Silk Blooms Artificial Flowers
When Silk Blooms approached us, they were running a very old Zen Cart store and they were tracking their online orders on an Excel sheet that was manually updated with all of their customisations. Their old site was looking dated and the owners of the company were spending all of their time on the tedious and mundane. We were able to completely transform the front end of their website
Good though it looks, it’s not the front end that made the big different for Silk Blooms. It’s the back end automation that really improved the quality of life for the site owners. The admin panel has been transformed into a fully automated web app, making the processing and programming of orders a breeze. The amount of time spent on this is now negligible compared to the days of manual labour with the old system. We implemented an in-house, automated app that literally freed up three days of their time. So, no more manual labour for the owners! This was an incredible transformation and not only has their workload gone down but their turnover has increased dramatically.
What We Did For Silk Blooms
Front End Website Design
- Custom Website Design: Modernised the site from an old Zen Cart design and cloned it from a favourite of the clients.
- Mobile Website Development: Designed a separate m. website on a sub domain with separate file set.
- Instalment Plan Checkout Module: A system that lets customers checkout on a 20% deposit and pay in instalments.
- Search Engine Optimisation: Focused on-site and off-site optimisation to push the site onto page one of Google.
- PPC Campaign Management: Design, audit and maintain the pay per click campaigns on Google, Facebook and Bing.
This was an in-depth, twelve week project involving a complete re-design with layout and graphic overhaul of each page. State of the art product filtering, a modern new sticky menu and a total redesign of their checkout system. We’re very proud of this website as it’s a perfect example of what can be done. Their turnover has increased dramatically with the new design features and with the introduction of the unique, interest free instalment plan.
Custom Web Design
Most of our clients choose to work with us because of our superior web design skills, informed methods of practice and attention to detail. Silk Blooms were using an old, outdated website design that looked and felt tired but they had some ideas that they liked when they approached us.
After our initial meeting we narrowed it down to a website clone from a popular site that the client liked. Integrating the style and look of the clone site with the existing site functions and features, we created a really modern and clean Ajax site that’s so user friendly and easy to use. The final result surpassed even the clients expectations and in recognition of the design, Silk Blooms were presented with the “Best Use of E-Commerce” award at the East Dunbartonshire Business Awards.
The Ajax filtering system was the biggest challenge, if you’re browsing their catalogue of 7,000+ products then you’re able to filter items into style, colour, size and type. All of this can be done without refreshing the page. It’s quite ingenious as it allows their customers to see only the styles and colours they’re interested in. The ease of use makes it one of the most popular flower websites in the world. Clients like Estée Lauder, L’Oréal and Harrods now purchase from Silk Blooms as they’re seen as a web leader in their field.
Mobile Website Development
The old Silk Blooms site was not at all user friendly and it was cumbersome and difficult to navigate on a mobile phone or tablet. Moreover, with Mobilegeddona around the corner it was pressing that the new site was mobile friendly. We installed the site on a new mobile domain and it’s now ranking high in mobile search results and converting better than ever from mobile traffic.
These days over 60% of internet traffic is coming through mobile phones and tablets so we like to adopt a 60-40 philosophy. No longer is your desktop site your main website, it’s your mobile site that’s your main website now and your desktop site is secondary! This is such an important factor in web design today. If you have a mobile device you should check out the state-of-the-art mobile website we created Silk Blooms. This site uses the same advanced filtering system as the desktop site but it’s been optimised for mobile to load fast with excellent ease of use.
Silk Blooms mobile site was modelled on an award winning design with a familiar side menu instead of the top menu on the main site. This layout is pretty standard on mobile websites and it’s good to provide familiarity to mobile users. The full range of products are included in the site and it’s a fully functional eCommerce site with all of the same features and functions, so customers can still add to cart and checkout online. Since launching Silk Blooms mobile, we’ve noticed that 69% of sales are coming from mobile traffic and Google Analytics show 64% of all users are browsing on their mobile device.
Instalment Plan Payment Module
This was a clever payment module that the client asked us to automate for them. They were already taking deposits from customers and tracking their balance on Excel but they didn’t have this built into their checkout properly. We’ve created an integrated payment plan module so that customers can choose to either pay in full, or set up with an interest free instalment plan. This allows their customers to pay a 20% deposit to secure a booking, then pay the rest off in instalments by logging into their account to pay toward their balance.
This has been a real hit for Silk Blooms as their customers love the flexibility and ease of use. Planning a wedding is expensive and giving their customers this option really does incentivise sales. Since installing this module, the average amount owed to Silk Blooms by customers has doubled in value! That’s a lot of extra orders they might not have been getting before.
When customers get to the checkout page they get the option to click pay in full, or set up a payment plan. Choosing to set up a plan automatically calculates the minimum deposit and shows the total outstanding balance if the use this option. When they checkout it creates a balance on their account page with a link to make additional payments with balance automatically reduced with each instalment. About 50% of their sales now come through on payment plans, just to give you an idea how popular this is. It’s just one of the things we’ve done for Silk Blooms to make them an industry leader.
Search Engine Optimisation
By applying the principles and guidelines set out by Google and ignoring all the hype, we have improved Silk Blooms search engine positions exponentially. Traffic to their site has increased ten fold and sales have been better than they ever imagined they could be. This has been achieved by ensuring every page on the site passes our website health check and that our SEO philosophy is applied.
We have designed Silk Blooms Google ads, Facebook ads and Bing ads and we monitor and maintain each of these campaign. Integrating Google Analytics with Google Adwords allows us to see exactly which ads are performing and which areas to invest in. We have effective techniques in place that really maximise a minimal PPC budget to it’s full potential for Silk Blooms and the three ad campaigns that we manage account for 35% of their sales. We can manage your PPC campaign to ensure you’re getting the most bang for your buck. Learn more about our our PPC services.
Back End Website and Web Application Design
- Automate Order Processing: Live time integration with the checkout system to automatically add new orders to the worksheet chronologically, in priority date order.
- Live Time Order Updates: A system that gives an overview of workload for any given week, updated with every florist in real time as they mark off work complete.
- Work Assignment to Individual Florists: A simple system that allows the master florist to allocate work to florists with the tick of a box.
- Order Editing Simplified: All orders contained in one workbook, with simplified editing tools for quick customer customisations.
- Procurement System: An easy way for staff to create procurement lists as they work, enabling simplified buying and ordering of materials.
- Complex Filtering: A way for supervisors to filter and group order types, order dates and florists work into manageable chunks.
- Order Summary: A row on the worksheet for each order that contains most of the important information on an order by order basis.
One of the biggest challenges that Silk Blooms faced every day was assigning work to florists and managing everything to ensure that nothing was missed or overlapped. This company cater for over 7,000 weddings each year so imagine the amount of work and detail in each order and the customisation involved in every item that’s being hand-made.
It was mind blowing to us that they were managing it all on Excel! Every evening they’d down tools so the florists could update their work by rhyming off everything that they’d completed while the master florist updated Excel. This process alone was taking up three man hours per day and they were spending hours every week just adding new orders to an Excel calendar! It was time to call in the experts and Glasgow Website Designer was able to help, big time!
GWD provided a solution to all of these problems with a web app that automates the work assignment and keeps track of all items on every order. The back end administration on Silk Blooms is complex and our new system has created an all-encompassing solution to their day-to-day work scheduling and order tracking. The system is designed to make their lives easy and it frees up several days from time spent on administration. It’s been integrated into the customer account area too, so customers get a complete overview of order progress, order balance, delivery schedule and live time updates with a progress bar.
This system has allowed Silk Blooms to expand as it’s made the company very efficient and it’s raised capacity to an unlimited level. Admin staff levels are really lean as the order processing, monitoring and updating have been completely streamlined by our software solution. The future is bright for Silk Blooms now and they’re using the free time to spend on the important marketing and brand awareness that’s making them the industry leader in this field.
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