An e‑commerce website that has transformed a national mail‑order business
A page from the BES website seen on a desktop PC

BES is a well-established company with a popular print catalogue. It wanted to increase revenue and grow the business using its website technology to extend its capabilities.

The successful business had a multi-million pound turnover from its catalogue and website. Some of its earliest trade plumbing parts customers have stayed with the company since it was established in 1975.

While the business was a traditional mail-order model, BES had adopted e-commerce in the form of a simple website; however, online growth was now stagnating.

In the last year, the website – supported by an increased spend on digital marketing – has helped BES report that its total sales had increased by 13.7% and website sales by a massive 27.5%.

“Up until we built the new website, we had flatlined. When we chose Door4 for this, we knew it was going to be transformative, but what happened exceeded our expectations. It helped us explore the fundamentals of our business, our relationships with customers, and our vision for the future. And it stimulated growth and streamlined operations, which is exactly what we wanted it to do.”
Sarah Meredith
Managing Director

This website was designed to boost growth, and the discovery process helped BES update how it communicates to customers across all its channels. After considering all its options, BES chose our process-driven approach to support its desired growth within the predicted time scale, and invested in a best-in-class website that would be informed by a root and branch review of their proposition, culture and more.

The discovery phase of this project brought us together with our marketing partner Refinery to research BES’s customers. This helped us and, more importantly, BES understand how customers wanted to communicate, order and purchase. On one hand, a sole trader might want to browse the catalogue or online product pages in his van before phoning in an order; whereas a buyer for a larger company might want to do a bulk order online.

From here, Door4 helped BES analyse how its proposition should evolve to meet the needs of its customers, then produced a service blueprint of how we were going to deliver this using technology.

A navigation menu from the BES website, showing a streamlined buyer journey

Our blueprint, backed by the research, drove the creation of new features, like Click & Collect, and the improvement of others. It included integrating tools, like warehouse applications, and new tools that aligned the website to BES’s goals. These included a market-leading product integration management (or PIM) service and an innovative search and navigation tool.

Future requirements of services BES wants to provide to its customers using the web technology were also brought under consideration, in order for the company to make the most of its investment. This was a highly sophisticated development project, so we collaborated with certified Magento partner, Ampersand, who developed the codebase. Ultimately, it has made it possible for the business to invest more in digital marketing and advertising, which has helped drive its phenomenal growth.

Magento, Ampersand and Refinery logos