…But we at the John W. Kennedy Company decided to expand on Henrik Ibsen’s 1913 roughly coined phrase by making a picture more than just a picture worth a thousand words. We decided to make them a shopping tool and informational resource with simple mouse clicks on one image.
May not sound like anything different you’ve seen until you’ve seen JWK’s SBI – Shop By Image feature!
The John W. Kennedy Company has been using image mapping to organize information and build quotes off of since the early 2000s for a few of our larger customers. So it was only natural when we launched our online store in 2016 to use them directly to shop from as well, allowing site visitors to add equipment and parts directly to their shopping carts from an image! We have simply kept this feature on the down-low, mentioning them here and there to get a feel as to whether they would be used and how often.
In late 2018, working with our eCommerce provider, we customized our site to integrate image mapping directly into our eCommerce solution to allow us to map images in-house and drop them on our site to create a powerful tool that is becoming more and more popular. There is no middle people involved; just us, an image and our site! From concept to reality in less time than it can take to get a quote most days.
Blue Hill Express, Canton, MA 2009 image map
Blue Hill Express, Canton MA Encore dispenser image mapped from 2009
We have mapped out everything from exploded view parts breakdowns to an entire gas station. Some of those early image maps are still being used many years later. One set of complex maps compared the customer’s current spec to their proposed upgrade and the associated costs. Unfortunately, we can not disclose them due to their proprietary nature and agreements made with the customers but the impact they made was powerful.
In the case of new products, it allows us to hit the ground running by building the new products with a high degree of consistency and accuracy with all pertinent resources in tow such as product images, literature and videos . Kennedy warehouse staff even use them to identify components they are unfamiliar with in various systems like pipeworks.
Fairfield SCM-5DS simple image map of exploded view
The early image maps (like the ones above and to the left of Blue Hill Express) were much more involved and required several expensive software apps to create over the span of a few days that didn’t look nearly as sharp or cool as what we can do now.
By the time we made our jump to eCommerce in 2016, we were able to create them with one piece of open source software that provided a much cleaner look to the finished map with even more functionality. With all the information at our fingertips and all products in our system, simple image maps can be created in less than an hour like the Fairfield Industries SCM-5DS you see pictured to the right, while more complex ones may take a half day or more.
No “hover” effects for non-mouse driven devices
This is really a bit of a downer we hope to figure a way around moving forward but not holding our breath at a quick and easy solution. While you can still use the image maps on tablets and smartphones, they don’t provide the same impact, functionality, nor are the images as big as they are on a desktop or laptop but again, they still work and can be used on such devices. And depending on the browser being used on tablets and smartphones, some will open with just a touch while others require you to touch and hold to open a new tab. Yeah, I agree, the inconsistency in web browsers from device to device and IO to IO is pretty bad as well. We are all still learning this new digital world, even those building it. This is why you will not find a direct link to any image maps on the mobile version of our site as we do not drive customers away by frustrating them with a feature that does not work the same on every device.
At this time, the most popular image maps are the Franklin Fueling FE Petro submersible pump exploded views.
These very popular maps are used multiple times a day to find parts and provide much needed information in a format not found anywhere else and that’s where the John W. Kennedy Company excels over all others; provide much need information in a timely manner. We know who’s looking, who’s buying and when. We know vendors and our competition use our site for information from not just our analytics but from the horse’s mouth. What does it say about the competition when they use our site over their own or the vendors to get information from?
Pretty telling to say the least!
That tells us what we’ve known for nearly a century, information is still king! And that’s the best way we know how to win a customer’s loyalty; it’s not just about price but the support network and the timeliness of that support. This can also be seen with our trade shows we’ve hosted since the 90s and our daily efforts since 1930. And now, we are just trying to carry that effort forward to the digital world wide web.
So by all means, please click on the image below to explore our Shop By Image page that features mapped images from Fairfield Industries, Franklin Fueling Systems’ brands (Corrosion Control, Cable Tight, EBW, EVO, FE Petro and UPP), Morrison Brothers, NUPI, Omntec and OPW with more to follow!If you have any suggestions for image maps you would like to see, please feel free to email Shop By Image Suggeston
and if the resources are available, we will do our best to make it happen!
Can’t find what you are looking for on our site or have questions? Feel free to call us at 1.800.451.4021 or EMAIL US
The John W. Kennedy Company appreciates your business and continued support!