Need A Part is Auckland’s Top Online Shop!

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NZ Post have honoured needapart.co.nz with the Top Shop Online Retailer award in 2014

Andy and Jared from Need A Part accepting the Award from Jamie at NZ Post. Jared Tasker, Jamie McEwan, Andy Abel

We entered the Auckland region Top Shop awards and won our category: Online Retailer. It is an honour to hold this title. I feel like it recognises the hard work that Andy and I have put in to needapart.co.nz over the last 5 years.

Finalists

I have to say that we were in fine company. The other finalists in our category were:

thesleepstore.co.nz (runner up)

Sleepstore Screenshot

The sleep store sells a huge range of products for people with young children. Their website is built on top of the Jbiz platform and has quality photography on all of their products.

tradedepot.co.nz

TradeDepot Screenshot

Trade Depot is an online home improvement store and does a better job than the traditional home improvement giants with their online offering. Their website is built on top of Adobe Business Catalyst.

Winners

This is what Michele A’Court, the Awards MC, read out as we took the podium:

“The judges said this website really portrayed the branding and personality of Need A Part. It is fun and quirky and offers a wide range of appropriate products. It is easy to navigate and the checkout process is straightforward. Overall an enjoyable website experience”

This is great feedback! “It is easy to navigate and the checkout process is straightforward”. You cannot possibly know how many discussions and development hours have been spent trying to achieve a “straightforward” checkout process.

Andy and I have frequent discussions on how to improve our customer’s online experience. We have a rule: Get the customer from A to B as fast as possible. To help with this, we ask a bunch of questions:

  • Why has the user arrived to our site?
  • What do they want?
  • How can we best deliver that information?

We only collect contact information we require for the task, and we don’t add in extra steps trying to up sell customers.

Basically we think about the features we hate when buying online and don’t do those things.

It is worth noting that needapart.co.nz was the only mobile-friendly website in our category. With the rise in mobile and tablet devices it is now a given that a website needs to be mobile-friendly.

If a quarter of your customers coming in to your store were in wheelchairs you would accommodate them. Trying to use a website built for desktop computers on your mobile phone takes a lot patience and sometimes just doesn’t work. Just like a customer bound to a wheelchair may not enter your store if the aisles are too narrow and stock at unreachable heights; mobile users are likely to find someone else if your site is too difficult for them to use.

Who we sat with

The Need A Part team found itself sharing a table with New Zealand Post and its guests from Pumpkin Patch as well as Bloom cupcakes (another award finalist). We shared a wonderful dinner and had a fantastic time celebrating with the Pumpkin patch marketing team.

Jeff and Ann from Bloom Cupcakes

Jeff and Ann from Bloom Cupcakes

Bloom cupcakes were my favourite for the evening. Their enthusiasm when they reached the podium was infectious, not to mention this gold quote, “Winning this Top Shop Award is the icing on the cupcake” by Ann Margaret (Bloom Cupcakes owner). Not only did they take out the Meridian Energy food and beverage Award but they were named the runner up to the regional winners!

Thanks

The sponsors of the Online Retailer award category was New Zealand Post! This is fitting since New Zealand Post has released some of the API’s that have helped us build a “straightforward” checkout process.

I would like to thank New Zealand Post and Courier Post for all of the work they put into helping small businesses distribute their product and keep their customer informed along the way.

Top Shop online retailer Category winner

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Top Shop Awards Tonight!

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Need A Part is a Finalist in the Auckland region Online Retailer Category

I am so excited to be attending the Auckland / Northland region Top Shop Awards event tonight. This is one in a number of exciting things for Need A Part since our move to Auckland 4 months a go.

We are finalists in the online category which is sponsored by our friends at New Zealand Post. I feel like this represents NZ Post’s change to focus on the present and future of communications and delivery of parcels. We have definitely benefited from this by using some of their awesome software to provide a more satisfying customer experience on www.needapart.co.nz. Namely the tracking notifications API allows us to keep customers informed on the progress of their delivery.

Retail NZ has done an awesome job so far of this event and even got me to sign up to the Uber app by giving us $20 off our taxi fares to and from the awards dinner. Nice work Retail NZ.

I hope that we are named as the winners of our category this evening. I am also super stoked with placing as finalists this year. Andy and I have put in a lot of effort to Need A Part over the last 5 years. It is not easy trying to change industry perceptions, develop the systems (our whole site is coded from the ground up by Andy Abel), and grow a profitable business all at the same time. We have had a lot of support from our family, peers and other people in the industry.

It is an honour to be named as finalists and my fingers are crossed for this evening.

Need A Part sends stock all over the world from Auckland

Need A Part sends stock all over the world from Auckland

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