Ryba’s Fudge Shops are a small chain of family-owned fudge and sweets shops that are headquartered in the summer resort town of Mackinac Island, Michigan. Ryba’s seven shops are all located in summer tourism areas, and its main clientele is tourists. Additionally, Ryba’s customers can purchase goods via mail or the internet. During the winter months, all seven shops are closed, and Ryba’s runs its internet and mail-order service solely out of a distribution center in Fraser, Michigan. The mail and internet-based orders provide an important supplement to Ryba’s revenues. This is why a well-functioning website is so vital to Ryba’s.
When Ryba’s was looking to create a new and improved website, their main functional goals were to improve the online ordering process and allow for quick and seamless content updates. Drupal was chosen at the suggestion of Boxcar Studios (a web development company from Ann Arbor, Michigan) because it allowed Ryba’s to implement a user-friendly online ordering system and made website updates much simpler than they had been in the past. Boxcar Studios built the website with very little custom code, which allowed them to get the website up and running in a relatively short time. Ryba’s is pleased with the work of Boxcar Studios and the Drupal website that they created.
The reason that Ryba’s Fudge used Drupal to create their site was because they wanted to improve upon an existing but outdated site.
- Improve outdated website to attract more customers
- Site must be easy to update
- Site must improve online sales
- Site must have reporting capabilities
- Site must utilize shopping cart module
- Site is more user friendly and easier to navigate
- Appearance is more attractive to prospective customers
- Internet sales have increased approximately 10% from the time the site has been implemented (November 2011)
Ryba’s Fudge Shops website (www.ryba.com) was built by Boxcar Studios in Ann Arbor, Michigan. The ownership team worked very closely with Boxcar Studios to create a fully functional e-commerce website that has a modern look and yet pays tribute to Ryba’s past on the historic Mackinac Island. Much research was done to find key elements of functionality and design which matched the owners’ vision for this website. Boxcar Studios built an excellent working relationship with Ryba’s, the project went smoothly, and Ryba’s now has a terrific website.
This case study was written by Brett Damrais, Stephen Grassi, and Erik Warren, who are all students at Oakland University in Rochester, Michigan.