Masterack forged a reputation as an industry leader with its distributors yet its website failed to add value to those connections.
SHERPA provided user-focused discovery to uncover the problems that mattered most and implement design thinking to create innovative solutions to address them.
Once distributors were empowered to self-service online, Masterack reduced both customer friction and incoming support call -- ultimately rebuilding trust with its customers.
Masterack continuously works to offer innovative and robust steel, aluminum, and composite cargo management solutions, garnering recognition by the nation’s largest fleets as the industry leader. But their online presence created fiction for their customers and staff. SHERPA's in-depth user research informed their website overhaul, creating custom online tools that turned frustrated customers into advocates again.
For more than 50 years, Masterack has been the industry leader in the design and manufacturing of high-quality commercial-grade van and pickup cargo management solutions for the nation’s largest fleets and automakers. It all started back in 1972 with the introduction of the first patented roof-mounted clamping ladder rack.
Today, Masterack’s renowned interior steel and aluminum shelving systems help customers get their job done right.
Masterack forged a reputation as an industry leader that fostered strong relationships with its distributors yet recognized its website failed to add value to those connections. Consequently, their distributors contacted Masterack's Client Services Team for all their needs or, worse, turned to their competitors. As a further constraint, Masterack could only update its website through its vendor.
Partnering with SHERPA, Masterack desired a website it could update and offered distributors a product configurator to restore trust and increase sales.
“As a Business Unit of JB Poindexter & Co (JBPCO), our goal is to accelerate Masterack’s performance through innovation while delivering superior products. We’ll continue investing in crafting excellent digital experiences for its customers.”
- Matthew Eul, Director of Marketing at JBPCO
SHERPA started by facilitating a workshop to align all stakeholders and craft a UX roadmap to identify the problems to be solved. The roadmap showed that Masterack needed a customized CMS, allowing them to update their site as necessary.
User interviews with Masterack's distributors and fleet managers revealed little interest in a product configurator. Distributors wanted robust product pages they could share with their prospects. Package detail pages that showed how products could be combined for different trades, such as electrical or plumbing, were high on their wish list, too. Distributors also longed for an easier way to request quotes and order status to eliminate needing to call Client Services.
Speaking with the Client Services Team identified the need for a more cohesive warranty claim form that eliminated the back and forth between it and distributors. In addition, they advocated allowing visitors to search for the nearest distributors, with the user's zip code auto-calculated based on their device to reduce friction.
“Distributors are loyal to Masterack because of their relationship to its staff and the quality of its products. They want features that help them sell more Masterack products to their customers and ways to quickly get the information they need when they have a customer in front of them.”
- Jef Blocker, UX Researcher for SHERPA Global
Experienced in crafting the right tool for a client's needs, SHERPA empowered Masterack to update its site whenever needed with a custom, easy-to-use content management system ("CMS") powered by Statamic. The flat-file, database-less CMS ensures blazingly fast performance across all devices. Avoiding plugin and module bloat also improved performance, increased site stability, and reduced maintenance costs.
Based on user research and best practices, SHERPA redesigned the product details pages with attention to specs and created package pages for Base, Electrical, General Service, and PHVAC trades. The redesigned product catalog featured a shopping cart allowing distributors to request a quote for products at the moment instead of calling or emailing Client Services later.
With an eye for innovation, SHERPA worked with Masterack and JB Poindexter & Co to design a Track My Order feature that allows distributors to get real-time order status at any time. If the product has shipped, they can click on the carrier's tracking number and link and see the shipping status and delivery information. After trying Track My Order, one Client Services Team member said, "This will cut my calls by 50%!"
SHERPA applied the entire customer journey for the warranty process and designed a more robust claim form allowing distributors to submit all the necessary details at once and eliminating the back and forth between Client Services and them.
Visitors to the Find a Dealer Page can now search by zip code and determine the closest distributor.
If any doubts remain about the return on investment of user research, consider a comment from a distributor during usability testing of the new site: "You're listening, and you're changing. This is the most encouraging thing I've seen."
“Distributors are busy people who need answers now. Giving them ways to get those answers quickly will be a huge advantage.”
- Robyn McKinney, Senior Director of Client Services at Masterack