New website, coming Fall 2009!

This fall we should be launching our new website with the help of DMInsite for web design and Adobe’s Scene 7 rich media platform. Great change is coming and it’s something we hope that all our customers will appreciate.

The website we have currently was first built over 7 years ago and has evolved rather slowly over those 7 years into what you see today. During these 7 years a great deal has changed on the internet.

The following figure from Internet World Stats is a table showing the number of internet users in the United States over the past 8 years.

YEAR Population Users % Pop. Usage Source
2000 281,421,906 124,000,000 44.1 % ITU
2001 285,317,559 142,823,008 50.0 % ITU
2002 288,368,698 167,196,688 58.0 % ITU
2003 290,809,777 172,250,000 59.2 % ITU
2004 293,271,500 201,661,159 68.8 % Nielsen//NetRatings
2005 299,093,237 203,824,428 68.1 % Nielsen//NetRatings
2007 301,967,681 212,080,135 70.2 % Nielsen//NetRatings
2008 303,824,646 220,141,969 72.5 % Nielsen//NetRatings

As you can see; the internet usage in the US has just about doubled over the past 8 years. Since our switch to Verndale in 2002 the site has had one real face-lift that only changed the look of the site and didn’t really affect the underlying capabilities of it – this was four years ago. We hope that with this new website we can make it easier for you to get what you want in a much improved manner.

In 2008 alone our website brought 10.51% more visits than 2007 and generated 1.66 million pageviews. These numbers are nothing compared to Amazon or Google but if you look at how far we have come; the first year that we had analytics running on our website it had 90,000 visits but in the past 6 months of 2009 we have had almost 70,000 visits. With an increase this big in visitors it’s definitely time for a change, we realize that it isn’t the easiest thing to purchase off our website and we hope to improve customer experience come this fall.

Along with the new website we will be rolling out a personalization system for some of our most popular products which we hope will not only give you a way to preview your product before you get it, but at the same time also reduce any discrepancies between what you want and what you get.

For a little bit of nostalgia and to take a peek at what our website looked like many years ago you should check out the “Wayback Machine”, specifically here. You can even see what our website looked like when it first launched way back in 1997.

Having a new website not only makes the job easier for the web team here at Hodges but it improves the experience you have when you buy something off our website.

We are looking for customer feedback; what sort of things would you like to see on the new website, and what sort of things could we change to make purchasing your awards on www.hodgesbadge.com an easier task for you? Put your thoughts and suggestions in the comments section, we would love to hear them.

Hodges Badge introduces 3 new rosettes with special pricing

rosettepromoHodges Badge Company is introducing three rosettes with a very special offer.  The Empire 3W, Ideal 3W and the Trent 3W all feature white center streamers, a white disc and one of our many stock logos in the center.  The center streamer can be customized with your farm or event’s name, giving you a custom product at an unbeatable price.

Introductory pricing runs from now thru July 31st and offers substantial savings.  The Empire 3W is available for as little as 1.19, a savings of 8.5% off the regular price.  The Ideal 3W is a low as $1.34 and the Trent 3W is as low as $1.99, a whopping 10% savings.

These awards can be ordered on line, or over the phone.  Right now they only show up on the Equestrian section of our site, but we will make them available to other markets, with appropriate stock logos in the coming days.

New Catalogs

I am really excited about some new catalogs that we are mailing soon.  I just finished proof reading a copy of our upcoming Athletic catalog.  We have changed formats, and this book will show up in the new “slim jim” format that is post office friendly.  Sue (our art director) has gone to town with new photography, new products and a host of other improvements that everyone is bound  to love.  For example, the longer format of the slim jim really helps to show off ribbons – which are long and skinny to begin with.

In addition, we have done new photography for almost the entire book.  The medals look classier and everything really ‘pops’.  I hope that our customer’s love the catalog.

I get to see the new school catalog in a couple of days.  I hope that the results are similarly encouraging!

Rick