From slabs of fresh beef at Giunta’s Prime Shop to the succulent donuts at Beiler’s, goodies from 37 vendors at the 125-year-old Reading Terminal Market are available to order and pick-up with just a few clicks.
It all started last Thanksgiving, when — coupled with the revamp of its website — the market launched an online shopping pilot with an initial dozen vendors. But the experiment, part of an effort to cater to consumer’s changing shopping habits, has outgrown its off-the-shelf online platform, powered by Weebly.
It’s why Reading Terminal Market Corporation (RTMC), the 501(c)(3) nonprofit tasked with maintaining the iconic market, launched a Request for Proposals aimed at finding an ecommerce provider capable of building a bespoke ecommerce platform for Philly’s crown jewel.
“We need our own custom-built framework that is unique to our situation,” said Sarah Levitsky, head of marketing and special events at the market. “As we do research, we see that online shopping will increase dramatically over next five years and we want to stay competitive in that landscape.”
One specific push for the new platform will be accessibility. Not only in the traditional sense of best digital practices but also in including all shoppers regardless of their payment method. Currently, the Weebly platform has no support for Electronic Benefits Transfer (EBT) cards. It’s a requirement for the new site, Levitsky said.
The new site must also create a single checkout experience for the more than 80 vendors operating inside the market. The ideal platform will be mobile friendly and allow users to search by product, by vendor or food category.
“We’re trying to make small adjustments to make the shopping experience more pleasurable,” Levitsky said.
If you think you can deliver, why not check out the market at this year’s Philly Tech Week closing bash? The PTW18 Signature Event takes place at Reading Terminal Market Friday, May 4 from 7:30–10:30 p.m. Snag tickets while you still can.
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