New Site Launch, Crossroads Music

Crossroads Music Frontpage, November, 2010

The new frontpage of Crossroads as of November, 2010

Ponderwell is excited to announce that we have just completed the redesign of, an Asheville, NC based record label and online music store.  They have branched out over the years from Southern Gospel Soundtracks to a wide variety of Gospel and Bluegrass music.  The new site features a custom shopping cart to facilitate digital music delivery and physical sales of CD’s, DVD’s and merchandise.

The Crossroads website is a great example of the kind of complete web application that can be custom built by Ponderwell. Instead of boxing a complex business model into a canned shopping cart solution, we created a custom e-commerce solution that matches the company’s workflow.

We worked intensively for six weeks with the staff at Crossroads to provide a site which would both appeal to their current userbase, and extend their market reach to new Internet savvy users.  The new site is a framework that we will continue to expand upon for Crossroads as new needs and technologies become available in the coming years.

Our Favourite Features

Snapshot of the "Bluegrass" section

Searching for Bluegrass, the visitor can narrow the search by the faceted checkboxes on the left.

Faceted search to help narrow buyers to the products that really interest them.

One of the interesting challenges in planning the redesign was that with such a large catalog of artists and albums, we knew it was important to let the customer narrow down to the exact product they were intent on finding quickly, while letting customers who would rather browse in a more leisurely way find products that interested them. Every search, category or tag section of the site allows users to narrow the choices down to just a subset of the products easily, while the easy to use “browse” option gives them multiple options for looking around in a more leisurely manner.

Modal window after adding something to the cart. Notice the related items to the right.

Modern Modal system for enhancing the shopping experience

We decided to add modal popups to help the user navigate the large catalog on Crossroads’ site without being overwhelmed.  Quick info popups let customers scan details of various albums without having to click through multiple pages to make sure of what they’re viewing before purchase, and tucking in advanced features like related albums based on sales history, bestsellers, and other enticements helps sells similar products based on the visitor’s interests.

Free Singles, an example of what can be done with a customized cart.

Special features not available in any off the shelf e-commerce software

We built in features requested by the client that no premade software solution could do. A good example is the “Free Singles” section, where Crossroads gives away free songs every month to site visitors. Without a custom coded solution, they would have had to rely on promo codes, which could have lost them a lot of future potential buyers due to the unnecessary complication of having to go through the checkout process.

Selling as a CD, as a DVD, the parts as MP3's or all the parts as a digital album.

Non-Standard product types

Everyone loves samples, some people want a CD, others want MP3’s for their MP3 player, the Crossroads Store has it all, take your pick.

Not all online stores sell items that can be described as a physical item with a weight.  Most e-commerce systems try to impose a “one-size-fits-all” options system to cram your business model into their checkboxes.  Crossroads, though, has so many different kinds of products that there was no way they could get by with such a system, so we built one that handles everything they sell, from CDs and DVDs to audio books, downloadable PDF books, merchandise, you name it.   Each of these special cases required special coding above what a regular shopping cart can accomplish.

Ponderwell can work with you to take your unique business model and workflow and put it on the web, instead of trying to fit what you do into a neat package, the way someone else wants you to sell your product. If you would like to discuss getting your custom e-commerce site online, without making changes or compromises in your workflow, give Ponderwell a ring at 828.423.0667 or use our web contact form.