RSL Awards

Headless eCommerce & booking website for an international awarding body

RSL Awards is an international awarding body based in the UK that provides music grading, lessons, exams and learning materials.

They had an established offline network of schools, colleges, universities, music teachers and students who purchased their lessons, materials and gradings but their digital infrastructure was segmented. RSL needed to digitally transform their online ecosystem with the delivery of a new headless eCommerce website and technology stack to deliver a seamless omni-channel user experience.

Lead time:
12 Months
Sector:
Musical Education & Awards
Target Type:
B2B & B2C
Demographic
Music Teachers & Schools, Parents, International Distributors
Website Goal:
Increase sales, Increase teacher sign ups, modernise the interface
Services:
Web Design, Web Development, Headless Shopify, WordPress, Digital Marketing, eCommerce, Digital Transformation

The challenge

Having grown organically over time, RSL’s website had become disjointed and difficult to use. It utilised a number of different systems, websites and technologies to deliver a broad range of functions. For example, one website was used to sell learning materials and another was used for lesson and exam bookings. This segmented approach overcomplicated the user experience and made it impossible to purchase complimentary products such as lessons, music books and exams together.

RSL challenged us to overhaul their digital infrastructure and deliver a unified website with an omni-channel user experience that would deliver a high quality and consistent user experience.

View site

Our approach

Our team delivered a digital transformation process for RSL, selecting new technology that would enable them to unify their user journeys into a single intuitive website with more accessible content.

By combining the user journeys, we enabled RSL to tap into the gift giving market which funds a significant proportion of musical education, with the majority of learning being financed by parents or grandparents.

We delivered a technology review, proof of concept, new website, headless eCommerce system and SEO strategy to create a high performance website that was intuitive, flexible and provided a seamless user experience. The new ecosystem has a number of deep integrations that were managed by our development team to ensure that data was seamlessly and securely passed between systems.

Scope

 

 

 

Resource
  • 1 x SEO Strategist
  • 1 x Website Designer
  • 1 x Technical Solutions Architect
  • 2 x WordPress Developer
  • 1 x Shopify Developer
  • 1 x Backend Developer
  • 1 x Quality Assurance Tester
  • 1 x Project Manager

Technical review

We assessed RSL’s business requirements and proposed a technical solution that leveraged multiple systems as part of a composable architecture approach. By combining a number of market-leading solutions, we could deliver a high performance website while avoiding the high costs and risks associated with delivering custom functionality.

Our solution utilises Headless Shopify as the eCommerce engine behind the site. WordPress was selected as the CMS ‘head’ to provide RSL with the most content dexterity and the best SEO outcomes. Microsoft Dynamics was retained as RSL’s ERP system and we utilised RSL’s API to integrate with WordPress and Shopify.

Combining technology adds a level of complexity to a project and it’s critical to ensure that the systems work in harmony together. We created a proof of concept of our recommended technology stack (WordPress, Shopify, Dynamics and RSL’s internal API) before the website project started to test how the systems worked together and check the integration points.

eCommerce website

We delivered a headless Shopify eCommerce system with a WordPress ‘head’ to provide RSL with a high level of content management flexibility while also meeting performance requirements for the site.

WordPress enables us to overcome the native SEO limitations of Shopify, utilising the best parts of each system and laying the groundwork to secure new keyword rankings for RSL Awards.

The eCommerce website pulls data from RSL’s backend system (Microsoft Dynamics) so users can find music teachers, book exams and undertake key searches on the site. The website pulls product information from Shopify and utilises the Shopify checkout to handle the shop experience.

In collaboration with RSL’s internal IT team, we integrated Microsoft Dynamics with Shopify. It was important that Dynamics remained the data source for all data behind the site so this integration enables products to be added to Dynamics, pulled into Shopify, then pushed to the eCommerce website for users to browse. Dynamics listens for when orders are placed via Shopify and pulls orders back into Dynamics to be actioned by the RSL team.

For RSL’s customers, the website experience is seamless and is all handled within a single interface, giving the impression that everything is handled by a single system.

Multi-currency purchases

RSL Awards enables customers to purchase products in their local currency based on their location.

The website has the ability to incorporate multi-lingual and specific multi-territory targeting as the business continues to grow their international digital offering.

Omni-channel user experience

Our team delivered a consistent omni-channel experience for RSL customers, aligning the online and offline experience.

Taking a headless approach enables data to be served from a single source (Microsoft Dynamics) to multiple user interfaces and customer touch points. In practice, this means that users receive a connected and consistent experience whether they call RSL’s phoneline, check availability and products via the website, or if they call a tutor to book a music lesson.

This change has been truly transformational for RSL and delivers a flexible and robust platform for future business growth.

Find a teacher tool

Students can find music teachers and schools in their area via the find a teacher tool. Availability is pulled dynamically from Microsoft Dynamics into the WordPress website interface, delivering rapid search results that are specific to the user’s search criteria.

Map view

Location is an important factor for RSL customers when finding music lessons. To improve the conversion rate and provide a seamless user journey, we introduced a map view to the ‘find a teacher’ search.

SEO strategy

RSL’s existing website was performing very well in search engines, with over 100 keywords in the top 3 positions of Google.

For businesses performing well for SEO, significantly changing the website can be a large risk so RSL’s marketing team challenged us to preserve and build upon rankings with the new website launch.

We delivered an SEO strategy that benchmarked RSL’s existing performance and identified opportunities to improve their digital footprint. After analysing hundreds of keywords, our SEO team selected the ones that had high search volumes, high intent and RSL had a statistical opportunity of ranking for in search engines.

The website was built around the strategy – everything from the user journeys, website structure and code base impacts the ranking opportunity of a website so delivering the website around the strategy ensured that RSL was positioned to climb the rankings.

RSL SEO results 2024

SEO results

The chart above represents the keyword positions held by the RSL Awards website since launch. Blue bars represent positions 1-3 in Google, green represents the remainder of page 1 in Google, and purple shows page 2 listings.

In the 2 months following launch, RSL’s keyword rankings remained extremely stable and their search engine visibility grew by over 11%.

+ 1 11 %
Increase in search engine visibility since launch

Related work

Powerleague

A mobile app & website for the UK's largest pitch booking company.

Powerleague is the UK’s largest booking platforms for sports pitches. Their focus has primarily been football pitches, however they also provide other facilities, pitches and courts, as well as venue hire, parties and events.

They were ready to take their business to the next level and invest in their digital customer experience by undertaking a digital transformation process.

Lead time:
10 Months
Sector:
Sport & Leisure
Target Type:
B2B & B2C
Demographic
Sport Players, Parents & Corporate
Website Goal:
Increase Bookings & Consolidate Business
Services:
Digital Transformation, UX & UI Design, Mobile App Development, Web Design, Web Development, WordPress, Digital Marketing

“1st big leap forward in terms of digital transformation at Powerleague with many more steps to come. Exciting times and of course all about making our customers lives easier and giving them quick and easy bookings with a host of leading edge enhancements to follow. ⚽️⚽️⚽️”

The challenge

Powerleague had grown beyond the capabilities of their existing digital infrastructure. They challenged us to assess their technology requirements and deliver a new digital ecosystem that provided a seamless omni-channel user experience to their customers. It needed to be innovative, secure and scalable.

The client had an aggressive growth strategy, with plans to rapidly expand to new clubs and territories. They recognised the need for digital scalability in their UX & UI, integrations and technology.

We were hired to deliver the digital transformation of Powerleague’s technical infrastructure including their international customer-facing website, booking flow, mobile app, and the complex integrations that passed data between systems.

Scope
Resource
  • 1 x Creative Director
  • 2 x UX / UI Designers
  • 1 x Technical Lead
  • 2 x WordPress Developers
  • 2 x Backend Developers
  • 3 x React Native Developers
  • 1 x Digital Marketing Specialist
  • 2 x Quality Assurance Testers
  • 1 x Technical Project Manager

Discovery and technical review

With tens of thousands of customers each month and millions of pounds in revenue passing through the website and app, Powerleague needed a robust technical solution that would also fulfil their marketing requirements. We assessed Powerleague’s existing technology and made technical recommendations based on the objectives of their business, as well as the scalability and longevity of prospective solutions.

Our technical team selected WordPress as the website CMS for the customer-facing website. React Native was selected to deliver an Android and IOS mobile app, and Powerleague retained their existing custom eCommerce platform. Each of these systems were delivered as part of a headless architecture that leveraged Powerleague’s backend database to feed the interfaces with consistent live data.

The setup was designed to automate as much as possible by integrating with Powerleague’s backend database. The website and mobile app dynamically pull information from the booking system based on the user’s search, keeping load speeds high while streamlining the user experience. This approach enabled us to offer dynamic search results where users only see results that are available for booking, reducing the cognitive burden and increasing conversion rates.

Interface research and UX

We started the UX design process with a research phase where our UX team explored complex booking flows within and outside of Powerleague’s industry. We focused on flows that had complex search and booking requirements and managed large amounts of data.

Using these insights, we created a comprehensive set of website and mobile app designs. Our team transformed the designs into clickable prototypes for the client to test and review.

The website designs consolidated 2 websites into a single site, making Powerleague the largest pitch booking website in the UK. The new design improved the accessibility of information and the overall user experience, reducing the number of clicks between search and purchase. The new website focused on scalability, automation, and driving performance improvements – increasing the number of bookings and delivering a market leading design.

Visit the website

The search

The new search function uses IP detection to search for pitch booking venues near the user, reducing the steps required to find a pitch. It automatically pulls the 2 most similar venues alongside any selected venue, enabling users to compare within a single booking flow window.

Powerleague has a different booking flow and available booking horizon for each type of booking and location. The website and app incorporate these tailored flows, guiding users through the requirements and availability for their booking. For example, Powerleague only accepts football pitch bookings up to 10 days ahead and this is reflected on the football booking flow and calendar view.

Managing the data

Powerleague’s website needed to manage a colossal amount of data, with millions of potential combinations of venues, pitches and time slots.

Finding the best time slot

Customers can easily compare time slots, availability and pricing.

The booking flow

We display pricing in a calendar view that enables users to see the cost of different time slots and select the best deal for them. The majority of bookings are made for peak time slots so we automatically show these first.

To encourage repeat business, users are able to block book during the checkout, increasing the value of the booking for Powerleague and simplifying the booking process for users.

Powerleague booking flow

Split payments

The majority of Powerleague’s bookings are made by an individual on behalf of their team and Powerleague were aware of the offline booking friction that resulted from the organiser chasing teammates for money. Our team introduced a split payments function that enables the payment to be divided between teammates at the checkout – taking the financial pressure off a single individual.

API consultation & integration

To deliver the strongest user journeys, the booking software API needed to be customised. We planned the website functionality and created a brief outlining the endpoints that needed to be delivered by the booking software team.

We collaborated with Powerleague’s software team to develop new endpoints and ensure that information was seamlessly passed in both directions between the app, website and booking system.

The brand

We extended the brand for digital use, creating shape form and animations that can be used across the site.

API & cache

The website is cached to deliver fast results and the cache is updated every 2 hours to ensure data is current.

The menu

The mega-menu was structured to combine the key content from both websites, ensuring that the user journey is smooth and content is accessible.

Map view

Visitors can use the map search to find a venue near them.

Going Headless

We delivered Powerleague’s project using a headless approach. We utilised their backend booking system as the backend engine for the site data and WordPress as the ‘head’. WordPress gives Powerleague a very high level of customisation and content management while the backend booking system enables us to effectively manage data and bookings.

This approach moves Powerleague towards an omni-channel offering, where the mobile app and website have distinct user journeys, functionality and user interfaces but pull data from a consistent data source. This enables users to have a consistent experience across devices while benefiting from different interfaces.

The headless solution enables us to maintain rapid load speeds and a high level of security, despite the large amount of data being handled.

Multi-territory

The new website includes content for 2 territories, the UK and the Netherlands, and the website is available in English and Dutch.

Our developers coded IP detection to direct users to the appropriate content based on their location, and our technical SEO team have optimised the website to ensure that the correct website content ranks in regional search engines.

Powerleague have ambitious expansion plans and the new website sets them up for future growth and launches in new territories.

The mobile app

A ginormous amount of data needed to be available to customers via the mobile app, including venue details, availability, variable pricing and event information. Handling this information on a small mobile screen was a challenge. We needed to ensure that the user experience was simple and intuitive, while also delivering the full range of functionality.

In the research phase, we explored complex mobile booking experiences across a range of industries including travel, hospitality and entertainment. We focused our research around search functionality, search results, filters, and content hierarchy, which enabled our design team to combine innovative mobile design with industry best practice to deliver a tremendous amount of data and functionality in an intuitive way for Powerleague’s customers.

Our team developed the app in React Native and integrated with Powerleague’s booking software to present users with the data they needed as part of their booking experience.

 

New mobile functionality

Powerleague’s new mobile app hosts additional features that are exclusive to the app.

Football Leagues were introduced alongside a Player Marketplace where football players can apply to join teams, and teams can place ads for players then manage applications and rate their performance.

Powerleague mobile app 4.9 / 5 star rating

Marketing

Powerleague were keen to move towards a campaign based marketing strategy and needed a website that would provide the dexterity to create new content in line with campaigns. They needed full content control and the ability to move quickly.

We delivered the website on WordPress which enables their team to manage and create new content independently.

SEO

Our team delivered an SEO strategy that was used to create and optimise the new website, setting Powerleague up for keyword growth in search engines.

Related work

Give A Grad A Go

A WordPress website and recruitment portal for a global recruitment agency

Give A Grad A Go is the UK’s top graduate recruitment agency. They challenged our team to completely overhaul their digital infrastructure and marketing. They had ambitious plans for their website and broader online ecosystem.

Lead time:
28 weeks
Sector:
Recruitment
Target Type:
B2B & B2C
Demographic
Employers & Graduate Candidates
Website Goal:
Increase pool of employers and graduates, improve Google rankings, enable marketing team
Services:
Branding, Digital Marketing, Web Design, Web Development, eCommerce, WordPress, Laravel
Scope
Resource
  • 1 x Lead Designer
  • 1 x UX Designer
  • 1 x Brand Designer
  • 1 x Technical Lead
  • 1 x Laravel Developer
  • 1 x WordPress Developer
  • 1 x Digital Marketing Specialist
  • 1 x Quality Assurance Tester
  • 1 x Project Manager

The challenge

The Give A Grad team wanted to launch a sector leading recruitment website that would showcase their offering and attract graduate employers and job seekers. To become the recruiter of choice, Give A Grad knew that they needed to overhaul their brand identity and provide an industry leading user experience.

In addition to delivering a new website, Give A Grad wanted to create a recruitment portal that would enable them to start offering self-service recruitment alongside their existing managed recruitment offering. They challenged us to create a portal where employers could manage career vacancies and applications, and candidates could apply for positions.

Our approach

We created a digital strategy to improve Give A Grad A Go’s search engine rankings. This informed the new website structure and user journeys to ensure that new users could discover the website and land on the appropriate content.

Our brand team overhauled Give A Grad’s brand identity, creating a flexible visual toolkit for the marketing team to apply across their marketing and literature. Our website designers implemented the new brand within a fresh new website design and our WordPress developers coded the site to optimise performance.

Alongside this, our UX team created the user experience for the new recruitment portal, building user journeys to reduce friction and maximise engagement. The portal was built using Laravel, providing a flexible framework with plenty of scope for future growth.

Recruitment website designs

Job search

As the powerhouse of the new website, it was critical to innovate when it came to the job search functionality. The ease of browsing jobs would impact the number of graduates searching on the site, which in turn would impact the number of employers posting jobs.

We introduced a number of new features to provide a seamless and engaging user experience.

  • We created a split screen view, with the list of job ads on the left and a preview of the selected advert on the right
  • We designed an optimised text layout for the job specs and utilised emojis to increase the skim-ability of text
  • We implemented a tagging structure to highlight key job benefits
  • We introduced a map view on the job search to visually represent the location of roles

 

Job search design

Multi-territory targeting

The new website launched with 2 territories available: the UK and Australia. Each territory hosts its own content and SEO strategy that is tailored to the regional audience. Our multi-territory WordPress approach maximises SEO opportunities and enables Give A Grad A Go to adapt their services and strategy for each location. Give A Grad also have the option to create additional territories in the future.

See the website

‘We’ve had a brilliant experience working with Plug & Play — I wouldn’t have trusted this project to any other of the agencies we initially spoke to.’

SEO

Give a Grad A Go already had an established digital footprint in the UK and Australia, appearing highly in search engines for a variety of high value keywords. Our team delivered an SEO strategy that would take their search engine rankings to the next level by growing existing rankings and expanding their keywords to include new targets.

+ 1 51 %
Increase in UK search engine visibility following launch
+ 1 42 %
Increase in Australian search engine visibility following launch
Give A Grad A Go SEO results charts showing huge growth

The chart above shows Give A Grad A Go’s keyword rankings following the new website launch. The blue bars represent positions 1-3 in Google, green bars represent rankings on the rest of page 1, and purple bars represent page 2 rankings.

Resource hub design

Resource hub

We increased the accessibility of article content by grouping articles into user friendly guides. This provides a relevant and continuous user journey that encourages content consumption and keeps users on the site.

Design system designs

Design style

We created a playful website design that would appeal to Give A Grad’s target demographic.

Homepage banner design

A multi-platform experience

We overhauled Give A Grad’s digital ecosystem to provide a consistent and engaging user experience.

Contact us UX

Give A Grad’s ‘contact us’ user flow was complex and heavy, with a wide range of content, contact details and FAQs to communicate. We implemented an effective filtering system to guide users to the relevant content.

Developing the brand

Give A Grad’s old brand was looking dated and no longer reflected the business size and position in the market. They needed a new brand identity that would provide greater flexibility to their marketing team and could continue to grow with the business.

As a brand that targets graduates, Give A Grad challenged us to create a playful and bold brand that also looked trustworthy and reliable to employers. Balancing the two main audience types was critical to producing a successful brand.

Read the brand case study

Ladies sat on sofa at recruitment agency
Recruitment website design system

Jobs portal

We delivered a brand new jobs portal for Give A Grad which enables employers and candidates to manage job ads and applications. The goal of the portal was to open up a new self-service recruitment offering to employers, enabling Give A Grad to capture a greater percentage of the recruitment market.

For candidates, the portal needed to provide a seamless transfer to and from the website, and a smooth application process. The success of the portal was dependent on the ease of use compared to competitors in the market.

We constructed optimised UX designs and user flows to deliver a high performance portal. Our developers coded the portal using Laravel which provides Give A Grad with a flexible framework that can be expanded as the business need grows.

Read more about the portal

Related work

Cole & Son

A Headless Shopify Solution for a Luxury Wallpaper Company

Cole & Son is a luxury wallpaper company that produces unique high end designs for their customers. They came to us during a period of change, when they were restructuring their distribution channels and starting to sell direct to consumers in a number of key territories. They needed an elevated eCommerce store that would rival their offline customer experience and showcase their beautiful designs. The website needed to support their ambitious growth plans and push the boundaries of what had been done in their industry.

Lead time:
20 weeks
Sector:
Luxury Interiors
Target Type:
B2C
Demographic
Affluent & Design Driven Consumers
Website Goal:
Sell Direct to Consumers, Increase Revenue, Enable Cole & Son Marketing Team
Services:
Digital Marketing, Web Design, Website Development, Headless Shopify
Awards
Best Cross Border Campaign - eCommerce Awards
CSS Design Awards, Awwwards

Post-launch website results

The new website has delivered significant increases in average order value and revenue.

x 1 10
ROI on PPC spend
+ 1 101 %
Revenue increase
+ 1 193 %
Average order value
Scope
Resource
  • 1 x Lead Designer
  • 1 x UX Designer
  • 1 x Technical Lead
  • 1 x Shopify Developer
  • 1 x WordPress Developer
  • 1 x Digital Marketing Specialist
  • 1 x Quality Assurance Tester
  • 1 x Project Manager

The challenge

Cole & Son had an existing eCommerce store that was built on Shopify and had experienced some success. However, the site was suffering from some typical Shopify challenges and wasn’t able to scale in the manner that Cole & Son required to meet their growth targets.

These challenges included:

  • Slow site speed
  • Lack of design flexibility
  • Limited functionality
  • Limited control of SEO factors
  • Restricted international capabilities

Cole & Son challenged us to find a solution that would enable them to internationalise the business and drive growth.

Website menu design - headless shopify development

Headless Shopify Development

We implemented a Headless Shopify solution to overcome the challenges that Cole & Son faced on the existing website. The client liked Shopify’s interface but their existing solution was holding them back. Our Headless Shopify solution enables Cole & Son to maintain their existing eCommerce management system while gaining a new frontend website interface that provides greater flexibility and performance.

We decoupled the frontend and backend of Cole & Son’s eCommerce website, retaining the backend eCommerce management in Shopify and replacing the Shopify frontend with a WordPress ‘head’. The WordPress CMS provides the client with a user friendly interface to manage their website content while also while achieving a custom website design, enhanced SEO performance, user engagement, site speed and website security.

Headless proof of concept

To select the best headless solution for Cole & Son, we rigorously tested a number of options during a proof of concept process. We started by defining the client’s success criteria for their Headless Shopify website. We selected 8 potential CMS options and reviewed the documentation to score each one on a predefined rating scale.

We created a proof of concept for each of the 3 highest scoring CMS’s and tested the Shopify integration and key functionality. Based on Cole & Son’s requirements, WordPress was selected as the best CMS for the headless solution.

The design

With established roots in the fashion world, design is an integral part of Cole & Son’s business. We created a unique and editorial feel with the new website design. We created a flexible user interface that enabled Cole & Son’s marketing team to curate content throughout the site and fully showcase their collections and products.

On-page roll calculator

Purchasing wallpaper can be a complex process. Customers must consider the wall width and height, but also pattern repeats and pattern size. To simplify this process, we created a roll calculator that is available on every wallpaper product page. It is pre-set with the relevant product information so users only need to enter their wall dimensions to calculate the number of rolls required.

This feature increases customer satisfaction and removes a barrier to purchase.

Homepage Design of Shopify Website

Editorial design style

We created an editorial style design that connected the Cole & Son website with the brand’s roots in fashion.

Product Page - Successfully added pop up

On page roll calculator

We implemented an in-page roll calculator to enable customers to calculate the number of rolls needed with minimal effort.

Product Page Design

Maximum flexibility

We created a flexible CMS that enables the Cole & Son team to curate pages around their products.

International expansion

Cole & Son’s previous website only sold to consumers in the UK. During the web build, they were in the process of changing their distribution model so they could sell directly to consumers worldwide, reducing their reliance on distributors.

Our challenge was to create and implement an international marketing strategy that would increase Cole & Son’s market penetration in target territories and enable customers to find the website and purchase products in their local currency.

We delivered 7 territories on the new website, with the flexibility to expand to additional territories in the future. Each territory was optimised for regional search engines, enabling local audiences to find the Cole & Son website and the content that was relevant to them.

Upon launch, Cole & Son rapidly experienced increases in sales and rankings, going from no footprint outside of the UK to having an established presence in the UK, US, Australia, New Zealand, Singapore, Sweden and Norway.

The international campaign won the Best Cross Border Campaign at the eCommerce Awards. Read about the full campaign strategy here.

Cole & Son SEO results charts showing huge growth in the UK and New Zealand

International SEO growth

Our team generated huge global SEO growth for Cole & Son for a series of high value search terms.

Cole & Son’s rankings grew across all 8 target territories, increasing their search visibility by up to 2081%.

+ 1 2081 %
Increase in UK search engine visibility
+ 1 1210 %
Increase in New Zealand search engine visibility
+ 1 523 %
Increase in US search engine visibility

SEO

Using WordPress as the CMS gave us greater dexterity when it came to optimising the site for SEO. We conducted extensive SEO research as part of a broad digital strategy and implemented an optimised landing page strategy.

Our global SEO strategy increased the breadth of keywords targeted and increased the specificity of content on the site to create new entry points from search engines in 7 geographical areas.

 

PPC

Our team launched a number of PPC campaigns for Cole & Son, opening up a new revenue channel for the business. The PPC has been extremely successful, generating a 10x return for every £1 spent with Google Ads.

Related work

Walls and Floors

An eCommerce website for a large online retailer

With over 6,000 SKUs Walls and Floors are a large tile retailer who sell huge quantities of their products online. Boasting millions of orders and customer records, the website attracted hundreds of thousands of visitors each week. However, as the previous Walls and Floors website was ageing it was seeing a gradual drop in keyword rankings and conversion rates.

Lead time:
18 Months
Sector:
Retail
Target Type:
B2C & B2B
Demographic:
DIY Consumers, Trade Customers
Website Goal:
Increase Online Sales
Services:
eCommerce Web Design, Digital Marketing
Scope
  • Continuous Data Migration
  • Custom Design
  • Magento
  • Sage200 Integration
  • Search Engine Optimisation
  • Google Shopping
  • Amazon Shopping Integration
  • Pure360 Integration
Resource
  • 1x Marketing Strategist
  • 2x Digital Marketing Specialists
  • 2x Website Designers
  • 4x Front-End Programmers
  • 4x Back-End Programmers
  • 2x Project Managers
  • 2x Quality Assurance Testers

Post-launch website results

This established eCommerce retailer had over 5,000 pages that needed to be re-directed into a new URL structure as part of a wide ranging on-page optimisation strategy that delivered outstanding results.

+ 1 1021
Organic keyword positions improved in Google over 6 months from launch as tracked by Moz.com
+ 1 182 %
Increase in search visibility across the 1,453 keywords being tracked by Moz.com
1 625
Keywords that rank in the top 3 organic positions in Google 6 months after going live as tracked by Moz.com
homepage screenshot

Brief

We needed to modernise the existing look and feel to create an effortless experience for users. A key part of this user experience process was the in-depth analysis of the existing user flows and mapping user behaviour through their buying journeys. This insight fed into our eCommerce design process with the goal of driving conversion rates up across the website.

View site

Post-launch keyword results

578 482 386 289 193 96 0 Jul 5 Aug 9 Sep 13 Oct 18 Nov 22 Dec 27 Jan 31 Mar 7 #1-3 #4-10 #11-20 #21-50 #51+ Apr 11 May 16 Before After

Walls and Floors have a large internal team who work solely on the website; updating products, creating promotions and ensuring the content is fresh and up to date. Their old website did not have an easy to use content management system meaning that the internal Walls and Floors team struggled with their day to day tasks. We took a brief from each member of the team to understand how the new website’s Magento eCommerce platform could help them complete their work more accurately and efficiently.

Full length screen shot of the bathroom tiles page

eCommerce SEO

In a competitive consumer eCommerce sector, organic keyword positions in search engines make a huge difference to sales revenue.

We carefully planned the structure of the new website including URL structure, category management and hierarchy, keyword selection and on-page specificity.

The result was the creation of 301 redirects for thousands of highly optimised pages. Over a 4 month period we increased the number of competitive keywords ranking in Google in positions 1 – 3 from 174 to 548 – increasing Walls and Floors’ marketplace visibility by over 127%.

Website features

With thousands of different products and product categories, having a clear navigation to help users quickly find what they are looking for was vital. Our design team worked with Walls and Floors to create a large drop down menu that divides the different tiles by category, colour, usage and popularity to help users quickly find the tile they are looking for.

mobile view of the walls and floors homepage phone view of a product page looking at a category page on mobile
The magento website homepage with the megamenu open

Conversion rate optimisation

Customer reviews play an important role in the buying journey of any product online and Walls and Floors makes great use of TrustPilot to show potential customers that thousands of others have been impressed with the selection of tiles and the quality of the products and service. We integrated the TrustPilot reviews with the new website to maximise chances of conversion.

LiveChat is an increasingly popular tool used to help assist online visitors, ultimately encouraging them to convert into paying customers. We integrated the new website with Walls and Floors’ chosen third party Live Chat provider; Salesiq from Zoho.

Magento website on an iphone

Mobile eCommerce

A large proportion of purchases on the Walls and Floors website are made using mobile phones and tablet devices. To deliver on both SEO and CRO goals we needed to create a custom experience for these visitors, with distinct touch points and call to actions.

Integrating Sage 200 with Magento

To ensure data integrity across the business Walls and Floors use Sage 200 to manage products, stock, customers, orders and deliveries.

Our integration between Sage 200 and Magento was crucial to the success of this online shop. By implementing a live data migration process we were able to dove-tail Sage data with data from the legacy website, providing the business with a unified data set with which to launch their new website.

Related work

Daylight Company

A multilingual website to manage international eCommerce.

Daylight Company is a market leader in speciality daylight lighting. They provide high quality lighting for precision work in professional and domestic environments.

Their team challenged us to migrate 5 of their existing websites onto a single domain to create 1 impactful multilingual website. They needed an international eCommerce site that would provide their marketing team with complete content management control.

Lead time:
9 months
Sector:
Speciality lighting
Target Type:
B2B & B2C
Demographic:
Professionals & hobbyists
Website Goal:
Migrate to a single domain, provide central control to marketing team
Services:
Web Design, Web Development, Digital Marketing, Ongoing monthly marketing and support retainer
Scope
  • Adobe XD designs
  • Multiple WordPress iterations
  • WooCommerce
  • Multilingual
  • Multi-currency
  • Responsive design
  • Store locator functionality
  • Domain change management
  • SEO work
  • IP detection
  • Stock management integration
Resource
  • 1 x Project Manager
  • 1 x Digital Marketing Specialist
  • 1 x Website Designer
  • 1 x Front-end Programmer
  • 1 x Back-end Programmer
  • 1 x Quality Assurance Tester
mobile views of the new Daylight website

The challenge

The new Daylight Company website needed to unify multiple websites to create a single global site. It needed to facilitate the management of multiple languages and currencies and provide variable functionality across territories.

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The newly design mega menu for daylight company

Product optimisation

Product pages and categories were optimised for high value keywords to increase organic traffic from customers with intent to buy.

screenshot of a product category

A quality build

Daylight Company lamps are of the highest quality and it was imperative that their new website reflected this.

a selection of daylight products

Inter-territory variations

eCommerce functionality can be turned on or off by territory to account for variations in product distribution strategies.

example of a daylight product page

A conversion powerhouse

Reassurance elements such as product reviews, warranty information and delivery options were placed in key parts of the site to boost the website conversion rate.

Delivering a quality user experience

To create an intuitive browsing experience, we created a split screen product page. This enables users to browse product content on the left hand side while retaining the key call to action add to bag fixed on the right hand side along with reassurance elements. These features help increase the number of visitors converting into customers.

We implemented a streamlined and secure checkout process to reduce friction at the point of conversion. To encourage customers who abandon their basket to return to the site and complete their purchase, we set up email reminders to be sent in the days following their visit.

Post-launch website results

Daylight Company’s international website build and migration focused on delivering a quality user experience that would increase engagement and drive transactions. Their new website has successfully improved their Google rankings, organic traffic and sales.

+ 1 110 %
Increase in organic traffic as tracked by Google Analytics.
+ 1 74 %
Increase in global eCommerce sales as tracked by Google Analytics.
+ 1 188 %
Increase in PPC revenue as tracked by Google Analytics.
Daylight logo

“All the members of the Plug & Play team come across as very knowledgeable and are a delight to work with. You can certainly rely on their expertise; I trust their advice on any particular area of the website and e-commerce platform. They are an extension of my team, making sure that I am aware of their work, they monitor my website very closely and are proactive in suggesting amends.”

Optimising for Google

Migrating to a single domain presented a huge ranking opportunity for Daylight Company. However, keywords needed to be managed carefully during the migration in order to maintain existing rankings and build new positions. Following extensive keyword research, our team created a migration strategy including a checklist and a 301 redirect list by mapping old URLs to new equivalent URLs.

We are continuing to work with Daylight Company’s ambitious marketing team to drive continuous growth in their market share and online visibility.

Related work

Pearson

Helping a heritage cycling brand change gears.

Since starting back in 1860, Pearson has become an established British cycling brand. Now run by the fifth generation of the Pearson family, it is recognised as the world’s oldest bicycle business. Following impressive success in their London stores, they wanted to bring the business into the 21st century by improving their online offering. They approached us to boost their online conversion rate and help them appeal to new markets.

Lead time:
6 months
Sector:
Sport & Leisure
Target Type:
B2C
Demographic:
Cyclists
Website Goals:
Launch New Brand, Drive Sales
Services:
eCommerce Web Design, Digital Marketing
Pearson cyclists modelling Pearson bikes
Scope
  • Adobe XD Designs
  • WordPress CMS
  • WooCommerce Shop
  • Responsive Design
  • Apply Pay Integration
  • Ongoing Digital Marketing
Resource
  • 1 x Project Manager
  • 2 x Digital Marketing Specialists
  • 1 x Website Designer
  • 1 x Front-end Programmer
  • 1 x Back-end Programmer
  • 1 x Quality Assurance Tester

Taking success online

One of Pearson’s goals was to widen their offering of cycling apparel. They believe that cycling should be accessible to all and wanted to appeal to all cycling enthusiasts, not just the cycling gurus. To increase the accessibility of the new Pearson website to new cyclists, we created a website structure that enables users to shop by collections and by categories. 

 

Pearson website megamenu

Photographic menu

We implemented a drop down menu to showcase imagery of the collections, apparel and bikes.

All Clothing Category page on the Pearson website

Clean and clear

Products are presented in a bold and clear way to provide a simple and intuitive user experience.

Pearson website product page

Dynamic imagery

Product page imagery updates as options and add-ons are selected, showcasing the customer’s final product.

Pearson website checkout page

Payment gateways

We integrated with 3 different payment gateways including Apple Pay to streamline the checkout process and meet market demand.

301 strategy

The new Pearson website launch involved both a rebrand and a domain change. We managed this process, taking measures to protect existing search engine rankings. Each URL from the old domain was mapped to the equivalent page on the new website and Google was informed of the rebrand.

Mobile view of the Pearson website homepage banner Mobile view of the Third Time Lucky Jersey product page Adventure product category overview page
New bicycle frame from Pearson Cycles
Classic Road Collection iPhone Screenshot
Pearson cycling jerseys

Related work

Paxton

A multilingual WordPress website for a market leader in security solutions

Paxton design and manufacture security solutions for use in a broad variety of commercial environments. They train security system installers to fit Paxton products and equip them to sell Paxton solutions to their customers.

Paxton challenged us to unify 13 of their existing websites into 1 website with an improved user experience. They needed one core website with a flexible CMS to provide their marketing team with central control and reduce support requests to their IT team. It was essential for the new website to drive training sign ups and improve Paxton’s global search engine rankings.

Lead time:
12 months
Sector:
Security
Target Type:
B2B
Demographic:
Security Installers
Website Goal:
Provide Central Control To Marketing Team
Services:
Web Design, Web Development, User Journey Mapping, Digital Marketing
Paxton employees working in their warehouse
Scope
  • Adobe XD wireframes
  • WordPress CMS
  • eCommerce
  • API integrations for training and event sign ups
  • API integrations for products and product search
  • API integrations for installer search and feedback
  • Multilingual
  • IP detection
  • Varnish cache
Resource
  • 1x Marketing Strategist
  • 2 x Digital Marketing Specialists
  • 2x Website Designers
  • 2x Front-End Programmers
  • 1x Back-End Programmer
  • 1x Project Manager
  • 1x Quality Assurance Tester

The challenge

The new website has 8 distinct territories with different content, language, currency and user access requirements that can be managed by the Paxton Marketing Team. With Paxton selling their solutions in over 50 countries, each territory pulls products from the Paxton API and the website enforces logic to remove duplicate products and create editable product pages. 

Website territories can be navigated via a territory switcher which utilises IP detection to direct users to the content that is most relevant to their location.

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Product catalogue

Product information is pulled from the Paxton API to create editable products in the CMS. The integration refreshes daily to keep the website and API in sync.

Product documentation

Placing installers at the heart of the user flow, product documentation and installation guides are added within each product page for ease of access.

Install Paxton Screenshot

Customer first approach

Installers have a dedicated section of the website to access resources, training and support.

Paxton Homepage screenshot

Google optimised landing pages

The new website structure pivots around a complex keyword strategy spanning 8 different territories in order to drive search engine traffic.

Staying ahead

The speed of the website was considered from the ground up during the build. The complexity of the content and data being handled from combining content from 13 websites meant that if this wasn’t done carefully, there was every chance that the site would be too slow to use. The new website needed to handle the expected high volume of global traffic and number of simultaneous requests.

Results are cached by Varnish after the first page visit and the site makes use of the browser’s local storage to cache the common API responses/data. This reduces the number of API calls that need to be made and means that the more that users browse the website, the quicker it will be. Varnish cache is used to store and serve a static version of the website, making it much faster than in normal circumstances. Varnish cache is also used as a protective layer on top of the application which enables us to restrict access to the application to certain users and IP addresses.

Changing domain

Paxton UK content launched on the old US domain. Therefore, legacy UK and US rankings needed to be managed carefully to ensure that the correct content ranked in the correct country. We implemented a comprehensive 301 strategy to ensure that existing website rankings for all territories were maintained upon launch and the user transition was seamless.

Related work

GPE iPhone 2 GPE iPhone 1

Grand Prix Events

A 111% increase in eCommerce conversion rate for a leading ticket retailer.

Grand Prix Events is an established online retailer that sells tickets in the luxury sports sector. Building on their wealth of experience in eCommerce, they recognised the need to develop a new website that would increase their revenue. They needed to develop their organic keyword positions in search engines and improve their online conversion rate.

Lead time:
12 months
Sector:
Events / Tickets
Target Type:
B2C and B2B
Demographic:
Wealthy Consumers / Hospitality
Website Goal:
Sell Tickets
Services:
eCommerce Web Design, Digital Marketing, Brand
Awards:
UK Digital Growth Awards - eCommerce Site Of The Year Nomination
Scope
  • Custom Design
  • SVG Interactive Maps
  • WooCommerce
  • WordPress
  • Varnish Cache
  • Global CDN Management
  • IP Location Detection
  • Multi-currency
  • Xero Integration
  • Content Migration
  • Ongoing support
Resource
  • 1x Marketing Strategist
  • 1x Digital Marketing Specialist
  • 2x Website Designers
  • 1x Brand Designer
  • 2x Front-End Programmers
  • 2x Back-End Programmers
  • 1x Project Manager
  • 2x Quality Assurance Testers

Post-launch website results

We focused on streamlining the user journey and implemented designs that reassured visitors through the conversion funnel. This resulted in significant improvements to engagement, eCommerce conversion rate and revenue.

+ 1 22 %
Increase in revenue as tracked by Google Analytics 6 months following launch.
+ 1 111 %
Increase in eCommerce conversion rate of visitors to paying customers as tracked in Google Analytics 6 months following launch.
- 1 16 %
Reduction in bounce rate as tracked by Google Analytics 6 months following launch.
mobile screenshot of the grand prix events homepage f1 tickets megamenu on a phone event information article for the Bahrain grand prix

Our approach

Our new design focused on high quality imagery that illustrated the excitement of attending a Grand Prix. Custom circuit maps help users understand where a seat is located, and image galleries on the product pages show users the view from each seat.

 

desktop view of the grand prix events homepage

Location detection

Depending on where you are in the world the website can automatically detect your location and supply the ticket prices in your localised currency.

The grand prix events megamenu

Xero integration

To streamline operations the website is seamlessly connected to Xero, the accountancy software. This enables orders and invoices to be raised automatically, cutting down on back-office admin work.

screen shot of the ticket page for the Australian grand prix

Multi-Currency

The website takes sales in 4 currencies, with each Grand Prix having its own base currency in the back-end.

Club Corner (Block 1 &2) ticket page for the British Grand Prix

Conversion rate focus

The website has been designed to massively increase the online conversion rate. We saw large increases in visitor to purchasing rates following launch.

Search engine optimisation

A key consideration for the launch of the new Grand Prix Events website was SEO. Increasing search visibility in Google and improving rankings for key search terms is the first step in increasing online conversions, so we undertook a detailed SEO review of the website; optimising urls, on page content and meta titles and descriptions as well as implementing a comprehensive 301 strategy before launch.

A break down of design elements of the Grand Prix Events website

Our SEO research showed us that users were most likely to search for race specific keywords such as ‘British Grand Prix tickets’ or ‘Tickets to the Australian GP’ so we knew it was likely that users would land directly on a specific Grand Prix page, rather than the Homepage. With this in mind, each race has its own section of the website, containing useful information about attending the event and a variety of different ticket and package options. A secondary navigation allows users to navigate easily through each of the pages relevant to the race they’re interested in.

A f1 driver in their car
mobile view of the International Pits Straight (Block 1-3) product page

Developing the brand

Our brief was to develop a subtle evolution of the brand that would still be instantly recognisable by Grand Prix Events’ existing client base. We focused on refining what was already there, making the form and shape of their device more unique and distinct.

Find out more

Grand Prix Events full sized logo

Brand Guidelines

Daniel Bois, Grand Prix Events

“Plug & Play understood our vision of creating an industry leading online platform to promote sports hospitality and event ticket sales. From start to finish they were always on hand to support us throughout. Deadlines and the proposed budget were met. I would highly recommend working with the Plug & Play team of experts.”

Related work

Home and Roost

Generating a 76% increase in revenue for a family run online retailer

Home & Roost sell hutches, runs and accessories for rabbits and other domestic pets. Seeking to expand on their success, they approached Plug & Play for a new eCommerce solution and a digital marketing strategy.

Lead time:
4 Months
Sector:
Retail
Target Type:
B2C
Demographic:
Family Consumers
Website Goal:
Increase Online Sales
Services:
eCommerce Web Design, Digital Marketing
Scope
  • Custom Design
  • WooCommerce
  • WordPress
  • Search Engine Optimisation
  • Pay Per Click
  • Facebook Ads
  • Google Shopping
Resource
  • 1x Marketing Strategist
  • 2x Digital Marketing Specialists
  • 1x Website Designer
  • 1x Front-End Programmer
  • 1x Back-End Programmer
  • 1x Project Manager
  • 1x Quality Assurance Tester

Post-launch website results

In order to drive revenue for Home and Roost, we focused on delivering material improvements to their organic Google keyword positions, eCommerce conversion rate and Google Ad campaigns.

+ 1 88 %
Increase in eCommerce transactions as tracked by Google Analytics.
+ 1 76 %
Increase in website revenue as tracked by Google Analytics.
+ 1 106 %
Increase in organic traffic as tracked by Google Analytcis.

Challenge

When we started work with Home & Roost their PPC was struggling with high costs and lower than expected returns. Their website SEO was also experiencing issues with page speed, lack of content and poor keyword targeting. We overhauled their digital marketing strategy and rebuilt their website, delivering a significant return on investment.

View site

Full length image of a product page on the walls and floors website

Google Ads and conversion rate optimisation

After an initial review of Home & Roost’s existing Google Ads account we realised that we needed to rebuild their campaigns from the ground up. Within a few months we were able to demonstrate that we had increased their revenue from PPC visitors by more than 146%. We achieved this by reducing their CPC (Cost Per Click) by 52% and increasing their PPC eCommerce conversion rate by 50%.

 

Post-launch keyword results

189 157 126 94 63 31 0 May 22 Jul 24 Sep 25 Nov 27 Jan 29 Apr 2 Jun 4 Aug 6 Oct 8 Dec 10 #1-3 #4-10 #11-20 #21-50 #51+
Home and Roost Logo

“Working with the team at Plug & Play has been a pleasure, their professional and positive attitude to whatever you throw at them is refreshing and from past experience most welcome. P&P’s desire to understand our business from the start of our relationship has enabled us to grow into new areas of the market we hadn’t considered before.

We see Plug and Play as part of our business family rather than an agency we use and look forward to the future as we go from strength to strength.”

Home and Roost Logo

Alan Brimm, Home and Roost, Director

responsive woocommerce website design eCommerce web design woocommerce website development

Improving display advertising

When we initially took control of the Home & Roost display advertising it was struggling with high costs, low click volume and poor audience targeting.

Following our work, year on year impressions were up more than 13%, clicks grew by more than 874% and the click through rate was up by about 758%. All of this was achieved with a negligible increase in the budget.

SEO optimised

We helped Home and Roost improve their rankings by targeting valuable organic keywords that would drive sales. We assigned a keyword focus for each page and generated new engaging content. We created product page content to encourage search engine rankings and drive conversions.

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