Q&A: IT’S NOT TOO LATE TO GET IN THE GAME!
John Sullivan may be the man most responsible for providing small-to-medium-sized CE retailers a progressive Web presence. Over the last few years, his company, J.G. Sullivan Interactive, has worked with CE and appliance buying groups to provide Web site design as well as content-on-demand services to independents. Recent projects have included building a program that allows retailers to write their own newspaper ads and send them directly to local papers. Currently, J.G. Sullivan Interactive has over 20,000 dealer clients from a variety of industries. Dealerscope spoke with John Sullivan, president of J.G. Sullivan Interactive, in December, just as Google was implementing its new Google Base feature that displays a small shopping bag icon by local product search results.
DS: You’ve designed thousands of Web sites for retailers, but many more still have the most rudimentary Web presence. Why do you think so many retailers have hesitated in developing more advanced Web sites?
JS: It’s a lot of work to keep the product data up to date. It’s very time consuming and they’re focused on their retail floor. They just don’t take the time and effort to keep their site up to date. There are so many weak retail sites out there. My favorites are when you have a link, you click it, and it says “site under construction.” Why even have the link? But overall, bad sites are just plain boring. We call them “tombstones.” There’s a picture of the store, but no product information. A lot of times they don’t even post their store hours. The site just sits there, marking space.