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How continual improvements based on user needs has created a successful e-commerce site

Barcham is Europe’s largest tree specialist, growing over 200,000 instant impact trees. With over 20 years’ experience in the industry and a nursery which covers a 300-acre site, they have an extensive collection of light pot system grown trees available to purchase online.

To begin with, Barcham’s main customers were in the wholesale market. However, with a new objective to grow the retail side of their business, they approached us to redesign and revitalise their online presence.

The initial objectives outlined:

  • Provide users with a rich user experience reflecting the quality and brand
  • Ensure potential customers find Barcham when looking to purchase a tree
  • Increase retail sales online

Exceptional Service

When visiting the Barcham Trees nursery in person, customers receive a high level of service and a great deal of guidance when making their purchase. We needed to convey the same experience online.

Making sure user experience reflects the quality of the brand

When exploring user experience with the client, we set clear goals to ensure the new site makes it easy for customers to find the tree they want and provides a channel for Barcham to give guidance and aid decision making. We also wanted to ensure that the site created confidence and trust during the purchasing process.

The existing site had a low number of mobile users, a high bounce rate from devices, and an average visit duration of almost half compared to desktops. It was a must to build the new site in a responsive manner. By doing this, we ensured that the new site fits any size device it’s accessed from.

To allow customers to find their perfect tree as easily as possible we added functionality to enable users to search via the method best suited to their needs. This includes a keyword search for those who know exactly what they need, through to a question-based tree finder to aid those requiring guidance.

The team at Studio 24 supported the changes we required on our website using a targeted and committed approach. We wanted to make changes in an iterative manner, which the team facilitated. This enabled us to focus on the easy wins – getting them live and being used on the website quickly. It has been great to see the changes we have made to the Search and Upsell mechanisms make such an immediate difference to our online sales.

Ellen Carvey, Sales Director

Since starting work on Barcham’s digital marketing strategy, we have gathered some pretty impressive results.

52% increase in users since 2015

49% increase in online sales from 2016 to 2017

46% increase in revenue from 2016

330% increase in sales of accessories

Creating more sales through Digital Marketing

To help meet one of the key objectives of ensuring those looking to purchase a tree find Barcham, they enlisted the help of our digital marketing team. As part of this ongoing contract our work includes management of both their Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) and Pay Per Click (PPC) advertising, alongside email marketing advice.

User Testing to increase sales of hydration bags

Part of the ongoing work included user testing with existing customers to review the site, with the ultimate goal of increasing sales for the planting kit and hydration bags alongside every tree bought through their site.

Barcham Trees were keen to make iterative enhancements to the website as soon as possible, so we launched improvements to search first, followed by improvements to the rest of the site. We prototyped search improvements in the browser, which allowed Barcham Trees to quickly review and feedback on the new approach – and we could launch this update just three weeks after the project commenced. Alongside prototyping the search improvements, we worked on the design and user experience improvements for the rest of the site. These were demonstrated to Barcham Trees using InVision, bringing the designs to life on-screen and showing how they will look on desktop, tablet and mobile.

This allowed Barcham to approve the updates with the knowledge of how they would work responsively.

In January 2017, we launched the second set of site improvements and our Digital Marketing team monitored sales through Google Analytics to see what impact they had on sales. In the first three months following launch, there has been a huge 20% uplift in sales on the site. 24% of these are from new buyers, and sales of accessories have gone up a whopping 330% from adding up-selling opportunities to the checkout. This brings Barcham Trees much closer to their target of selling a planting kit or hydration bag alongside every tree bought on their site.