the Internet. There were no local ISPs, so it was a long distance call from Fennimore to Madison, Wisconsin to connect via modem

The three of us at WebWise Design & Marketing each had a modem, though they all connected to the same telephone line, so only one of us could be online at a time. In 1996, we were using 28,000 "baud" modems even though a 56k modem had been invented. By June of 1997, we were overjoyed to have one computer with a 56.K modem through which we did all our file uploads.

Using that high-speed connection, we launched of first ecommerce website which you may view on the WayBackMachine.

Enough of that! Here is an excellent post about building a website in 1997 by Jay Hoffman on his History of the Web website.


Ginkgo International Ltd = High-Quality Flatware & Cutlery

Ginkgo LogoLooking for High-Quality Flatware or Cutlery that is value-priced? We can help. Not long ago, the WebWise team had the privilege of working with Dave and Steve Helmick of Ginkgo International Ltd., based in the Chicago suburb of Woodridge, IL. They are the second generation in this family business, continuing the tradition of offering consumers the highest quality flatware and cutlery products at the best possible value.
You will find and recognize their flatware in many name brand department stores. That said, ginkgoint.com is the only place you will find replacement individual pieces and accessories for their flatware patterns.  They also offer high-quality kitchen tools, gadgets, and Japanese Cookware.
If you love entertaining and cooking, you will love Ginkgo’s products. Browse through their new ecommerce store. We believe you will find their website easy to navigate and place orders.
Ginkgo offers nearly 800 high-quality products at the best value you will find. Oh, and you get free shipping on all orders over $100!
Check them out today! ginkgoint.com

All New Edelweiss Cheese Shop Ecommerce Website

Edelweiss Cheese Shop Bruce Workman, a Wisconsin Master Cheesemaker with 12 Certifications, and his wife, Kathy, invite you to check out the new ecommerce website for their Edelweiss Cheese Shop in New Glarus, WI developed by the WebWise Design & Marketing team.

Their wide variety of Authentic Wisconsin Cheeses includes their own Edelweiss Emmentaler Swiss cheese and other award-winning Edelweiss Creamery cheeses. The Workman’s invited other local cheesemakers to share their products and offer you a variety of excellent Wisconsin traditional and artisan cheeses. Each cheesemaker’s brand label is proudly displayed on their cheese products.

You will also find locally-made, award-winning sausages and meats, cheese spreads, jellies, mustards, and more.

If you have the good fortune to travel to New Glarus, Wisconsin (It is “America’s Little Switzerland), visit the Edelweiss Cheese Shop in the heart of downtown , and enjoy a sample of cheese with a local Wisconsin beer from breweries throughout the state. While there, browse their variety of unique Fun Wisconsin and dairy gifts for sale.

The Edelweiss Cheese Shop in New Glarus, WI, is a place where you will be happy you said , “Cheese, please!”

Three Pre-Holiday E-Commerce Tips That Work

Santa OwlIs your ecommerce website ready? If you sell online, the holiday season is nearly upon you. Here are three items you should review and act on if necessary. Each of them will help you convert visits to sales.

You know what your customers bought or didn’t buy in the past. Take a good look at how you are currently presenting your products. It is a good bet that focusing on these three tips will make a considerable difference in your holiday sales.

1. Meaningful Product DescriptionsDo not copy and paste product descriptions from your vendor. Create unique descriptions for each item you sell. Do not shortcut this. Write them for your customer. More, but concise, information means more conversions. Explain what your product is or does and why they should buy it. Help your website visitor visualize using your product.

2. Professional-Quality Photos — It is simple. If you have professional quality products to sell, you need professional-quality photos. iPhones and many Android phones have great cameras, but the person taking your photos needs some photography skills. You do not necessarily have to hire a professional photographer, but you do need photos taken by someone who knows about and will incorporate lighting, simplifying the scene, framing the subject properly, aspect ratio, balancing elements, symmetry, viewpoint, using backgrounds, depth, and colors. The necessity for high-quality photos cannot be overstated.

3. Easy-to-find, Complete Contact Information — Your telephone number should be large enough to see and touch (for mobile users) easily. Provide your visitors with options: phone number(s), contact form, email address, mailing address, office hours. Include prominent links to shipping and return information as well as your privacy policy.

Today’s consumers want more and relevant information about what they buy online. The time you spend on these recommendations will serve you well.

    • Meaningful Product Descriptions
    • Professional-Quality Photos
    • Easy-to-find Contact Information

Make it a happy holiday season by improving these three areas of your ecommerce website!

3 Summer Estore Tips To Increase Sales

Sales growth chartSummer sales lead quickly to the beginning of the holiday season. Now is the time to make some changes to your estore that will help improve your holiday sales. Here are 3 tips for your ecommerce website that will increase sales.

  1. Fine-tune Your Product Descriptions — Search Engine Optimized, yet engaging and inviting product descriptions.  Your descriptions are your sales pitch for each of your products.
  2. High-Quality Product Photos — Great photos sell products!  Money spent on professional-quality photos will translate into sales. It is that simple. Photos snapped with your phone are not high enough quality to be used in your estore.
  3. Auto-responder “Thank You” 15 Days after sale — Schedule an email follow-up with a “Thank You again for your order” message with the order summary and customer service contact info. When possible include, “Customers who purchased this (these) item(s) also purchased (or viewed) these items.”  Please don’t make it one big sales pitch. The message should focus on appreciation for their business, ending with a “Thank you” and “Hope you are enjoying your new ____________,” or “Hope your ____________ is __________. “

Doing those three things, will take some time but will, without a doubt, increase your estore sales.

As always, we are happy to help.  Please call us at 800-281-9993 or 608-822-3750.