Beaverbrook's has been a trusted jeweller since 1919 with 65 stores across the UK. In 2009 the high street retailer identified their online sales as an area to improve and boost revenue at a time when the luxury goods market was in the grip of a brutal recession.
The existing site had 4,500 products listed but with an audience where people need help to refine their search, ‘feel the weight’ of their investment and choose from a series of payment options - the existing site simply didn’t match customer expectations. Furthermore it was difficult to navigate, had a poor conversion rate and the sales function simply did not integrate with any of the existing stock control and finance systems.
CTI have recently updated the design and frontend of the site in collaboration with Beaverbrook's design agency to match the new corporate branding.
CTI made a brave decision to reject the early brief they recognised did not offer an appropriate solution to the client’s business needs. Instead total technical integration with existing systems, refined designs and a radically different approach to the site search feature has led to outstanding results.
As a technically focused agency, CTI recognised that the Magento platform would not deliver the degree of back-house integration and recommended a bespoke ecommerce content management system that integrated entirely with Beaverbrooks’ in-house systems, including SOAP (Simple Object Access Protocol) the largely inflexible internal system that was already in place.
CTI recommended complete integration of Hitachi, the client’s finance provider, to allow payment options along with the introduction of a new product tagging system that would help to guide shoppers through the online purchase process faster and improve search listings to drive traffic. CTI urged a focus on content to help add ‘weight’ to the purchasing decision so that the shopper has a clearer idea of the value of the item they are purchasing and to improve search results. Beaverbrooks were previously using just a few words to describe expensive watches, rings and earrings.
Benefits and Results
The www.beaverbrooks.co.uk website now provides a unique, aspirational retail experience to 100,000's of visitors every month and permeates the brand and values Beaverbrooks has spent over a century establishing. Improvements to the website include:
Improved usability and customer journey.
Seamless integration with the existing payment gateway and finance provision.
Interface with all internal systems such as stock control
Increased conversion rate
Improved dwell time
It took a team of six three months to build the bespoke system. CTI used a foundation of Linux and Apache, worked with a MySQL database and used PHP to integrate the new platform with the existing in-house systems. This meant that the Beaverbrooks team could continue to use the systems they were familiar with to populate the website and that any changes in stock availability could be instantly updated across the retail and online portfolio.
CTI facilitated working sessions with Hitachi to gain greater understanding of their existing platform. This deeper knowledge meant that CTI could introduce the full range of payment options: Immediate payment (using Google, PayPal or credit/debit card), or pay on finance over 6, 9 or 12 months.
CTI continue to work with Beaverbrooks and we have several enhancements and new features planned over the next 6 months. CTI also have a bespoke SLA agreement in place to support the site.