Harworth Heating was established in 1971 by Terry Hibbard. Today, Harworth Heating is one of the UK’s largest suppliers of solid fuel, multi-fuel, wood, gas and oil burning stoves for all applications. Experts in their field, they continue to design and build their own range of stoves which are sold alongside products from all of the leading manufacturers.
Problems with the previous site
Harworth Heating have been using Benchmark Software to help run their business for over 25 years. So when we added web development to our range of services, they wanted us to develop a brand new eCommerce website for them.
Their existing site was visually dated and difficult to navigate, particularly the large number of products and spares. There was also a lack of general descriptions and sales information about the types of products and the company itself.
There was a useful library of guides, brochures and product diagrams that helped users to identify which part they needed and fully understand the products and how to use them. However, this was also confusing and awkward to navigate.
Being an old website, it was not optimised for browsing on mobile and tablets, providing a difficult and frustrating experience for users of such devices.
Despite these issues, the site consistently did well for targeted organic search terms. They also ran a successful Google AdWords campaign, which they wished to continue.
A key selling point for the business is their extensive range of spares in stock, which means they can offer next day delivery for most items rather than a week or more if products have to be ordered from the manufacturers. They also have extensive experience and product knowledge, and were therefore able to offer expert help and advice to their customers.
The objectives for this project were:
- Update their existing logo and branding to develop a strong visual identity that distinguished them from their competitors.
- Make sure the website is optimised for viewing on a range of devices from smart phones to tablets, laptops to desktops.
- Write informative content, straightforward product guides, and a stove output calculator to:
- Increase customer confidence and trust in Harworth’s knowledge and customer service.
- Help customers make informed decisions.
- Improve organic search-engine ranking.
- Product, stock and customer order integration with the Benchmark stock-control and accounting software.
- Ensure navigation is simple for Harworth’s 50,000 products, particularly for the spare parts.
- Offer straightforward guides and a heat output calculator to encourage users to stay on the site and provide them with helpful information.
- Maintain their organic search engine ranking.
- Provide an easier and more accessible method of browsing the library of product information, articles and exploded parts diagrams they have for their products.
- Create a flexible slideshow system that allowed them to create new slides by simply adding an image, entering text, and optionally specifying a button. This allows Harworth to easily and quickly create slides without requiring a graphic designer.
The end result
The new website has achieved all of the above objectives and we continue to maintain and improve the site to respond to changing requirements and customer needs.
It is very strong visually and is much easier to navigate than before, particularly for customers browsing on mobile devices. The new responsive layout allows customers to use the website without resorting to pinching and zooming.
A range of buying guides as well as a bespoke calculator to help determine the required heat output of a stove for the size of their room, has allowed customers to make informed buying decisions and increase their trust in Harworth Heating.
Integration with the Benchmark stock and account system has allowed Harworth Heating to easily manage their 50,000 products in one location, removing the issue of making sure the stock system and website prices and stock levels are in sync.