Discount Fire Supplies needed a website refresh to strengthen the purchase journey and reach a new audience, captivating users with an informative blog and encouraging repeat custom with a custom email template.
Discount Fire Supplies required an updated website with a new design that was modern and fresh, with a more intuitive user experience.
They also wanted to reach out to customers through a monthly email newsletter and informative blog, which we created for them.
Who are Discount Fire Supplies?
Discount Fire Supplies are one of the UK’s premier retailers of fire safety products and accessories. Their extensive catalogue includes fire alarm systems, emergency lighting, fire extinguishers and gas detectors.
DFS (no, not that one) have been clients of Ballyhoo’s for many years now, and are comfortably one of our most successful e-commerce websites. When the time came to re-design their website the owners wanted to continue using their proprietary e-commerce platform and asked us to build a new custom template for their website.
“Ballyhoo have developed and supported our e-commerce websites for the last 10 years and have been a key part of why we have grown year on year. Would highly recommend as we always do.”
Discount Fire Supplies
Design & Dev
The new Discount Fire Supplies website design is clearly a step up from their old design yet it retains their branding and many elements that will be familiar to existing customers.
Notably, the new design takes the concept of colour-coding the many product categories on the website to a new level. This theme had been tentatively explored in the previous design but has now been fully utilised. Customers using the site will soon identify red with fire detection products and green with emergency lighting.
Focus on Search
The sheer number of fire safety products on this website means that users need to be able to find what they are looking for quickly and easily. Search was identified as a main driving force on the site, with a high percentage of repeat users immediately using this feature when landing. To help more users take advantage of this functionality, which features autocomplete results, search has been given prominence on the home page hero section as well as in the site header.
An eye-catching slideshow on the homepage behind the search field, instantly attracts new potential customers who will either decide to stay on the site or look elsewhere. This conveys a number of tempting messages designed to instil confidence in their purchase.
The new design also makes use of a substantial full-width drop-down menu allowing customers to browse the majority of product categories without leaving the page.
Throughout the website, customers are encouraged to join the Discount Fire Supplies community and visit the DFS blog, follow DFS on Twitter and take the opportunity to sign up for the free DFS newsletter – either by entering their details on the website or opting in during account creation and purchase.
Verified customer reviews received through Feefo are also displayed through an integration with Feefo’s API to give users confidence and demonstrate Discount Fire Supplies’ dedication to customer service.
Product Page Features
Product pages have been given a makeover too and are designed to be a clear as possible. Large product images, highlighted prices and prominent add to basket buttons combine to make the page inviting and straightforward.
Product descriptions have been condensed into tabs too. When adding a product to the site, Discount Fire Supplies have the ability to split the full description into as many tabs as required, including Summary, Specification and FAQs. This layout means that users don’t have to scroll endlessly and allows them to quickly find the information they need.
At the foot of the website on every page users are reminded of the value Discount Fire Supplies bring to their purchase, whether through the assurance of secure online payments through SagePay or the promise of swift dispatch. Users can also find links to information about the company and their contact details are always on hand if they need assistance.
WordPress Blog Design
Discount Fire Supplies have an active blog which they post to regularly. They have been using WordPress ever since they decided to introduce a blog to the website. With such a large volume of posts WordPress has worked well for them and provided control and flexibility through a feature-rich control panel.
As part of the redevelopment of Discount Fire Supplies we created a new custom template for their WordPress blog.
Custom WordPress Template
Blogs are a fantastic addition to any website. While they are a good way to provide interest for your customers and create a community around your business, they also have many search engine optimisation benefits such as the regular introduction of fresh content and the inclusion of more keywords on your site.
When platforms aren’t cross-compatible, whether due to propietary systems or custom functionality, creating a WordPress template which accurately matches your main website gives you the flexibility and control needed to manage a successful e-commerce venture.
Creating consistency in look and feel as well as including expected functionality is also key for UX.
While the new WordPress template matches the DFS website design in appearance, it also includes dynamic content such as the shopping basket summary and category navigation meaning customers can switch seamlessly between the main website and the blog.
This ensures users are given the opportunity to read content without losing their shopping basket selections or interrupting their product browsing experience.
Email Newsletter Design
To compliment their website and existing marketing efforts, Discount Fire Supplies wanted to reach out to customers through a monthly email newsletter highlighting the best of their blog and new additions to their website. The newsletter needed to be sent through a sophisticated email campaign package to allow them to analyse and monitor the success of their email campaigns.
Discount Fire Supplies is an established company and as such they have a clear company brand. We used their existing branding and website design to inspire the style and layout of their custom email template.
The resulting newsletter template design is clearly associated with Discount Fire Supplies at first glance. Our designer worked within the constraints of how email clients like Outlook and Gmail render HTML emails to create an email design that is clean and flowing yet features all the aspects needed.
A major part of the newsletter is the customer incentive to receive a discount on discountfiresupplies.co.uk by using a special code. The number of times a discount code is used is a great way of measuring an email campaign’s success so it needed to be very prominent in the design.
News articles feature a large image thumbnail as well as a bold title, an excerpt from the original article and a Read More link to encourage recipients to visit the website. Additionally, the inclusion of clear category icons in the footer of the newsletter template further encourages recipients to visit the website – as well as providing a hit of colour and visual interest.
Email Template Development
The first part of development involved taking the finished email design and coding a template to be used with email campaign software. The constraints of email clients like Outlook and Gmail mean that building a newsletter template is quite different to the way we build websites and we have less flexibility.
With development complete we commenced thorough testing of the email template in an exhaustive range of email clients and devices. This is an extremely important aspect of the development process as it ensures that 99.9% of Discount Fire Supplies’ newsletter recipients will be able to see the email the way it was intended. The range of email clients tested include desktop clients such as Outlook (all versions), web-based email clients like Gmail and Hotmail and mobile devices such as iPhones and Android smartphones.
With testing complete and any issues ironed out we uploaded the final newsletter template to our web-based email campaign software. This advanced system allows Discount Fire Supplies to edit and send new email campaigns using an intuitive control panel. When we built the template we set a number of content elements to be editable, such as titles, text, image thumbnails and links – when Discount Fire Supplies wants to send a new campaign they simply have to add new content to the template, define who they want to send the campaign to and click Send.
All email recipients are part of a subscriber list that is managed by the system. A form on discountfiresupplies.co.uk allows users to sign up to receive newsletters automatically and new subscribers can also be imported to the system manually at any time. It’s a legal requirement to allow users to unsubscribe from your mailing list if they wish so the email template also includes an unsubscribe button to facilitate this. Any recipients who click unsubscribe are automatically removed from the Discount Fire Supplies subscriber list and won’t be included in future campaigns.
How Can We Help?
If you are in need of a new website, a revamp for your existing website, development to work responsively or anything related to websites and email marketing then get in touch now by calling us on 0121 295 5352, emailing us at [email protected] or using the contact form on our contact page.
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