The National Grocers Association (NGA) is a national trade association that is positioned as the voice of the independent supermarket industry. The organization represents a supermarket channel that is responsible for close to 1 percent of the nation’s overall economy and generates $131 billion in sales, 944,000 jobs, and $30 billion in wages. NGA’s impact is far-reaching, and in order to fully serve its constituents, the association needed to update the design, features, and functionality of their website so that it would speak to all audiences, engage visitors on a more personal level, and integrate the user experience of their two sister websites, the NGA Foundation and Creative Choice Awards.
New Target strategized with NGA and chose WordPress as the association’s CMS which gave them a system and framework that is flexible and easy to use for the NGA staff. Known for its uncomplicated interface, WordPress enables NGA’s non-technical staff members to easily update content throughout the site and it gives them the ability to manage all of the sites from the same location. WordPress replaced their Sitefinity CMS and integrates with their current association management system, Impexium.
The design of the NGA website is very telling of the organization as it stays true to its branded colors while making ample use of white space to define subject areas and guide users on their journey. The website gives a nod to the longevity of independent grocery retailers and operators while also providing resources for members to grow their businesses and prepare for future shifts in the marketplace. Calls-to-action such as “Join Now” and “Learn More” are well placed and help users move through the site.
A vast amount of information is easily accessible and direct navigation highlights the clean taxonomy for subject areas such as Membership, Government Relations, Education, Industry Collaboration, and Events & Programs. In trying to speak to all audiences including industry partners, Capitol Hill leaders and staff, members, and consumers, and keep them engaged on the website, New Target recommended audience-specific landing pages that are filled with NGA-curated content.
The design laid the groundwork for new features and functionalities across the website; this is seen foremost on the homepage, the NGA Foundation homepage, and the Creative Choice Awards page. The homepage now includes a store locator map which gives users the ability to search for independent supermarkets via ZIP code. Once located, a pop-up displays the store name and address and even clicks through to the website. Additionally, a section of the homepage titled, “Grocers in the Community,” highlights the achievements of independent grocers.
The Foundation page has its own look and feel, menu, and audience blocks and the images make it clear who the foundation benefits. To that end, there is now an easy-to-use pop-up donation form where users can donate directly on the site, and this form follows the user throughout all of the foundation’s internal pages. The donation information is conveniently stored in WordPress, and the NGA staff can export the details in real-time.
NGA hosts the annual Creative Choice Awards Contest which recognizes outstanding marketing and merchandising in the supermarket industry. The Creative Choice Awards has its own branded area on the NGA website complete with an easy-to-manage tabbed feature that enables users to clearly identify what information they would like to see including the basic, who, what, and why. The self-serve page highlights past winners and it’s here that users can submit their entries. Like the Foundation, the Creative Choice Awards section does not have an NGA header or menu, but it keeps the same footer look and feel.
New Target’s collaboration with NGA has enabled the organization to envision and build a web presence with modern features and robust functionality. NGA’s website now speaks to both the whole of the organization and to key audiences, it provides intuitive paths through the website, and has brought in two sister sites that have maintained their identity within the organization.