Success Story: Movie Replicas Direct
Posted | By: Ed Courtier, Movie Replicas Direct
A long time client of EYStudios, Ed of Movie Replica's Direct, sat down with us one evening to discuss the success of his current site and the updates he is looking to make this year to give it a fresh new look.
First off, Ed, what prompted you to start Movie Replica’s Direct?
Movie Replicas Direct was a concept I think I brought from my childhood. I have always loved movies, comic books, and super heroes and a childhood friend had everything I ever wanted like the latest Star Wars action figures, slot car race tracks, superhero comic books, among other really cool things. I wasn’t jealous, but I actually wanted to be him from that stand point. In reality, I came from a poor family and my parents did their best to get me the things I wanted. I was happy to get a matchbox car… the real matchbox. Now I run a company that has everything a child or, adult child could want. Eat your heart out Mike (my childhood friend).
How long have you been online?
It’s funny; I originally started a Sporting Goods (Tailored Sports) back in February 2004, because I also have a passion for fitness and didn’t think I could start a company like Movie Replicas Direct, which was my lifelong dream. In early 2007, I started doing some research and found it was possible to start business partnerships with drop ship companies to get Movie Replicas Direct on its feet. The Sporting Goods worked strictly with a drop shipper and couldn’t grow the way I wanted it to, so in January 2010 we closed the doors. The Sporting Goods business was a great stepping stone for Movie Replicas Direct. I learned a lot from Tailored Sports, like RTML and HTML, how to run a business, customer service, drop shipping (which is great way to start a company without a lot of cash). Now I find it much more rewarding to be able to supply my own product to our customers. Tailored Sports also gave us the revenue to get Movie Replicas Direct going. I picked the name Movie Replicas Direct because I thought it had pizzazz. I didn’t want a company name that reflected super heroes or comic books because there are so many already names already out there. I wanted something that would leave a lasting impression in my customer’s head.
When did you re-design Movie Replica’s Direct?
After a lot of thought, I had Movie Replicas Direct redesigned from my original design in April of 2008. In my old way of thinking, I thought I could do it all. As I said earlier, I learned RTML and HTML. I bought how to books and worked incessantly on developing Movie Replicas Direct the way I wanted it to be. I looked at competitor websites and used some ideas I liked, learned how to program them and incorporated them into Movie Replicas Direct. What I didn’t realize was I couldn’t keep up. I worked 14 to 16 hours a day and when I worked on my site programming, I was missing out on getting products online. When I got products online, I missed development. So, hiring a professional developer like EY Studios was the only option for me. I couldn’t have received a better site redesign.
How did you find EYStudios and why did you choose us as your developer?
EY Studios was actually a no brainer for me. One day I was looking for programming ideas through a few of my competitor’s web sites, and I saw an awesome layout and design. The EYStudios logo was at the bottom of the page, so I checked them out. When I looked at their portfolio, I loved all their designs. Each was custom made and the artistic talent reflected site quite uniquely. The designs fit the businesses. They were not the typical cookie cutter type designs. Next, I checked out other web designers and I wasn’t really impressed. I felt EYStudios had cutting edge ideas and their designs were the way I wanted my own business brand to look. So, I contacted them and now our site is what you see... AWESOME!
What prompted you to make changes to your site this year? What sort of updates are you making?
This year I decided to give Movie Replicas Direct a facelift, so to speak. I couldn’t be happier with all the features I have, but EY keeps developing new features to make our site easier to navigate and convert browsers into buyers. Features we are implementing this year include, a new add to cart button on the item pages, repositioning the testimonials and gift certificate graphic to the left navigation, a new Peel A Deal graphic, Hybrid Landing pages, graphic design for a banner ad I am implementing for advertising purposes, and a Flash movie for the Homepage. I feel all these changes are necessary to help build trust and make our clientele feel more confident to purchase from Movie Replicas Direct. We will probably add more features later in the year as well.
How would you describe your current relationship with EYStudios?
This is a tough one… Just kidding! I consider each person in the EY team as friend and business partner. They have taken my site from okay or average to Incredible! I am personally in contact with the President, the Head of Marketing (she’s helped me out with a lot of things and ideas), as well as my client liaisons. EY Studios has always treated me with respect, professionalism, and as a person, not just a client.
What is your favorite EY feature?
Currently my favorite feature is the basic image zoom feature. It doesn’t sound like much, but I think a potential customer wants to see what they are buying. The image zoom allows them to view a close up of the product. I feel this feature is must have. The new features are coming soon and I have to say I think I’m going to like the Flash movie on the home page. once the programming is complete.
Overall, how would you describe your experience with EYStudios?
My experience with EY has been wonderful. I wouldn’t go anywhere else regardless of cost. I know with EY the work is done right the first time.
What advice do you have for others looking for a developer?
My advice to any company looking for good developer is to find one that fits you. Ask yourself, what am I looking for? What features do I want? Does the company who is doing the work look and act professionally? Can you get a hold of them, when you need to? Do they return your phone calls on a timely basis? Do their projects designs look exactly the same, or will they make my business look unique? Will this developer make me into a brand, or will I just be another mom and pop business? Talk to people who work there and get a feel for how you will be treated throughout your project. Don’t be afraid to ask questions. Don’t be afraid to ask for references (this is your company). Don’t worry (obsess) about cost… but do as much as you can afford….what you spend on development will come back. Would you buy from a site that might look hokey? That’s why I let the pros do the work. All in all I can honestly say, I’m not disappointed… not even a little.