Saturday, July 14, 2007

How To Make 5 Million Dollars With A Microsite

Gerald Prolman launched in 2003 to sell sustainably grown flowers that are freshly picked and then gift-wrapped. But as the company grew, he needed a better way to meet the increasing demand from florists, event planners and other whole-salers. So in June, Prolman launched a microsite to make it easier for these customers to place orders.

A microsite lets you focus on a specific purpose, such as selling clearance or discounted items, selling products to businesses vs. consumers, promoting new merchandise, or trying out a new product line. Sometimes the design and navigation of a microsite differs from its parent site. “Unlike consumers, florists shop by variety and color, so the site is set up to help florists find what they need quickly,” says Prolman, 46, who projects 2006 sales of up to $5 million for his San Rafael, California, company.

So why didn’t Prolman just launch a separate section on his existing website to focus on wholesalers? Simple: to prevent consumers or future competitors from having easy access to the customized pricing available to wholesale customers. “The pricing is tailor-made for each customer based on volume,” says Prolman. “Once approved as a wholesale account, they will be given access to the site.”

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