Master & Fool LLC – Project Insight
Theme Used: Responsive Pro by Cyberchimps
Project Elements: Logo & Branding, eCommerce Functionality, Email Subscription
Ann Arbor based Master and Fool is our partner in media publishing, primarily books. This site uses a lot of innovative thinking about how to pitch a publishing service and its products in today’s rapidly-evolving publishing landscape. We had the minor quandary that although we avidly support local and small business, local and small business doesn’t necessarily support us! Book retailers are somewhat under thumb of the mega-distributors like Ingram and Indiebound, and are reluctant as a result to stock books that are produced by companies that are not controlled by this channel. The challenge: create an online store featuring only local authors (including our own) without investion in an inventory. The solution: an Amazon Affiliate account plugged into the WooCommerce Amazon Affiliates Plugin, which lets your build a shopping cart right into your site using Amazon products. This allowed us to create a section devoted entirely to local Ann Arbor authors, and another section featuring products related to our authors’ areas of expertise.
The site uses a highly modified premium Responsive Pro theme. For shopping functionality the Amazon Affiliates Plugin works with WooCommerce to build a store of Amazon products, which passes off payment to Amazon at the end. Collapse-Pro-Matic allows us to embed product links without cluttering pages. When a link is clicked, the product expands right there in the page, and can be closed just as easily. One big shortcoming of WooCommerce is its limited and not very precise search function. Many of these shortcomings were easily remedied with the plug-in Relevanssi. We used MailPoet Newsletters for quick setup of managing email subscribers.