Interview with Bryan Fowler, Creative Director at Dennis Carpenter
Tell us about Dennis Carpenter and your role within the company?
Dennis Carpenter manufacturers antique and vintage auto parts Ford no longer produces. Our founder Dennis is an antique car enthusiast who started making his own bolts and knobs for his vintage cars. After attending some car shows he realized there was a need in the market for these parts, so he invested in a mold-injection press and we were off to the races. In the last 21-years we have grown from selling our products in catalogs, using typewriters to manually enter orders, to now having an online webstore where customers can purchase 24/7 and orders are entered into our Sage system automatically and shipped. I am the Creative Director and it’s my responsibility to oversee our webstore including full marketing, in-house creative, and sales team.
Why did you pick commercebuild to create your webstore?
The most significant contributing factor is that we are utilizing Sage as our ERP system. They were first company licensed by Sage to build eCommerce websites that would work natively with the same software. It was the ERP system that drew us to them, we were able to seamlessly integrate and are very happy with commercebuild and all of its offerings.
What was launch like when you first released the webstore?
At the beginning, we experienced some challenges because we did launch earlier than we should have. We were transitioning to a new ERP system at the same time. The website had a different process for doing our usual things, so it was a learning curve at the beginning for our customers and us. Some of our consumer base edges towards the 50 plus range, and we had to relay information on the webstore in the most convenient way. Auto parts are notoriously hard to find because there are so many different models, makes, years, and categories. commercebuild bent over backwards to help us, and our customers adjusted well over time.
Since launching your webstore, how have your core business metrics been impacted?
Sales have definitely increased from our online presence. The first couple of years, we were doubling our sales online. When we got on commercebuild, we were able to really leverage our online store. We built out a lot of features on the site, such as the make model search that worked out really well. We saw order volume go up and saw the number of parts ordered at a time go up as well. We were able to cut down attending shows by half and shifted more of our marketing efforts into our online store.
What advice would you give to someone who might be considering building out a webstore and why do you think they should pick commercebuild?
In the year 2020 and moving forward, you need to reach your customers online. Our business had already been doing well before COVID but connecting with customers online is very important as the pandemic continues and beyond. I would pick commercebuild again because of the ease of use, the integration, and the people they have working there. The commercebuild team is exceptional at their job. I’ve spent many late nights with their team trying just to fix our problems and help us meet our goals. You also do not need expertise when looking at building a webstore, you can have as little or as much complexity as you want. They have a lot of expertise in the area, and made it a fun process to build our website.
Download a PDF of the Case Study here: Dennis Carpenter Case Study