Small Merchant

Sep 01, 2009 9:30 PM  By

SILVER: Web Channel

This site is a savior for busy parents and anyone else planning a child’s birthday party. Birthday in a Box offers up more than 100 themes for kids’ parties and baby showers, plus thousands of party supplies and accessories such as pinatas, decorations, favors, personalized invites and banners.

WHY IT WON A SILVER AWARD: For a small site, does a lot of things right. For one, take the top and left-hand navigation: It’s comprehensive and offers you enough choices, and the user isn’t totally dependent on text search to navigate throughout the site.

The merchandising range is impressive. “Great merchandise categories: first birthday, parties under $100, personalized, baby shower,” said one judge, noting that the cross merchandising enables shoppers to complete the entire party.

WHY IT DIDN’T WIN A GOLD AWARD: The copy is basic, “nothing too flashy,” noted one panelist. There’s an opportunity for improvement here. — TP

Creative director: Heidi Weber

Marketing manager: Nicole Beidler

Webmaster: Laura Federline

Merchandiser: Kerry Maguire Cox

Photographers: Meg Lang, Guy Crittenden

Business analyst: Laura Hill

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SILVER: Web Channel

Century Novelty is here to help you get this party started. The site offfers a serious selection of fun and unique party favors, supplies and decorations for nearly every occasion. Products range from luau leis and Elvis wigs to graduation caps and beer stein centerpieces for Oktoberfest.

WHY IT WON A SILVER AWARD: has an intelligent search engine mechanism and logical upsell recommendations integrated with the shopping experience. When an item is unavailable in the desired quantity, recommended substitute products are displayed both on the item page and the basket page. “I like that they use the left nav for promo space” such as same-day shipping and testimonials, said one judge.

The carousel on the entry page is well done, and “the perpetual cart is great,” said one panelist, “as is the recently viewed items.”

WHY IT DIDN’T WIN A GOLD AWARD: Several judges thought the site’s navigation needed some work. should also “work harder at minimizing the number of clicks it to takes to buy something,” said one panelist. — TP

Co-Creative directors: Joe Genovesi, Ian MacDonald

Marketing director: Ian MacDonald

Website designer: Mathematic Arts

Merchandiser/copywriter: Jill Witkopp

Search engine marketing: Ian MacDonald, Jill Witkopp

Photographer/illustrator: Joe Genovesi