Why One Retailer Was Inspired to Create an Ecommerce Site

by Michelle Salater on November 29, 2010

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Just in time for holiday shopping, we’re proud to announce the launch of our client Christophe Artisan Chocolatier-Pâtissier’s new ecommerce website that allows customers nationwide to purchase hand-painted chocolates, luscious truffles, chocolate sculptures, and corporate logo chocolates.

We were fortunate to be a part of this project and had a blast working with co-owner Carly Paume to conceptualize the site and write optimized web copy.

Perfect for all occasions, Christophe Artisan Chocolatier’s luxury chocolates and chocolate sculptures are handmade by co-owner and Carly’s husband, Christophe. With a delectable selection of hand-painted chocolates and chocolate truffles, Christophe Artisan Chocolatier appeals to those who appreciate gourmet chocolate at its finest. Their preservative-free chocolates are handmade from premier European chocolate and the finest ingredients.

On the new site, you’ll be able to easily purchase corporate gifts and gifts for family and friends, just in time for the holidays. Here at Sumèr, we love giving the gift of chocolate to our clients and business partners.

Below is our interview with Carly, who explains why Christophe Artisan Chocolatier decided to sell chocolates online in addition to their two retail stores in Charleston, SC.

Chocolate toy soldier

What inspired you to create an ecommerce site?

We’ve wanted an ecommerce site since we opened our boutique last year, but we had to make choices due to expenses. It finally came down to needing the site—I really saw no choice except to make it happen. I feel as though this was the only way to enhance customer experience, stay competitive in our business, and grow our business. We wanted to share our chocolates nationwide and getting an ecommerce site was essential if we were to make it happen.

How do you see this new website affecting your business in the future? What results do you hope to see from launching this website?

I believe this site is going to open up a whole new world of possibilities for us that weren’t there before. Not only are people all across the nation now able to make a purchase, but just having our name out there and the awareness of our brand on the minds of our target market is a step toward growing our business.

Describe the experience your new site will provide your online customers. What elements of your website work to enhance customer experience?

The site is set up to show the endless possibilities of what can be crafted in chocolate. Not only can someone easily pick out and purchase the perfect box of chocolates, but they can also experience some of Christophe’s creations of the past and explore the world of chocolate. Our site has clean and crisp images that take the viewer through an experience . . . you literally want to eat the chocolates right off the screen!

chocolate gift box

A couple things that we did to enhance the shopping experience for the customer, was to include the social media buttons within the shopping cart. This way, customers can connect with us on a more personal level, share their recent purchases with their social network, and share their wish list items with friends and family. We also wanted to make the site as user-friendly as possible to ensure a smooth transaction. Customers have the choice of signing into an account on the website or purchasing as a guest.

You decided to incorporate social media into your ecommerce site. What results do you hope to see from this integration?

With the new ways that people shop, I knew that we had to involve social media into our website to enhance communication and facilitate relationship building. Being able to “share” a product on Facebook or “tweet” it to friends, while shopping on the site, we can now expand into our customers’ social databases of friends.

What advice would you give to a brick-and-mortar that wants to start an ecommerce site?

Well, it definitely depends on the type of store they are running, but if their concept works for ecommerce, I would tell them not to hesitate. Having an ecommerce site opens up a whole new shopping experience that happens online. Make the jump, and work the details out later.

If you’re in the Charleston area, stop by one of the two Charleston-based stores and watch Christophe create pure chocolate art before your eyes, or sample one of their latest creations.

Downtown Charleston on King Street

363 ½ King Street

Charleston, SC 29401

(843) 297-8674

Second Location:

I’On Village in Mount Pleasant

357 N. Shelmore Blvd.

Mount Pleasant, SC 29464

(843) 388-7495

Visit their new website at christophechocolatier.com.

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