IN THE BEGINNING
Lancashire Wallpaper and Paint have been a customer of Rochdale Online and the RO Web Solutions team for a number of years, and we developed their original website some time ago.
Initially you might think that selling wallpaper online is not the most obvious thing to do, but spurred on by the success of their eBay shop, LWP approached RO Web Solutions in the Autumn of 2008 to discuss the possibility of migrating their existing gallery-based site to eCommerce.
One of the things that struck us straight away was that the wallpaper images needed to be of sufficient size and quality to make the site visitor comfortable enough to purchase without needing to visit the showroom.
George and Martyn, the proprietors, are naturally very busy people, running a 7-days a week showroom and warehouse, and therefore the new site needed to be easy to manage, and not to take up too much of their valuable time.
In the end we opted for a gallery-based online catalogue concept, using large thumbnails to give the site user a good idea up front of what they were searching for. The wallpaper search and find options are varied, giving the potential customer a range of flexible ways to get to the product they're looking for.
Clicking through to the product detail page displays a larger image, along with additional images (if present), and hovering over the image allows zooming in for much finer detail. All the images are resized and optimised automatically during upload, requiring very little up-front manipulation.
The product detail page makes it easy for the potential purchaser to add the items to their shopping basket, and there are several details to put the visitor at ease, such as clear stock availability and delivery information.
SEARCH ENGINE SUCCESS
Careful studying of web analytics since the site has been trading has led to a number of enhancements that have brought good search engine rankings and now over 80% of site traffic is driven by natural search engine placement.
The website now features on Google's first page for many of the wallpaper manufacturer names, and is often at position 1, beating the manufacturer's own site!
In 2013 George and Martyn wanted to move to a more fully-featured eCommerce platform that provided better shipping cost management in particular, as the site was attracting many overseas customers.
Bigcommerce was the obvious choice, and we were able to migrate over a thousand products over to the new system to minimise duplicate data entry.
The site now boasts an impressive array of features and Lancashire Wallpaper are able to take advantage of additional features such as a data export that integrates with their in-store systems.