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Bristol Students Union

The University of Bristol Students Union is a charity based organisation that caters for the needs of students and alumni whilst investing back in the student body.


The University of Bristol Students Union came to us with an online store that was outdated and lacking functionality to monitor site traffic, provide comprehensive reporting and sustain the unions’ steady growth.
The client needed an attractive store that was flexible, that could support and adapt to the unions’ expansion into the ecommerce market, and establish the store as a major e-tailer comparable to many top brand high street stores.
It was felt that the stores design wasn’t seamless and struggled to fit with the Students Union brand as it should.


We custom built the unions’ new store using open-source ecommerce platform, Magento. We used a fresh colour pallet against a white background and gave the home screen some TLC; a dynamic scrolling banner to allow the promotion of specific content, making the site more akin to the landing pages of big e-tailers. Here, visitors can immediately act upon various discounts and special offers, jumping straight to the product of interest via click-throughs. Improved search functionality allows customers to easily access the content they want by entering in their search terms rather than follow the navigition or sitemap.
We have implemented a number of functions that help improve the overall on page user experience; related products lists, dynamic on-page colour swatches, a wish list function, a dynamic add to cart function and social media integration. Tweet and share buttons underneath each product on site heighten social media engagement too; customers can share the products they love with friends, ultimately acting to promote the site and aid SEO.


The University of Bristol Students Union now have a custom built Magento ecommerce store that has all the functionality and usability shoppers would come to expect from big retailers like Asos, Topshop and Burton. The store is synonymous with the existing Students Union brand and now provides top level administrative insight. The additional fields that were integrated into the customer registration form provide admin with a greater understanding of the types of visitors to the site and allow the client to tailor content to their specific needs.
The Integrated inventory system and CMS allows the client full control over content, including the promotion of special offers and discounts throughout the store and on selected items. Managing stock and shipping orders from the site is now a simple task and the client can receive top level reporting on product views, best selling items as well as abandoned carts. This level of reporting works well to provide the client with everything they need to improve the user experience and adapt it to enhance the unions’ growth. With their new ecommerce store the Bristol University Students Union are sure to see an increase in site traffic and a dramatic increase in their online sales.


'We approached Big Eye Deers in September with a brief to re-design and update our website; on an extremely tight timescale they worked with us to design and implement a contemporary e-commerce platform that met all our criteria and went 'live' on November 1st!

The website is something that we are extremely pleased with, it is easy to maintain, and we have already seen increased traffic and web sales!

It has been very enjoyable working with Big Eye Deers so far and we look forward to building upon this in the future. They made what could have been a challenging process very easy; they were efficient, professional, approachable and quick to respond to our questions and queries, and we wouldn't hesitate in recommending them to others.'