Cladco Profiles are an established UK leading manufacturer of Metal Roof Sheeting and Corrugated Sheets and have had an existing web presence since 1999. Microserve was approached by Cladco in 2011 with a desire to upgrade their outdated HTML site to a CMS based solution which would offer their customers a wide variety of functionality.
Due to the technical depth of the industry potential customers often understand the construction task in hand, but rarely have any idea of the type and quantity of sheeting which they need to fulfil this task. Cladco wanted a website which would successfully inform the customer of the exact products they needed to buy, and also state the quantity and lengths of sheets they needed from a given calculation. Ideally this would then provide an increased level of understanding and confidence to the customer, who would therefore be more likely to make a purchase.
In addition to marketing and selling their products, Cladco also expressed a strong interest to offer a variety of roofing installation guides online, and was looking for an easy way to display and manage this content.
Microserve is a specialist Drupal development agency, and for this reason we often have to sell Drupal to our clients and explain why it is the perfect choice for them.
In this instance we sold it on the following reasons:
- Drupal offers a high level of flexibility which was needed to satisfy the project requirements. A large portion of the site appeared to fit into the generic CMS bracket; however it was clear the project would need some custom functionality built which would be easy with Drupal.
- It is open source, which was important as the client didn’t want to pay any licensing fees, neither did they want a CMS which was vendor specific.
Once the business requirements had been evaluated it was clear that the site would need an e-commerce system which could display and sell products, with the addition of a purchase wizard to help customers easily choose the products they required.
Unlike other e-commerce sites, customers would often need to amend their order based on Cladco’s advice, therefore orders would need to be sent as order requests rather than paid orders, at least until the system had been evaluated.
The purchase wizard would allow users to customise products of a certain type (listed under the Roofing Taxonomy term) and add or remove certain features. Links to guides would also need to be added to explain the sub-sections, and why a customer would want to add certain features to their order.
A calculator type tool was to be developed which would allow users to input the dimensions of their roof and have the required roofing lengths automatically added to their order. This was a tool which had been seen elsewhere and a bespoke version was developed accordingly.
Installation Guides are used to provide information to the customer in order to help them understand the product they are buying, and also how to install it. The Book module was used to separate these 2 guide types, and with the help of Overlay they could then be presented in a pop-up fashion where the user could navigate easily between related guides.
Products / SagePay Integration
Ubercart was used to list and sell the products and a ‘free payment’ order type was setup which would allow the order to be sent by email without any payment taking place.
An important milestone in the project was integrating SagePay with the system to allow customers to purchase certain products online. This was decided after the purchase wizard was initially built and the client was confident in the usability of the site. Initially only products listed under the Fixings taxonomy term have been added to this part of the functionality, however all products would eventually be available to purchase and pay for online, once the corresponding business processes have developed.
A major worry for the client was the SEO of the site, since it was currently ranking quite highly for specific terms and had accumulated a high level of traffic over the years. The client was worried that the level of traffic may drop, and therefore as part of the project we evaluated the SEO of the site and made changes to increase this level.
By far the greatest achievement of the project has been the increase in site traffic. Since the site launched the traffic has almost doubled (excluding weekends which have not changed) and the user engagement has changed dramatically. Since transforming the site from a HTML site to a content-rich Drupal 7 site the Pages per Visit, Pageviews and Avg. Visit Duration have increased dramatically and the Bounce Rate has dropped to an acceptable figure.
We believe this is due to the amount of increased quality content, and the flexibility and functionality which contributed SEO modules provide to help make these changes.