With live online updates, 3-D modeling and search and browse capabilities, Clipsal’s new digital product guide gives customers fast and up-to-date access to items in its extensive product mix.
Developing a digital version of its trade product guide would help Clipsal re-affirm its position as a leader in data communications, industrial and home automation.
Clipsal sought a highly interactive solution that incorporated the principles of information architecture in order to help customers easily navigate its extensive and diverse product range for fast access to prices, brochures and other product information.
After evaluating several software vendors, Clipsal selected Solentive as their preferred technology partner.
Solentive developed the digital guide known as Alfred for distribution on CD-ROM, with a browser-based thin-client interface developed in ASP.NET. Alfred, a highly modular form-based application, links to a SQL backend via web services, and serves data directly from Clipsal’s website to CD-ROM for remote content updates, including product information and formatting changes to the user interface.
Version two: Alfred 2006
In 2006, Clipsal commissioned Solentive to develop version two of Alfred. The upgrade provides sales quotes and uses an API built in .NET to integrate with MYOB. Additionally, it features a contents search engine and 3-D modeling for high impact presentation.
Developed for business readiness in a four-month build cycle, Alfred has become the primary method for receiving Clipsal product information.
Version three: ‘eCatalogue Edition 1 2008’
In 2008, Solentive assisted Clipsal in the development of an upgraded version of Alfred which was renamed – eCatalogue Edition 1. This edition encompassed a refresh of the user interface including the refinement of graphics and the ability for users to import and remove their own images.
Distributed on a new CD to Clipsal customers, eCatalogue enabled the latest products to be showcased, technical product details to be reviewed and a more accurate quoting system to be provided for customers.
Version four: ‘eCatalogue Edition 2 2010’
eCatalogue Edition 2 was developed in 2010 to encompass new product images, brochures and 3D modeling in the updated product catalogue. The application was re-skinned to include improved search functionality and easier navigation through the redesign of the user interface. As part of this, all navigation items were moved to a centralised position, and icons had text added beside them to allow easy identification and definition of the icon.
The upgrade also enabled new items to be added to the catalogue effortlessly through the use of a spreadsheet. The spreadsheet allows barcodes, brochures, colours, product descriptions, fan data and prices to be directly loaded into the database. Additionally, all data from previous versions of the application could be rolled out in a new complete package with the latest product catalogue, which was distributed via 2 CD’s.
With the significant increase in brand loyalty, eCatalogue continues to be the primary tool used to receive information and showcase Clipsal products.