E-FILES: Web site pushes essential drug

This funky site is an uncluttered but effective combination of orange and black images through which customers can click through to buy coffee and its paraphernalia retail and wholesale.

www.roastedaddiqtion.co.nz

According to the Web site of Auckland developers Ibex, which put together the Roasted Addiqtion site, the brief was simple: "Roasted Addiqtion demanded a striking Web presence which gave equal amounts of focus to their coffee wholesaling activities, their flagship cafe in Kingsland and their award-winning advertising campaign which pushed home the fact that coffee is a real (and essential!) drug, and they are the pushers." This it achieves with some style.

The funky site, which is an uncluttered but effective combination of orange and black images through which customers can click through to buy coffee and its paraphernalia retail and wholesale, recently underwent revision, with a new product catalogue and more information categories including a detailed guide to making espresso.

The site was launched two-and-a-half years ago and the content was changed a year later. Ibex also recently provided company director Dominic O'Rourke with an administration package that allows him to change site details on the fly. "It's good for doing specials."

Keeping the content fresh is vital as visitors only go back to updated sites. People buying online are professionals, O'Rourke says, and it needs to reflect the company as a result. He is hoping for new customers, particularly retail, through the site, and acknowledges the wholesale coffee supply chain is relatively conservative and will take time to catch on. Online business is "not too bad", and he says he is happy if the site attracts one or two new wholesale accounts a year along with its regular retail customers.

He regularly gets US enquiries, as they like the look of the site, the sound of the blends and the cost in US dollars, but says US distribution is not likely. Roasted Addiqtion buys its coffee through Australia, so a venture there may be possible in future. The company was set up by O'Rourke with a couple of partners five years ago. They no longer run the Kingsland (Auckland) cafe.

At present credit card orders are processed through an Eftpos terminal, though online transactions are planned through Ibex and a company called DPS (www.dps.co.nz) as soon as a few compatibility problems are remedied. O'Rourke is open about development costs. The initial spend was $3500 "for everything", followed by about another $2000 over the years, including the new administration package. The site is hosted by Ibex.

O'Rourke is keen to link the site with other gourmet products, perhaps on a "per hit" basis. He says the coffee business is getting more and more competitive, with perhaps 18 more coffee roasters selling into Auckland than five years ago, and he expects cafe casualties later in the year. Roasted Addiqtion attempts to stand apart by selling as a premium priced brand with quality packaging, merchandise and training for cafes.

Ibex says the site is largely static, with underlying JavaScript and RXML to "ease the passage" of those using older browsers. The Roxen Web server runs Redhat 5.x Linux, and uses the MySQL database engine.

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