Entering its second century, M.K. Rittenhouse launches a mobile-friendly e-commerce site

March 2, 2015 02:52 PM

In business since 1914, family-owned M.K. Rittenhouse & Sons Ltd. figured it was time for an online facelift for its business of selling horticultural tools and equipment used by professional property managers and landscapers as well as consumers.

The company began selling online as an e-commerce pioneer in its industry in 1999, but as it approached its 100th anniversary, it realized it was overdue for a new web store  at to keep pace with its competition.

“We were certainly due for an updated web site, and reaching the 100-year milestone seemed to signal the perfect time to do it,” president Mark Rittenhouse says.

M.K. Rittenhouse & Sons is a third-generation, family owned company based in St. Catharines, Ontario, selling to buyers across North America.

The new site, Mark Rittenhouse says, is focused on simplicity and function, making it easier for customers to quickly find what they need to complete purchases. “Presenting a clean look coupled with easy navigation was imperative for this website,” Rittenhouse says.

The site was also designed to render properly on mobile devices, addressing a growing interest among professional landscapers and other business customers to order equipment and materials from their job sites, says Aaron Rittenhouse, manager of marketing. “We’re finding a lot of customers buying with the mobile option while in the field,” he says.

The new site was built on the Magento Enterprise e-commerce software platform from the eBay Enterprise unit of eBay Inc., and deployed with assistance from Toronto-based web design and development firm Demac Media. One reason for choosing Magento, Aaron Rittenhouse says, was its capability for rendering content properly across mobile devices as well as desktops.

The site also provides more promotional content. A scrolling pair of images across the top of the home page highlight “2-3 day fast shipping from our east and west warehouses” and that Rittenhouse charges “no tax, no hidden fees.”

A navigation bar on each web page lets site visitors browse among consumer-oriented sections like “In the Garden,” featuring subsections on gifts and garden tools; and sections designed for businesses: Professional Products, including such property management tools as ground moisture  meters, and Construction products including concrete sprayers for curing and sealing concrete.

The new site also features new site search and navigation. A search for pumps, for example, shows more than 20 images of various types of pumps; each image can be clicked for a Quick View pop-up window that provides additional details and lets a customer choose the number of units and place an order. The search results page also includes a pull-down menu that lets customers narrow their search by such criteria as price, bestsellers, top-rated and trending.

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