Redesigned website offers better user experience
By Connie Faber
Consumers are continuing to spend more time and money shopping online and Kindred Productions (KP), the North American Mennonite Brethren publishing ministry, has recently updated its website to improve the shopping experience of USMB and Canadian patrons.
Elenore Doerksen, KP manager, says the new website, unveiled in early December 2013, benefits both customers and the ministry.
“We redesigned the website to hopefully offer a better experience to users, to have a more modern look and to allow us more control over the content, functionality and layout of the site,” says Doerksen, who works from the Winnipeg, Man., office of the Canadian Conference of MB Churches (CCMBC).
Because the new website was designed by CCMBC staff using an open platform, Doerksen says KP can more quickly update its online shopping site since the agency no longer works with a third party website management company.
Doerksen anticipates that the new website will allow the agency to add services in the future, including downloadable e-books and PDFs.
KP will continue to work with both U.S. and Canadian national and district/provincial boards to provide specific materials for study conferences and other events. “We hope to do more with providing online reading lists for these events,” says Doerksen. “We want it to be an easy experience for people to obtain these resources.”
KP is owned by CCMBC and serves both Canada and the U.S. Its publishing focus is providing resources unique to the Mennonite Brethren faith.
“You would have trouble finding these books someplace else,” says Doerksen.
For example, the current KP bestseller, according to Doerksen, is It Happened in Moscow: A Memoir of Discovery by Maureen S. Klassen. This book, published in June 2013 and already reprinted five times, tells the story of the Mennonite Brethren statesman C.F. Klassen’s family and their immigration to Canada in the 1920s and the tale of many “lost ones” who stayed in Russia and suffered under the rule of Joseph Stalin.
Patrons interested in knowing about new KP resources can email the ministry and ask to be added to the KP email list. Subscribers will be notified of specials from time to time, says Doerksen. For example, subscribers were offered free shipping in early December in celebration of the new website.
USMB provides a subsidy to help cover some of the costs of operating in the U.S., and so KP hires a U.S. representative, a position currently filed by Amy Sterk, who works from her home in Goessel, Kan. Sterk represents KP at USMB district and national conventions and conferences, mails Rejoice! devotionals, keeps a stock of the most popular resources and processes U.S. payments.
Since KP serves USMB congregations, the agency tries to subsidize shipping to the U.S. For this reason, some U.S. customers may prefer to place their orders by phone (1-800-545-7322) or email (email@example.com) to obtain favorable shipping rates.
Readers who visit the new website (www.kindredproductions.com) can receive free shipping through March 31, 2014, on orders up to $100. The coupon code is USMB.