Direct Blinds is an online only brand supplying high quality, made to measure window blinds to customers nationwide. We were approached by Direct Blinds to join the multi-agency team working on this project, to complete the technical build of their new website.
The aim was to deliver an enterprise ecommerce solution that was fully optimised for search engines and capable of supporting large monthly traffic volumes and transactions.
We worked collaboratively with the team at Direct Blinds from the very start of this project, using our digital expertise to help them deliver a comprehensive project specification, which clearly defined the scope and functionality of the new website. This ensured the project met the expectations of the client and satisfied search engine optimisation (SEO) requirements, development best practices and usability features from the outset.
We used sprint planning to manage the development process and successfully used staged releases to ensure key functionality was thoroughly and rigorously tested before moving onto the next sprint. This also allowed Direct Blinds to provide regular input throughout the development phase and ultimately ensured that the end result met their high expectations.
An accurate and comprehensive user manual was also delivered for every sprint release providing Direct Blinds with an invaluable instruction manual for the website. This was important for supporting their transition from the old website to the new one and improving their understanding of how the new content management functionality works.
The website has been designed to meet modern expectations for leading ecommerce websites. The main navigation is product focussed driving users down into the product catalogue and a grid design is used to display lots of information in a clear and simple way. Colour is used to highlight key information such as pricing, which is integral to the online buying journey and calls to action are clearly differentiated from other on-page elements.
During the development phase, virtually every element of the new Direct Blinds website was heavily optimised to improve usability. In particular, page delivery was developed using Kentico’s Scheduled Tasks functionality to streamline SQL calls to the database, ensuring the site achieved fast page speeds, which would improve SEO and satisfy users.
Kentico’s Filters and Repeaters provided a flexible and efficient method of capturing the complexities of Direct Blinds’ extensive product catalogue. It also created the functionality for users to easily refine and search products to support their buying journey and ultimately encourage conversions. Pagination was then leveraged to create search engine friendly product listing pages.
For SEO purposes and to achieve consistent URL structures capable of signposting a user’s location in the site structure, we also canonicalised and re-ordered URLs for all product filters to limit the use of query strings appearing in URLs. This has the added benefit of making all URLs highly shareable and understandable out of the context of the site.
Finally Kentico’s Custom Modules were used to improve the aesthetics of the content management system by allowing product categories to be ordered appropriately by the Direct Blinds’ team, ultimately improving product management.
PayPal Braintree integration to authenticate card payments
TrustPilot Integration to support the conversion funnel with customer reviews
Amazon Web Services integration delivers a robust hosting solution that reduces the risk of disruption to the website’s performance and protects Direct Blinds revenue stream
The next stage in our working partnership with Direct Blinds is to focus on improving and optimising the design and usability of the site on mobile devices. However, in the first four weeks since launch the new website has already achieved over 170,000 sessions and maintained an average session duration of more than 3:30 minutes. It has also proved successful as an ecommerce solutions as well, handling over 4,800 transactions.