Magento Design and Build for Direct Heating Supplies

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award winning website redesign

The Client

Direct Heating Supplies is one of the UK’s largest stockists and sellers of heating accessories – including radiators, boilers, plumbing and spares. Retailing exclusively online, they offer a huge database of products from big-name heating brands to customers across the country.

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The Brief

As an online retailer, Direct Heating Supplies already had a long-established website, which was more than five years old. The time had come to get one step ahead of the competition. Their existing site was heavily bespoke, meaning it was inflexible and left them with their hands tied. It was slow to load, with a sluggish user journey that resulted in frustrated customers. We were called in to rectify the situation – allowing them to become trailblazers once more, with a fresh new website.

How we approached the challenge

Our first job was to find the right CMS to handle such large-scale ecommerce. Magento was the logical solution, as it’s geared up to handle the shop’s huge range of more than 60,000 products. It’s a reliable platform too, which was a must considering the existing site saw 10,000 unique visits per month.

The next task was to look at user journeys. In consultation with Direct Heating Supplies, we analysed the current user paths and used this data to enhance the UX of the new site. We had a clear idea of what customers needed to do, and how we would help them to do it. This dictated both design and development decisions, via a product-led user journey.

As a fast-growing business, Magento offered another vital ingredient: a fully-scalable solution. It allowed Direct Heating Supplies to scale up in-house via the CMS. And, in conjunction with us at Bing Digital, there was plenty of scope to create new functionality with ease.

Mobile ecommerce (or mcommerce) is now a big slice of the market, so a fully-responsive site tailored to specific devices was a must. We developed slightly different user journeys depending on the viewing platform – whether iPhone, iPad, Android or any other popular device. That meant there was a faster route to product, with the aim of boosting mobile conversion rates.

The huge product range also highlighted the need for easy navigation. Our UX team created new user journeys, including product and category highlights within search results and a layered navigation to view each item by brand or specification.

Product pages were a big consideration for usability, too. Each item needed high-level information as well as pdf downloads, clear delivery information, and call to actions. We also developed an onsite chat facility, related products section, and bundled products.

Last but not least, we needed functionality to really set Direct Heating Supplies apart from their competition. So we created a ‘shopping list’ section, which can be saved, viewed and purchased at a later date. It’s especially handy for customers to double-check an order with their plumber, to make sure it’s spot on.

How did it turn out?

Since the new website went live, Direct Heating Supplies have had an overwhelmingly positive response from existing customers. Analytics show that the bounce rate is down, page load time has decreased from 6 secs to 2 secs, and there has been a sharp increase in conversion rates. That means more sales, fewer abandoned baskets, and boosted turnover.

We are now continuing to work with the client to grow their online offering and develop their digital marketing strategy.