Mobile-first design helps Ruralco move to the front of the pack with a market-leading website.

The situation

Ruralco was launched in mid-2013, as part of the Ashburton Trading Society (ATS) farming co-op. The company offers a charge card to farmers that provides access to discounts at a network of participating retailers New Zealand wide.

Through its first few months in operation, Ruralco struggled with a packaged solution website. The user experience was uneven, with no room to scale. Its parent company ATS has a Microsoft Dynamics CRM system and it wanted to tie this into Ruralco’s backend, to allow participating retailers to update their information and make it available seamlessly on the site. Ruralco were also seeking better marketing insight by combining ClickDimensions into the solution.

ATS had worked with Intergen four years ago to install Microsoft Dynamics. Having seen Intergen’s expertise in action, they chose to partner with them in building a new site.

The pain

It was clear to Ruralco that its existing website was falling short of where it needed to be. Keeping it up and running was labour intensive. Links were breaking. Customers were being told to log in for discount information, but when they did they still couldn’t access the information.

Ruralco had a $140 million business,but its website was suppressing customer spend and supplier growth. Not having its CRM system tied into its CMS meant that all information was double keyed. The site was complicated and not mobile friendly, which was a particular detraction for an online averse farming crowd.

The gain

Intergen built a new site from scratch, one of the first responsive EPiServer sites in New Zealand. User Experience Design was key to the project’s success. Intergen and Ruralco held a series of workshops to identify gaps in digital strategy and align these with business goals, examining Ruralco’s customer needs closely, building functionality from the ground up based on what was needed to intuitively connect suppliers with cardholders.

Immediate, accurate information: The new Ruralco website CMS ties directly into its CRM, with little information stored on the website itself. Where suppliers used to have to call Ruralco to update their information, now they can update it themselves. Safeguards were built in, so when information is updated it gets flagged for review to protect against errors. This part of the project required painstaking attention to detail, making sure all of the fields in the CRM and CMS matched exactly.

Mobile-first approach: Intergen conceptualised the framework forRuralco’s website, thinking first of how it would look on mobile and then user testing this before developing a blueprint that could then be adaptedfor tablet and PC. Since launching, the amount of people staying on theRuralco page between 3 –10 minutes has risen from 6.7% to 15.2%.

Refined search functionality: Each supplier is tagged with a geolocationon the site, with Google Map functionality built in so customers can see participating suppliers closest to them. The search functions have been refined, allowing customers to search by location, discount or search term.

Competitive advantage: Where many other competitors offer a static catalogue for visitors to browse through, Ruralco’s dynamic features have allowed them to get on the front foot, competitively. The bounce rate on its page has fallen from 56% to 39%.

For Ruralco, the new website is a much more satisfying experience for both its customers and its suppliers, with everything tailored to make it more intuitive to shop and spend. Internally, it is a timesaver, with no more wasted hours fixing bugs on the site and entering information twice now that its CMS and CRM are linked.

The business case

Ruralco needed a new site that was easier to use for existing customers while also growing out its existing business. By tearing down its old packaged solution and building a new dynamic EPiServer site, Intergen was able to create a new property that's lashed the time investment for Ruralco. They needed a reliable and stable site that allowed for the up-to-date flow of information and a more dynamic way for customers to access information.

The business value

  • The first responsive EPiServer site delivered out of the South Island.
  • Built from scratch using User Experience Design principles, with functionality tailored exclusively around consumer and supplier needs.
  • Microsoft Dynamics CRM links with the new CMS, allowing for dramatically improved information reporting
  • Mobile-first site, with user tested framework then adapted for tablet and PC.
  • Market-leading dynamic search functions.
  • ClickDimensions has given Ruralco unprecedented insight into customer interactions.


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