The story behind the new “shop.UN.org” site
The United Nations Publications team has a mandate to promote the work and knowledge of the United Nations, its Funds, Agencies and Programmes to the global audience, complementing ongoing dissemination activities. This outreach targets the general public, policy-makers, librarians, researchers, students and academia through various marketing activities and networks. All proceeds generated by the Sales and Marketing Section go to the general fund to support the work of the Organization.
Earlier this year, the section launched Shop.UN.org, a brand new e-commerce platform-. Designed with brand new technology and employing all the current features the online portal allows customers around the world to search for and purchase United Nations publications in just a few clicks. An extensive selection of thousands of UN books, periodicals, reports and more is now available to browse and purchase in print and electronic formats.
In addition to the home page being available in all six UN official languages, and respecting accessibility best practices, Shop.UN.org incorporates the following features:
- Responsive web design allowing users to shop on the go with their smartphone or tablet;
- Improved layout and semantic search functionality to help users swiftly find the content they are looking for;
- An easy and quick checkout process.
The previous e-commerce site had on average 20,000 users per month before it became inactive in April 2015. With this improved accessibility and search functionality the new site hopes to garner increased online traffic and sales and become an indispensable tool for those seeking vital UN information
The aggregation of United Nations content in one place provides intrinsic value to many stakeholders. UN Publications’ clients use its website as a primary search tool to find the latest publications produced by the United Nations System. It is also an important tool for our global network of 60 sales agents who welcome its arrival.
Positive feedback has been coming in from business partners such as Patrice Piguet from Planetis Ltd in Switzerland: “Excellent job, great tool, we have made sales right away…”
The modernized e-commerce platform was created in cooperation with graphic designers in the Outreach Division of the Department of Public Information. It is an excellent example of cooperation within the Organization and grew out of the homegrown title management system, baptized PubHub, which forms the back-end of the e-commerce site.
PubHub manages the data of 5,000+ publications and feeds title meta-data to the customer interface, Shop.UN.org. The development of these tools are key milestones towards the ultimate goal of creating a digital eco-system that will feed meta-data to on-line book retailers and further expand the reach of UN content by making books available across all trade channels.
It will also help further strengthen the print-on-demand programme, which not only is economical and improves product delivery time but is a sustainable printing practice that UN Publications has been following for many years.
“In line with the Sustainable Development Goals, we have been and will continue working towards an environmentally friendly supply chain, incorporating digital publishing and print-on-demand in order to avoid waste of paper and other resources,” said Sherri Aldis, chief of sales and marketing . “It is, however, important to maintain print publications for many markets in the developing world in order to provide access to UN knowledge for all.”
With these technological advancements and new tools in place, the Sales & Marketing Section is committed to making the Organization’s invaluable work widely discoverable and accessible to all users around the world.