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Breakdown of an award winning ecommerce website

New Zealand retailer Barkers (www.barkersonline.co.nz), has been named as the only New Zealand finalist in the Online Retail Industry Awards, commonly known as the ORIAs. The ORIAs are the only awards in Australia to recognize and reward excellence in eCommerce website development. Barkers has always been at the forefront of online retail in New Zealand, and being nominated as the only New Zealand finalist in the ORIAs shows they are competing at a global level as well.

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So, what makes an award winning website? This breakdown shows what features take Barkers to the next level in online retailing.

Integration - The integration automatically updates all product, stock and customer information from company wide branches onto the website – maximizing time efficiency and ensuring the website contains a full, accurate and up-to-the minute product range. Loyalty status, promotions, stock availability all need to be integrated timely across all the outlets.

Find a store – Every product page on the Barkers website features a “find store” link. When clicked a popover appears that shows which Barkers store are carrying that specific product and color and in which sizes. Customers who want to purchase online can then find a store carrying their color and size without having to ring multiple stores. This improves staff time efficiencies and makes the website a powerful pre-purchase device, driving in store traffic.

In store account look up – Customers who have shopped in store before can look up their account when registering online. They can then assign a password to this account, creating an online log in. This feature ensures every customer has one account across all store channels and in customer information is stored in one place.

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Filters – Barkers has filters on their product list page which allows customers to drill down to a range of products within their specified price, colors and size requirements. This allows customers to find exactly what they want in as little clicks as possible.

Blog – Barkers run a blog module within their website which they update regularly. The blog helps support Barkers branding and involves their customers is what’s going on within the Barkers Company. Having a blog within your website is great for your organic SEO as it provides relevant, constantly updated information filled with keywords that are associated with your brand and products – making your website rank higher to Google when certain keywords are searched for.

Best practice checkout process – The Barkers website follows a best practice three step checkout, which allows customers to quickly and intuitively check out as a guest, a logged in member, or as a new sign up. Voucher codes can easily be applied, orders can be edited, and all promotions are applied automatically. Within three clicks a customer can pay (via Visa, MasterCard, Diners, Amex or cheque) and receive their invoice within seconds.

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