<p>WATFORD, England, December 17 /PRNewswire/ - Salmon Limited ("Salmon"), a specialist in delivering eCommerce solutions, today announces the completion of a significant programme of work for Halfords Limited, where it has seamlessly integrated corporate data, corporate I.T. systems and third party software solutions to optimise the customer experience at Halfords.com and support the needs of its cross-channel customers.</p>

<p>Incorporating a brand new visual design, the new version of Halfords.com supports key customer journeys more effectively - namely research, search, browse & navigation and guided sales. The overriding aim was to make the entire online experience simpler, richer, deeper and more personalised.</p>

<p>Steve Lowe, Head of Service and Channel Development for Halfords, said "We are committed to providing a leading shopping experience and Salmon has been instrumental in this process. We have worked with Salmon to evolve Halfords.com in accordance with our customers' shopping habits and to ensure that our online offering is reflective of our customers' expectations. This investment has centred on improving search, convenience, service; and cross-channel optimisation."</p>

<p>The programme of work undertaken by Salmon was completed over a period of 9 months and includes the implementation of a number of Web 2.0 technologies and best practices.</p>

<p>Key site enhancements include:</p>

<p>- Search process for automobile parts. Customers can now search on car registration or make, model and year of their car for such items as oil, batteries, car bulbs and blades.</p>

<p>- Introduction of 'Guided Selling' for Child Car Seats, CD Audio, Adult Bikes, Kids Bikes and Satellite Navigation products. For customers who may not know which product to purchase but have list of requirements and intended uses, a new guided sales offering is now available. The customer can complete a series of questions which filter a list of product options relevant to the requirements identified.</p>

<p>- Introduction of a call-centre support site to assist the customer through advice, ordering, payment and store reservation. The call-centre site leverages the same platform as Halfords.com site but with additional call-centre features such as 'place order on behalf of'.</p>

<p>Salmon has integrated six best-of-breed ISV (independent software vendor) solutions with the underlying IBM WebSphere Commerce infrastructure to radically enhance Halfords.com; improving product ratings and reviews, providing DirectNews feeds, delivering dynamic imaging and merchandising tools, access to master product information management, site analytics and improved search engine optimisation strategies.</p>

<p>"We are delighted to have Salmon as a strategic eCommerce partner. The Halfords website is fundamental to our multi-channel proposition and the new site offers intuitive functionality to assist product search, selection and purchase. With 80% of the UK's adult population living within a 15 minutes drive of a Halfords store, the principal purpose of the new website is to further encourage customers to visit a Halfords store," continued Lowe.</p>

<p>Core elements of the programme of work delivered by Salmon include:</p>

<p>3rd Party solution integration
<br />
<br />- Bazaarvoice Customer Ratings and Reviews, and Customer Questions and Answers</p>

<p>- DirectNews providing independent news and analysis on Halfords product range.</p>

<p>- Scene7 to facilitate more effective visual merchandising and dynamic imaging of products (zoom and pan) as well as mouse-over on images.</p>

<p>- ITIM Zygon Product Information Management solution to offer customers the ability to buy vehicle specific parts (e.g. oil, bulbs, blades, batteries) based on the make, model, year of their car</p>

<p>- Coremetrics for site and cross channel analytics and tracking</p>

<p>- IBM Omnifind to enable better search engine functionality, and for the development of SEO friendly URLs</p>

<p>- Migration from IBM WebSphere Commerce Professional to Enterprise edition</p>

<p>Site enhancements</p>

<p>- Implementation of new brand visual design incorporating CSS and Ajax</p>

<p>- Deployment of a floating menu navigation scheme</p>

<p>- Improved management of content and product offers via e-Marketing spots</p>

<p>- Introduction of faceted navigation in search and browse to facilitate multiple customer paths and exposure to entire product catalogue</p>

<p>- Introduction of 'Guided Selling' for Child Car Seats, CD Audio, Adult Bikes, Kids Bikes and Satellite Navigation products.</p>

<p>- Online 'Advice Centre' which now dynamically displays relevant content based on search results</p>

<p>- Improved search capabilities for automobile parts (oil, batteries, car bulbs and blades) based on car registration or make, model and year of their car.</p>

<p>- Introduction of a call centre site with additional functionality for Call-Centre representatives to support customer inquiries and purchase options.</p>

<p>- "Quick order forms" that allow shoppers to input Catalogue Numbers for faster product selection.</p>

<p>Other projects delivered as part of the programme of work</p>

<p>- Development of a parallel environment (for testing Halfords 2.0 while Halfords 1.0 being supported)</p>

<p>- Development of a site admin console that allows Halfords business users to manage faceted navigation</p>

<p>About Halfords</p>

<p>Halfords Group plc is the UK's leading auto, leisure and cycling products retailer, with 433 stores and 10,000 employees. It was established in 1892 and was successfully floated on the London Stock Exchange in June 2004. The Group sells 11,000 different product lines, ranging from car parts and cycles through to the latest in-car technology, alloy wheels, child seats, roof boxes and the latest outdoor leisure and camping equipment. Halfords' own brands include Ripspeed, for car enhancement, and Bikehut, for cycles and cycling accessories, including the Apollo and Carrera brands. Stores offer a "WeFit" service for car parts, child seats, satellite navigation and in-car entertainment systems, and a "WeRepair" service for cycles. Customers can now enjoy three different ways to shop with Halfords. Shop in store, buy on-line, or use the new Reserve & Collect service to reserve products on line at <a href="http://www.halfords.com">http://www.halfords.com</a&gt;, the UK's most popular leisure website.</p>

<p>About Salmon</p>

<p>Salmon is a highly innovative global systems integrator whose commitment to on-time, on-budget projects is increasingly embraced by the leading names in retail, insurance and financial services markets. Since 1989, leading brands have been turning to Salmon for its ability to build, integrate and support business-led systems that add measurable competitive value to their day-to-day operations - and to their bottom line. Salmon quickly understand business needs, creates realistic development schedules, and efficiently delivers solutions to plan; based around an ethos that marries a depth and breadth of development skills, with a management process that removes virtually all risk from successful project roll-outs. Customers include Argos, Ann Summers, Bristol & West, Halfords, ICI Paints and Swiss Re.</p>

<p>Salmon is headquartered in Watford, Hertfordshire and has offices in the US, China and Australia. For more details about Salmon visit <a href="http://www.salmon.com">http://www.salmon.com</a></p&gt;

<p>Web: <a href="http://www.salmon.com">http://www.salmon.com</a&gt; </p>

Published on: 8:13AM on 17th December 2008