PARKERSBURG - Woodcraft.com began 2014 sporting a new gold seal on its web pages that identifies the e-retail site as one of The Hot 100 best online retailing websites in the world as selected by Internet Retailer.
"It was a surprise and an incredible honor for us," Nancy Miller, head of Woodcraft Digital Retail in Parkersburg, said.
"Internet Retailer magazine is the leading publication for the e-commerce industry. We are very proud to receive this award from their editors, who live and breathe online retail. Woodcraft's website brings the work of the entire company together to provide woodworkers with everything they need to enjoy their hobby. To share this honor with everyone at Woodcraft, we made coasters that feature the seal for each employee and reproduced the article on plaques that will be distributed to each Woodcraft location." Miller said/
Woodcraft president Jody Garrett agreed. "We worked very hard to make our Internet site customer-friendly, so it is very gratifying to have our efforts recognized by industry professionals."
Internet Retailer profiled The Hot 100 in its December 2013 issue. Editor Allison Enright wrote in her introduction to the issue: "The e-retailers profiled in this issue, while they range from a company that sells just six products (Great Brands) to the likes of Amazon.com Inc., are all doing their part to advance the retail industry in delivering top-notch shopping opportunities to consumers through the web."
Miller said woodcraft.com's complete redesign in 2013 likely contributed to its inclusion in The Hot 100. "The editors commented on our clean design, clear navigation, local store information and the woodworking knowledge available through our learning center, blog and Facebook pages. We strive to get the basics right so our customers can find the products and information they need quickly. The special issue of Internet Retailer also mentions that we were selected for our technology, operations and innovations."
In approaching the redesign, Kyle Crabtree, web designer, email and social media manager, said he and Ryan Knost, director of the Business Applications and Technology, wanted to create a clean interface that would allow shoppers to easily find what they want.
"We paid close attention to how the navigation would look, and we added merchandising banners where we thought they would make the most impact without being too garish," Crabtree said. "We wanted to better highlight photos, videos and demos, which we did by increasing the size of product photos in the new, cleaner search pages. Doubling the size of photos in the search result made a real impact on the overall look and feel of the site. Another change was updating overall text style and color scheme of each page with an eye toward making the site feel more modern and welcoming."
Woodcraft's profile appears under the heading "Hobbyist's heaven" and begins with this introduction: "Visiting Woodcraft.com is like entering a hobbyist's shop - one with virtually unlimited sections for finding the right tools, materials and advice for finishing a project, whether it's building or refinishing cabinets or fashioning blocks of wood or acrylic material into exquisite writing instruments."
Miller is then quoted - "Our customers are passionate about their projects, and our site supports that lifestyle" - followed with more comments about the site content. "The site caters to those passions well with entertaining and instructional photographs, and videos showing hobbyists doing what they love to do."
The profile finishes with statistics about the site's operation. To view the profile go to www.woodcraft.com/offers/irhot100.aspx or on the gold seal on the website.