Supercharging the web presence of IDS... boosting online sales
International Decorative Surfaces (IDS) part of the Saint Gobain Group, was looking to strengthen its online presence to increase online sales, reduce admin and improve its return on investment.
IDS wanted a new web platform that enabled customers to buy products and order samples online. It was vital that the platform was adaptable to changing future needs and allowed the IDS team to easily manage the business’s web presence, while controlling content and promotion.
- IDSurfaces – A full eCommerce website aimed at trade, commercial buyers and retailers of IDS products.
- Brand websites – A suite of brand websites to inspire end-users and drive them to retailers, as well as encouraging specifiers and architects to consider IDS products.
- Makeover Centre – A website aimed at domestic end-users and tradesmen, offering a full eCommerce and ‘click and collect’ service.
- IDS Briefcase – A sales management tool aimed at external sales teams to help them sell products to retailers, commercial buyers and other distributors.
Learning from the analytics data
By looking at user data from Google Analytics on its existing site, such as visitor numbers, sessions times, drop offs and which pages were getting most visits, we identified what was working well and what needed improving. These insights included:
- Users were most interested in product category pages, confirming that easy navigation and ability to find product information was vital.
- Exit page analysis told us that the find us and contact us pages were under performing
- Mobiles and tablets made up around 30% of traffic to the existing website. The fact the site wasn’t responsive suggested this could be significantly improved
- 40% of visitors were returning visitors, suggesting that an ‘intelligent search’ functionality would be useful.
Focusing on the customer experience – IDSurfaces.co.uk
The priority for the main IDSurfaces website was to make the customer journey, from first click to checkout, as simple and intuitive as possible.
Seamless Experience Across All Devices
Some of the key design features we used to achieve this included:
- Mega menu, divided by product type and brand – making navigation through the website quick and easy.
- Device responsive – firstly, design was created for mobile then for desktop to ensure the customer journey was consistent across all devices.
- Intelligent search – allowing returning visitors to easily find product information.
- Quick view on product pages – allowing customers to add products to comparison lists without navigating away from the page.
- Product filters – multiple product filters, including range, colour, finish, material, size and features, making products quick and easy to find.
- Moodboard – allowing visitors to build a shareable imagery bank.
Focusing on the customer experience – IDSurfaces.co.uk
It was decided that each brand website would have its own feed to enable easy searching by type, use, design, brand, etc.
We built the website on an integrated eCommerce platform that ensured product management was as simple and smooth as possible. We created bespoke software – MagSync – that automatically takes information from IDS’s warehouse and stock management system – Maginus – and feeds it into the eCommerce platform to show stock availability and pricing. It also powers the product data on the brand websites.
To make this work seamlessly, all product information needed to be held in one centralised PIMs system. But with over 10,000 products, 21.6 million prices and 30,000 customer accounts, handling this amount of data securely and smoothly, without impacting the user experience, was vital.
We worked with Maginus and the Saint Gobain team in Paris to build a robust API connector to transfer the data. This meant on logging into the website, the system was able to retrieve product data, pricing and stock in under three seconds without having any effect on the customer experience.
Multiple sites - one consistent brand
To ensure a consistent look and feel for the layout and functionality across the different brand websites, template designs were used for key pages such as the homepage, information page, category page, product page and find a retailer. These were then tailored to align with the different brands.
Consistent message and experience
Key features included:
- Find a branch – with a postcode search facility and Google Map locations.
- Inspiration page – allowing users to filter images based on colours and styles.
- Order a sample – users can select a product and order up to five product swatches.
- Intelligent search – allowing customers to search on a variety of factors, including colour, product code or size.
IDS brand sites showcase full product offerings
Gateshead go ahead
Gateshead was used as a pilot project for developing a series of branch-specific websites. The branches tend to be located on industrial estates, so local visibility can be low. IDS wanted to increase trade footfall and entice consumers to look at products in-store.
Using the same templates created for the brand websites, a website was created for the Gateshead branch, in conjunction with a PPC Campaign to increase online presence and drive traffic into the store. The URL was set up on the multi-site and the branding applied and populated by the client. The Gateshead branch website was set up in November 2017, with the possibility of further branch websites in the future.
Briefcase - helping the sales teams to sell more
Briefcase was developed as an online sales tool for sales reps on location. It contains all product and corporate literature, technical documents, product bulletins, presentations and display stand information. It also provides the team with a social media platform to see updates on the latest product promotions, with an iPad App being built later on in the year to allow full offline access to files.
The Makeover Centre - keeping it simple
The makeover centre targets consumers and small trade customers, with a narrower, more focused product base available for immediate collection. Launched in 2018, it runs off the same CS Cart platform as the IDSurfaces site with a different store front.
Agile project management
Our dedicated project management team consisted of a UX designer working on wireframes, visual designs and the customer journey, alongside programming teams focusing on the WordPress websites, and on the eCommerce platform and integration.
Each project began with a kick-off meeting to agree objectives and requirements. The whole team then worked together to produce a clear project scope, covering all technical requirements and making sure that these matched the needs of each specific customer. Meetings were held every two weeks to ensure the project was running smoothly and to provide the opportunity to speak to the whole team.
We used Trello as a project management tool shared with the full team and IDS. This made project snagging and testing easy to manage with notifications being received when a snag was added, and the client being notified when the task had been completed and was ready for checking.
As a result of the work, Ben Edwards the Digital Marketing Coordinator at IDS won Employee of the Year for his involvement in the project.
“We wanted an agency that could really help bring IDS’ online presence to the forefront of the industry, and Lesniak Swann have done just that. Our old websites were difficult to manage and didn’t have the capabilities for us to expand our business online. Their wealth of experience and knowledge of the online customer journey, eCommerce and integration into our systems has been invaluable and it’s really brought IDS into the online market place. They are constantly providing us with new suggestions to help us further improve the customer experience both online and offline and the feedback from our customers and sales managers has been great! We look forward to working with Lesniak Swann moving forward and would recommend them for any projects of this nature.”