Drupal meets eCommerce: promoting products without payment

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About the Client

Churchill are a premium supplier of high-quality tableware for the hospitality industry. With a long-established history, trading and developing since 1795, Churchill now supply to hospitality establishments in over 70 countries worldwide. They combine historical origins with ever-evolving technological advancements, ensuring the company’s authority and longevity.

Business Challenge

Churchill were operating on a Drupal 6 platform, with a non-intuitive system. This made management of their extensive catalogue (over 2,300 products) time-consuming and laborious. They needed to migrate to a modernised platform and to improve the user experience that their site offered. This involved designing a new navigation, improving search capabilities and rationalising product variations.

The new site needed to be aimed at a variety of audiences, from general consumers within the hospitality industry to larger global distributors. As such, we designed a reactive project, meeting with the client multiple times a week, to develop a clear acceptance criteria for the project.

Ostensibly an e-commerce site, Churchill China required a customised site with the capacity to distribute samples. As such, we used Drupal Commerce, to provide a shopping cart, checkout and to capture information during the “purchase” process.

Responsive Design

We implemented a responsive design to present a polished digital appearance across all devices, from a single URL. Developing the Drupal theme to have a content hierarchy, we designed the website to provide the same high-quality user experience on desktop, tablet and mobile screens.

Informed Information Architecture

We designed a logical information architecture, in order to present an extensive product range and a vast quantity of informative content, in a simple and manageable way. We intelligently grouped content, to make relevant features easy to find. This involved creating a navigation with primary and secondary elements, in order to immediately present the user with key topics, before filtering down into more specific subject areas. This navigation is accessible from the header of every site page, promoting an easy customer journey throughout.

Informative Product Listings

To provide comprehensive product listing pages, we developed a variety of different content options. Each product page can include images, PDF attachments, textual product details and dimensions, metadata, and a variety of CTAs.

Producing a consistent standard, the product listing pages were designed with a clean and clear aesthetic. The new pages provide all key information, regarding size, cost and material, for both the individual product and the standard delivery carton. Importantly, all dimensions are automatically generated in both metric and imperial measurements, in order to appeal to a global market.

Using flexible Drupal modules, and a simplified content management system, editors can customise content and then duplicate templates where relevant, to ensure consistency across the site. For example, sitewide landing pages adhere to uniform guidelines, presenting a visually engaging overview of content.

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Granular Security

To increase security on the site, we introduced login levels. Users are able to add to their sample cart at any time, but they must register and login to complete their order. Once logged in, a user’s cart is saved and easily accessed across all channels and devices; this improves the user experience and prevents abandoned carts.

The login detail simplified the back-end process for Churchill employees, regarding the review of sample requests. Integrated with Churchill’s fulfilment system, the new site creates an xml file each time a logged in user completes an order. Beyond intelligent information gathering, an overall webmaster at Churchill can create accounts to delegate actions for staff, utilising different login levels. With only certain staff members tasked with managing sample orders, Churchill is able to streamline and secure their operations.

Brochure Branding

Aimed at global distributors who use the Churchill site to stock their warehouses, we designed a customisable brochure feature. Each product page includes an ‘Add to Brochure’ call-to-action, allowing distributors to select only the most relevant product ranges to appear in a personalised, downloadable PDF brochure.

Otherwise, pre-existing brochures for each range can be downloaded at just the click of a button.

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Regional personalisation

Operating globally, in over 70 countries, Churchill needed the ability to personalise their offering dependent on region. An efficient filter solution restricts content, based on a user’s location. Listing pages can be customised and curated to present specific combinations; even the navigation can be altered accordingly. Integrating the capability to create region-specific collections and to tag products as visible for only certain regions, Churchill now have complete control over who sees what and where. This enables a streamlined fulfilment and delivery service across their global distributor network.


As a long-established brand, operational for over 200 years, the new website needed to update and modernise Churchill’s identity, whilst adhering to existing brand guidelines. In order to allow on-brand publishing quickly and easily, we used themes to ensure consistent branding.

An important part of the Churchill brand identity is their investor relations. As such, we created an area of the site dedicated to providing accessible information regarding the company personnel and performance.


Quality Assurance (QA) Testing

All of our projects undergo rigorous testing, throughout the software development process. In order to deliver the utmost quality for clients and their respective users, our in-house QA team ensure that all end products perform accurately and reliably under normal and abnormal conditions. Testing is followed by continual monitoring of software performance, to prevent reoccurrence of any issues and to ensure efficient ongoing operation.

As such, we were able to confidently deliver a well-designed, scalable and technically stable result.


The resulting Churchill website is modern and innovative, as an e-commerce site without the purchase element. We delivered an up-to-date, customisable website, allowing Churchill to showcase their vast and growing product selection. The new site also integrates features designed to help Churchill offer a personalised service to users and clients.

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