Talking with Mountain Media

Last week, Mountain Media issued a press release to announce their PCI compliance. I got intrigued and called the company for an interview. Here’s the transcript:

TheCartBlog: Tell me about the product.

Mountain: Well, it’s a hosted offering built on the LAMP stack. We’re at version 7.0 of the product now. We’ve had a very strong focus on SEO and flexibility from the start, so I’d say those are the two biggest strengths we bring to the game.

TheCartBlog: Great! So as a hosted product, you can’t really change much except for templating, right?

Mountain: It’s funny – that’s a common objection from people who are coming from open source, but in truth, the fact that they’re constantly fiddling with their cart is a bad thing – it leads to problems, instability and so forth. But to answer your question directly, first of all, we don’t call it templating, because each cart’s look and feel is unique. Our implementation process starts with a design interview, and we develop the interface based on the outcome of that interview …

TheCartBlog: I’ve looked at some of your implementations and they’re really quite beautiful. So you do the skinning?

Mountain: Yes. We have a number of designers on staff. Now once the implementation is complete, the customer has the flexibility to change wording, text, even the css, but we find in general that they’d rather not do that sort of thing.

TheCartBlog: Build your business, not your shopping cart, right?

Mountain: Exactly.

TheCartBlog: I tell storeowners that every day. So it sounds like professional services is a big part of your business – right?

Mountain: It is, but if people are working with a designer they like, we’re happy to work with them.

TheCartBlog: Tell me about the company.

Mountain: We’re in Saratoga Springs, New York, about 3 hours north of New York City. We have 15 people on staff.

TheCartBlog: And the typical client?

Mountain: A lot of our customers are coming from other hosted solutions like Yahoo Stores or Volusion. A typical store might have half a million in sales. We get a few well-funded new launches, but a lot more existing businesses looking to grow.

TheCartBlog: And what do implementations generally run?

Mountain: We’re doing a lot around $5K these days. It’s a 30-60 day turnaround, and most storeowners do inventory input themselves.

TheCartBlog: Can you run your whole store from MountainMedia?

Mountain: The back end is very strong. If you have a multichannel operation, you might want to link into some external order management tools, and we can do this integration for you, but many of our customers just use our product.

TheCartBlog: So what’s next?

Mountain: We’re always looking at ways to make our implementation process smoother, faster, more affordable. And we’re looking at more advanced sales tools, like buy one thing, get another thing free.

(Ed: Remember to pitch Better Together and the Better Together Admin Panel to them!)

TheCartBlog: That’s great! Well congratulations on your PCI certification, and we look forward to seeing great things in the future from you!

Thanks for the talk, guys!

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