“I need to improve my website” is the business version of “I need to get in better shape.” You know it’s something you should do but, because you don’t have a clear guidelines and an execution plan, you don’t make the necessary changes.
I can’t help you shed extra weight (I’m leaving that to this guy) but I can show you a faster path to a more attractive, more effective website. There are tons of lists online detailing attributes of a quality website, and I’m sure to mention some of them here. But my list below – followed by examples of Worldpay partners with great websites – is designed specifically to help VARs and ISVs present their best to prospects, clients, job applicants, and anyone else who finds your URL.
Even if you think your website presents well, I encourage you to dig into this list and review the sample websites. I talked with a Worldpay partner in the Midwest recently, and she was passionate that investing time in your website creates multiple positive outcomes. “Updating my website helps me to clarify my messaging,” she said. “It’s not just a design process – it’s the mental process. My husband asks me why I spend so much time with my website, and I tell him it helps me communicate my value more clearly online and when I talk with clients.”
VAR/ISV Website Quality Checklist
- Clean, modern design; not cluttered
- Effortless, predictable navigation (credit to Chris Johnson for that tremendous phrase)
- Clear, compelling words and phrases; no jargon
- Focus on customer needs, such as organizing solutions by vertical
- Prominent, accessible contact information
- High quantity of high quality content
- Third-party testimonials, such as awards and customer compliments
- Partnerships that establish your credibility
- Smiling employees; evidence you are unique and an “employer of choice”
- Chat functionality
All-Star Solution Provider Websites – 2019 Edition
The following 11 websites are high-quality VAR or ISV sites that POS solution providers should emulate. I’m not saying each site is perfect, but they meet most every criteria on my checklist and are downright outstanding in some areas. Below I highlight their strongest attributes in a brief website summary. For clarity, I list that attribute’s item number from my checklist in parentheses. To visit each site, click on the company name at the beginning of each overview.
Agiliron: (8) This ISV establishes instant credibility with several brand-name logos on the home page including Amazon, QuickBooks, eBay, and Shopify. (5) Agiliron offers plenty of options to contact them. A “Schedule a Consultation” button is prominently displayed in the middle of the home page, and the upper right corner of the page features a “Contact Us” tab, a “Free Consultation” button, a phone number, and an email address.
Atlantic Systems: (1, 3) The photographs are bright and beautiful, and they serve as a soothing background to Atlantic Systems’ pitch: “LEADING LIQUOR POINT OF SALE SINCE 1980.” It takes less than two-tenths of a second to understand this software developer’s core vertical. (2) The site is literally “effortless navigation”; the main image and headline text on the home page changes every 12 seconds and provides the user with an overview of Atlantic Systems’ unique value proposition.
Anthem Business Solutions (formerly Tulsa Cash Register): (9) When you’ve got a Santa Claus beard like Anthem Business Solutions President Dale Seefeldt, you’re well-served to feature it prominently. And Seefeldt isn’t the only happy Anthem employee pictured on the site – or sporting world-class facial hair. (4, 5) Anthem makes a clear and compelling pitch to prospects that they can expect hands-on, personal, local service. The photos, names, titles, and phone numbers of the VAR’s four senior managers are included on Anthem’s “Personal Guarantee” page.
BMC: (4) It takes just one glance to understand that VAR BMC offers solutions for hospitality, grocery, retail, thrift stores, and fuel because those words and icons are prominent and dominant on the home page. Clicking on any of those icons takes you to a solutions page for that vertical. (7, 9) On the “About Us” page, the management team of Bob Bauer Sr., Bob Bauer Jr., and Justin Dobie are pictured in suit and tie at the top followed by 64 logos of reputable customers (Goodwill, Zingerman’s) and partners (Michigan Grocery Association, Michigan Restaurant Association, National Restaurant Association). This page builds confidence in the visitor’s mind – and should make them nervous that if they choose a lower-cost provider instead of BMC, they’re going to receive substandard value.
Bepoz: (10) The chat functionality immediately caught my eye when I visited the Bepoz site. In the lower right corner of the home page there’s a smiling man icon with the text “Bepoz America” and messages saying either, “We are LIVE here to help you if you have any questions” or “Welcome! How can we help you?” No matter what page you navigate to, the “guy smiling” icon is there to remind you a customer service rep is just one click away to answer any questions you have about their software.
CaterTrax: (1, 2, 3, 4) The CaterTrax site checks a lot of boxes for me. It’s a clean, open design with minimal top navigation options. The prominent text on the home page is “FOODSERVICE SOFTWARE MADE SIMPLE,” letting visitors know CaterTrax’s market and value proposition in just four words. Also, the phrase “Built by caterers for caterers” will resonate with their target audience. (9) But what I like best about the site is how proud the company is of its culture and its people. This is one of the rare sites in the channel that intrigues you (if not excites you) about what appears to be a very attractive work culture.
Millennium Systems International: (1) At first glance, the Millennium site looks like it could be a glossy ad in a fashion magazine. That’s important when your target verticals are salons and spas. (7) You don’t have to scroll far to learn their software has won numerous prestigious awards – including being a Beauty Launchpad Reader’s Choice Award recipient an incredible 19 times.
Paladin Data Corporation: (3, 4) Paladin gets right to the point with large text saying, “Powerfully Simple Point of Sale,” then asking, “What are you looking for?” Visitors can choose from Hardware Store POS, Retail Store POS, or Pharmacy POS to navigate the site. That vertical focus is reinforced in the top nav as well. (7) Customer testimonials for the ISV are prominent. Merchants are interviewed in a professionally-produced video and pictured – next to their glowing comments – on the home page.
Springboard Retail: (6) Content is king at Springboard. The top nav on the ISV’s website includes just four options, and one of them is “LEARN.” That link connects the user with Springboard’s SellMore! Blog and a Resource Center that includes reports, whitepapers, customer profiles, “how to” articles, and on-demand webinars. If you linger on that page, Springboard offers a not-too-intrusive pop-up saying, “Refresh. Revive. Reimagine. Keep up to date on retail tips and techniques, trends, case studies and more. Join our email list to stay connected!”
Value Systems: If you’re a VAR and thinking at this point, “Resellers like me can’t keep up with all these highfalutin software companies you’ve listed,” let me burst your bubble. Value Systems is a family-run POS VAR in Myrtle Beach, SC, and they’ve pulled off a stellar website without a million-dollar budget. (1) The home page is clean, modern, and encourages you to watch Value Systems’ professionally produced video starring co-founders Kevin and Melissa McGrath telling their story. The video includes highlights of the McGraths working side-by-side in their customers’ bars and restaurants. (7) Value Systems also makes good use of video for client testimonials and (10) offers chat functionality.
Vend: (6) Vend burst onto the POS scene in North America a few years ago with a high-quantity, high-quality content campaign – and they haven’t let up. Click on their website’s “Resources” tab and you can choose from guides & eBooks, insights & reports, tools, articles, webinars, and videos. That section allows users to filter by topic and content format, establishing Vend as a retailer’s trusted advisor even before you engage with a staff member.
Congratulations to this year’s honorees! If there’s a Worldpay partner website I didn’t list here, please let me know and I’ll consider them for my 2020 All-Star Solution Provider Website list.