IceWraps After One Week

Last week I talked about Terran’s newest eCommerce project, which is IceWraps.com and IceWraps.net. This was the first full week back in the office running IceWraps after getting back from MI last week. It was a week of trying to get organized and map out the game plan for the business over the next three months. I had been teetering on the fence on if I should turn IceWraps.com and IceWraps.net back on in its current state. There are a lot of pros and cons for each, which I’m going to list below. There are two basic trains of thought here. 1) Turn IceWraps.com and IceWraps.net back on in their current state and work on the new IceWraps.com in the background. Once the new site is ready, replace the .com site with the new one and then 301 redirect the .net site over a few days later. 2) Work as quickly as possible to get the new site up and running and just leave everything out of stock on the old sites until ready. Here are the pros and cons for each:

Plan 1 – Put everything back in stock and work on the new site in the background

Pros

  • Gets orders / money in the door right now.
  • Upsets current customers the least amount.
  • Doesn’t upset Google by having a store with no products in stock.

Cons

  • Current backend is a mess. Every order would have to be manually reentered in 2-3 places.
  • I need to learn how to operate a very legacy backend and it will take take away from building the new site.
  • Any minute spent on working on the old site is a minute not spent working on the new. It would delay the launch of the new site by 2-3 weeks.
  • If we get a lot of orders I would be overwhelmed with disorganization and paperwork.

Plan 2 – Leave everything out of stock and work quickly as possible to get the new site up and running

Pros

  • Allows me to be laser focused on getting the new site up and running.
  • Inventory levels can be counted now and I don’t have to worry about things getting off between systems
  • I can focus on putting the best systems in place so that we are very organized when we relaunch

Cons

  • Could have a very negative impact on SEO. I’m not sure how long it would be before Google will give an eCommerce site a penalty for not having stuff in stock, but this is a big concern.
  • I need to take orders from current business customers and it’s a very manual process without a website to put orders through

My Decision

In the end I decided to go with Plan 2. It carries a bit more risk with Google since things could get ugly if they penalize the site for having everything out of stock. However, I’m hoping to have the new site up and running in 6-8 weeks and I’m hoping Google won’t do anything negative in that timeframe. If they do, I don’t think it will be anything long-term since it will be a much better store upon relaunch and products won’t be out of stock once things are back up.

Wish me luck!

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