With over 140 Suppliers and over 50 members, BuildLink are a cooperative buying group in the New Zealand Timber and Hardware Industry. BuildLink pride themselves on being a unique group of fiercely independent businesses working for their customers. To be able to meet their customer needs and respond to a changing environment they identified a need to strengthen their “online” presence. BuildLink decided to take on building individual websites to showcase their members stores rather than having a central group site.
It became clear to BuildLink’s agency Eva Systems, in the early phases of the project, that sourcing supplier data and building sites was not something they would be able to do entirely inhouse.
Greg at Eva brought in a specialist CMS web platform to build the sites upon and they tasked Vesta with supplying the online supplier data content to populate the sites.
The BuildLink project was unique in that the needed a solution that could fit all types of products and retailer profiles. This is where Vesta Central was the ideal solution. Vesta Central could handle product management and data sharing for all types of products available, and integrate with websites from a small “Mom and Pop” type Retailer, right through to a large corporate site. The flexibility Vesta can provide means it’s a long-term solution worth investing in for both BuildLink and their Suppliers.
Suppliers get on board
With support from BuildLink and Vesta, Suppliers have started to use Vesta Central for their product data management and sharing which has made a huge amount of data available to BuildLink Retailers. The platform has provided an innovative way of managing and sharing data that has proved valuable so far. Suppliers have been excited that the platform isn’t just a Buildlink specific tool and they are able to use it to share their data to their entire network easily.
“Without Vesta’s relationship management of suppliers, we just wouldn’t have the man power to drive as many sign ups as we have achieved” – Greg – Eva Systems.
The one to one sign up service solution Vesta have been able to provide BuildLink Suppliers has meant a high volume of suppliers have signed up and are using the platform. With Vesta’s expertise in customer service and support the number of BuildLink suppliers that are now providing data through Vesta Central is far greater than anything BuildLink could have achieved on their own. As the platform is user friendly, once Suppliers have signed up it’s a straight forward process to share their data with Retailers.
“Integration and centralization”
Vesta was an ideal solution for BuildLink who needed something dynamic and diverse. With Retailers up and down the country, ranging from fencing to kennels there was no one size fits all approach. Vesta Central allows BuildLink to integrate and centralise product data. For BuildLink this means if they want to build a central site or individual sites for stores, the product data is available and in a format that they can use for any style of site.
The numbers speak for themselves
The key driver for BuildLink Supplier is the ability to update product information in their Vesta Central account and have updates sent immediately to all BuildLink sites. With constant refreshes taking place traffic to the individual sites has grown significantly. As BuildLink deploy more sites and more Suppliers get on board the value of the project is increasing quickly. The value of current, fresh product data has been realized very quickly by one Retailer – they experienced a 33% increase in visitors to their site through Google without any direct marketing. Frequent Supplier product data updates that were coming through to their site had pushed them right to the top of the Google Search results.
The real-time data updates have proven exceptionally valuable not only for increasing website traffic through search engine optimization, but customers have everything need immediately. If a new product is loaded to Vesta Central by a Supplier it will be sent through to the Retailer immediately and it can be sold that day. There is no waiting around for files, or pdfs to be sent. These real-time data updates are expected to boost sales performance for BuildLink Retailers.
“Dynamic, fresh content”
Full steam ahead
With the success of the Vesta BuildLink project already clear, and only 11 out of a total 20 Buildlink sites live there will exciting times ahead for the project. As more sites go live, more Suppliers and Retailers are seeing the light and coming on board the online express. Suppliers are learning that online data management will improve their own efficiencies as well as enable Retailers to have greater successes. Dynamic, fresh content will push the BuildLink digital stores well ahead of any competitors and Vesta are excited to be a part of this industry change.