'Nothing worth doing is easy' says Mammoth’s Marketing Director Ken Murray -
'At Mammoth Equipment and Exhausts we've always understood that achievement comes from hard work and skill. When we decided we wanted to develop the Mammoth Equipment and Exhausts website we knew it wouldn't be a small task to capture both the business and a customer-driven user experience.'
Who did you build this website for?
The website was developed with you in mind, the customer with a small sample group we tested, developed and refined considerably over time to ensure we had the products and information you wanted in places where you could find them easily. Initially I listened to the way we handle phone calls and sales consultations the questions a customer would ask when looking to find a solution and that gave me the template for how I wanted the website to flow.
Why did you set the bar so high knowing it would be such a big project to tackle? Have you seen other after-market exhaust websites?
Yes I have, in the initial planning phase I hoped that other websites would inspire me and help me find more information and direction I thought that like with most great ideas someone has already done it but all I found was major businesses with huge downloadable PDF catalogues (which we’ve had since 2009) but none that took it that step further with the e-commerce platform and searching/indexing it was a little bit daunting to see no one else had taken the jump that we were attempting; to go from just a show and tell website to a fully e-commerce integrated platform that invited user participation. At the same time it fuelled us with an excitement to really carry this through and be the first, the biggest and the best in this industry.
How much of the business scope did you manage to capture in the website?
As of today there are 10,000+ products available on the website for your perusal which is probably a cross section of about 70% of our total business capabilities and that’s not including all our customised solutions. We make certain products from the ground up for one customer and only that customer ever buys it. It’s something that they need for their specific circumstances and that can happen quite a bit. When you’re offering products to the diverse range of customers like we are, you need a balanced system that is supportive and intuitive for that range of users - there are many ways you can search for the product you’re looking for; simply scrolling through using the key words ‘tail pipe’ might be interesting but you’ll be sifting through thousands of irrelevant hits, you could search by the product’s OEM number if you know it or use the filtering side bar which automatically locks down the OEM – Brand/Make/Manufacturer/ the type of vehicle, the engine number and even the specific part OEM number. Thanks to Woocom Australia we’ve developed a highly sophisticated searching and indexing back-end that allows for this without looking complex on your end. It’s funny actually the website taught me a lesson about simplicity and computers – the more simple it looks on the front-end (for the customer) the more complex and difficult the work is on the back-end (us).
What if we do an OEM search and don’t get any results or is the website that thorough?
This is where computers and people fall down, to a computer everything is just data, for us you could describe the product over the phone and we have people with over 20 years of experience who would just mentally click and know exactly the right part. I don't think any business can replace people with machines; talking to a real human being remains the most assured way of knowing exactly what you’re getting and a lot of our customers know that. That’s why we still have real experts managing the orders taken online we will never out-source website sales processing if you place an order online you will be ordering with the same experienced professionals you speak to on the phone, the same experienced people who meet you on site - and that is how we maintain our quality commitment and the slogan – Guaranteed to Fit, Built to Last. Call me old school but computers are no substitute for people talking to people. In answer to your question we supply parts compatible with over 100 OEM brands from trucks made in the 1960s to 2014 models even the leading international brand manufacturers can’t keep up with their own parts from that far back, we do our best and we keep up if I know the OEM number and it's not there it'll be added in a matter of seconds.
What was your biggest challenge and how did you overcome it?
The biggest challenge for this website was the programming side of it – a lot of people have e-commerce websites that are really only about a couple of simple variables – it’s category and what it is, with us there might be 10-15 variables, (pipe position, Inlet size, outlet size, barrel diameter, barrel shape, inlet/outlet position, material, what brands and models and engine numbers does it suit etc) With all these variables intended to be indexed and searchable that meant they had to exist first as data collecting the data and then transposing it into a useable format for the e-commerce system was extremely challenging, made all the more extreme when you try and use the same system for a simple product like a drum of EcoBlue (Diesel Exhaust Fluid) that is really just a drum of Diesel of Exhaust Fluid and then there are less complex products with a whole other set of rules that apply in-between these two extremes. Programming all these variables and collating the data would have been impossible without extreme diligence from a specialist C# programmer, the marketing team and Woocom Australia.
How do you see the website in the future?