Sterling Parts came to reinteractive to modernise their online presence and ensure they were servicing the rapidly growing consumer demand to easily find and buy automotive parts on their phone or computer, any time of day.
Established in 1997, with branches in Sydney, Melbourne, Adelaide and Brisbane, Sterling Parts is a leader in providing quality automotive parts and service at affordable prices. Car parts are often needed at very short notice and the ability to search, find and order parts online was important to expanding their business model.
Yi Ho, Strategic and Marketing Manager of Sterling Parts, chose reinteractive as Sterling Parts’ development partner after a recommendation from a colleague.
Yi needed a robust website and online store which was not only user friendly and engaging for their customers, but also was fully integrated with their existing software systems to track and manage the automotive parts and delivery.
With over 30,000 parts available, Sterling Parts operations require detailed tracking of inventory, sales and deliveries. They provide same day delivery in metropolitan areas, as well as Newcastle, Central Coast, Wollongong, Sunshine Coast and the Gold Coast. They also ship around the country, as well as overseas. All this is tracked through an extensive logistics network.
With so much to offer customers, both direct and trade accounts, searching for and finding a car part needed to be smooth and user friendly. Thus, the search functionality was key.
Prior to commencing development, reinteractive conducts a thorough User Experience (UX) stage, reviewing the existing site and determining what else might be needed. All key workflows are designed first, ensuring the best experience for users who are purchasing from the site. reinteractive’s UX consultant takes all the existing ideas and turn them into a clickable prototype so it can be tested and shown to various stakeholders.
A thorough UX Design can be the difference between a successful project and one that struggles.
Once the UX was signed off, the new Sterling Parts website was then built, using the Ruby on Rails development framework and Spree Commerce, an open source ecommerce platform.
Ruby on Rails is a framework for building applications that is easy to extend and add to in the future. Once the core site is built, adding additional elements is a relatively simple process that can be completed by a competent Rails developer.
The Rails technology was designed to build robust and scalable applications that can get to market quickly.
With Spree Commerce being open source software, it reduced the initial development time and costs significantly and allowed Sterling Parts to gain a large number of features common to every online store with no ongoing license costs. It is built using Ruby on Rails and can be integrated with many other software solutions, meaning heavily reduced costs for future development.
Unlike their previous e-commerce platform, Spree Commerce did not lock Sterling Parts into a particular way of operating or prevent additional functionality.
The other point reinteractive addressed was a full integration with their existing auto industry enterprise resource planning (ERP) software, which manages parts inventory, transaction tracking and a wide range of other functions.
reinteractive applies an Agile approach to software development. A great feature of modern Agile-based development is that new versions of the application are regularly “released” to a staging server that the client has access to. Clients know what is going on at any stage and are in daily contact with their developer.
reinteractive also provides the Sterling Parts with OpsCare®, our 24/7 managed hosting service, which is built on the world’s leading cloud hosting provider AWS. OpsCare ensures stability and security with around-the-clock expert monitoring of client applications.
reinteractive created an e-commerce website for Sterling Parts with a fresh user interface, operating on a brand-new, integrated, easily modified and extended platform.
The final test is with the customer and how they find the site when looking for and purchasing parts.