Rocketspark and Wintec partner to get local business online for free

Wintec Diploma Supply Chain and Logistics students have built 80 websites for local businesses

Wintec students studying supply chain and logistics have built 80 websites for local businesses.

A partnership with a purpose has seen Wintec students using Rocketspark’ s five-star web building platform to create free e-commerce sites for Waikato businesses.

More than 80 ecommerce websites have been built by Wintec students studying the Graduate Diploma in Supply Chain Logistics since 2019 for start-ups and existing businesses.

Rocketspark, a small Cambridge-based software company, has a big heart when it comes to lending a helping hand to support IT education and making operating online a reality for local businesses.

Supporting local business owners facing the effects of a Covid-19 hampered economy and new startups are areas in need and Head of Partnerships at Rocketspark, Jason Tiller, says they will continue to supply their award-winning website builder and work with students to continue the successful programme.

“Every business needs a website and the students can design a bespoke ecommerce website for a local business, for free.

“This partnership is creating a path for business to sell online, and it proves you don’t need to outlay massive amounts of money to launch into the e-commerce space.”

Once the site is designed, Wintec students ‘hand over the keys’ to the new owners who can then choose to go onto Rocketspark’s paid subscription plans and launch their websites.

The Rocketspark team celebrating local business success at the 2019 Waipa Business AwardsThe Rocketspark team celebrating local business success at the 2019 Waipa Business Awards.

Paula Sutton is well known in the Hamilton business world as Chief Operating Officer of Waikato Chamber of Commerce, but she also operates a small business with her sister, Amy creating artworks that celebrate New Zealand.

They had no visible presence online until Paula worked with Wintec students last semester on a new ecommerce website for Ampa.

“Working with the students from Wintec was an absolute pleasure,” says Sutton.

“The students took their time in getting to know us and understand what we wanted from a new website that more accurately reflected our brand. Our new online presence now echoes our passion for creating good quality artwork that celebrates New Zealand.”

Tiller adds that while the world has changed in many ways due to COVID-19, ecommerce has grown significantly.

“When New Zealand went into its first lockdown phase from March to May this year, ecommerce grew significantly when only the stores providing essential products could trade. This trend accelerated as restrictions were lifted from Level 3 and beyond.”

This ecommerce graph from Rocketspark shows the effect of COVID-19 on businessThis graph from Rocketspark demonstrates the steep growth in online sales from the outset of Level 4 to the easing of Level 2 in New Zealand.

Wintec academic Ehsan Yaeghoobi tutors the Graduate Diploma in Supply Chain Logistics, a programme for people who already have a degree, or relevant work experience and want to upskill into supply chain and management positions.

“Supply chain logistics is an increasingly exciting and vital space connecting suppliers, distributors, manufacturers, wholesalers and retailers to end users. Ecommerce is an important link, and Covid-19 has shown that being able to sell online and deliver in contactless ways is now more important than ever.  It is a vital link in the supply chain,” says Yaeghoobi.

The students’ work is overseen and mentored by Rocketspark Design Partner Rachel Bauer from Luna Solutions. Rocketspark’s award-winning Customer Success team is also made available to students throughout the programme.

Wintec and Rocketspark’s practical website design programme aims to give Wintec students real-life insight into what’s required for a business to operate online, the ecommerce web building process and how to set it up in a way that Google likes, so it can be found by potential customers.

“Once our students have completed their projects, the website is handed over to the business owner who will then be able to edit their content and go live with a special offer from Rocketspark for ongoing hosting,” adds Yaeghoobi.

“Our business partners get a website that meets current industry best practice and our students benefit from the experience of building that site, understanding customer requirements and focusing on what works for them and their customer base.”

Wintec Group Director Business and Enterprise, Sam Cunnane says the partnership is a great example of students benefitting from an authentic experience as part of their programme of learning.

“Rocketspark has been incredibly generous with their expertise and their software, and our students and the businesses that have come to us are at the winning end of this.”

Business owners interested in getting a free ecommerce website designed by Wintec students, can contact Ehsan.yaeghoobi@wintec.ac.nz.

Find out more about studying supply chain and logistics at Wintec.

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