WAVE (AudioVideoElectric.com) sell a range of products, from bulk wire and cable to audio video products for the film and sound recording industries. In fact, at any one time they generally have between 20,000 and 50,000 products for sale!
It’s a unique challenge because they need to be able to add new products and edit existing products in bulk as well as making sure that their customers can find all those products.
What We Did
WAVE’s main priority was to ensure that their customers could navigate the site easily and to give them the ability to search for products and to quickly find important information such as a product’s key attributes (eg, cable type, color, number of wires).
The first step, we decided, was to plan and build a new website. We chose to move away from their existing provider and to a self-hosted eCommerce solution so that we could have root access to the site’s source code. This was essential to add the required functionality.
WAVE have around 600 product categories, so figuring out an efficient structure was paramount. We used Analytics data and heat-mapping to assess how customers wanted to use the site and we redesigned the category structure accordingly. The key goal was to make navigation as intuitive as possible and to ensure that every category could be reached within 2 clicks of the home page.
WAVE are constantly trying to improve their product data, but doing so for each individual product is almost impossible. We have helped to manipulate their existing data (mostly in spreadsheets) to build coherent product descriptions and optimize meta data.
A site this size takes some resources to run well, so we have helped to move the site to a suitable dedicated server and we have taken steps to ensure that the site runs quickly and uses minimal server resources.
We have also started work on a “tech guides” section to help customers to improve their understanding of the products. These guides are quite technical, and the hope is that we can build a link-worthy resources section that will add value in a niche where most product information is homogenous.
Wire and cabling are pretty niche products so it was important to use the most relevent social media channels, where the target audience would frequent. Our social efforts have therefore focused primarily on Twitter, where we’ve fostered a small but passionate social community.
The new website has already launched. We view it as a constant work in progress and WAVE are working hard to ensure that all products are correctly populated and in their correct categories (a mammoth task), but so far the feedback has been good and having a more user-friendly layout has enabled WAVE to seek new clients and pitch for bigger contracts.
The next steps for this project are to add even more products and to find a way to make products searchable by various attributes. Among the various product categories, we already have almost 100 different product attributes, so watch this space!