The Heinnie story is a firm favourite of ours. If it was a Fairytale, it would be one where the underdog agency wins the massive client and they both skip off into the sunshine and live happily ever after. I mean seriously, as far as client relationships go – ours with Heinnie is a match made in heaven.
From the very start of the project, we were so heavily vested in its success, not least because the project itself was so uber cool, but because the people behind it were just as passionate about their work, as we were with ours.
Let’s put it this way, Heinnie.com mark 1 was always developed in-house, it was their baby. But it was time to build a strong relationship with an adoptive agency who could give Heinnie.com what the in-house team could no longer do.
With sights already set on Magento, it was a case of finding the agency with the ‘right fit’. The tender for the project went out to six agencies and Big Eye Deers WASN’T one of them. Not to begin with anyway.
“We fixed a meeting with one of the agencies, they were very good, very professional, and would have delivered us an excellent site. We got to quite an advanced stage of negotiations, but something wasn’t quite right”.
No matter how good you are, or how good the work you produce is, the end result always boils down to relationships, and connections. One of our existing clients is a supplier of Flashlights, stocked with Heinnie; they have a great Magento store that had captured Heinnies’ eye.
“BED are based down the road from us in Cardiff which is a nice extra, it means that we can pop in and bother them whenever the need arises – and the truth is that the need very rarely arises”
When the Heinnie team came to the office, we knew that this project would be a great one to work on. We submitted a hefty proposal that we think was knock your socks off good! Well it must have been, because we won the work!
When we started the project, we wanted to work closely with Heinnie to make a sleek Magento site that worked as they needed it to, on every type of device. The re-design was intended to improve on what was already there and not completely change the face of Heinnie, as it was already well established in its own right.
The old Heinnie site had served its purpose to a point, but it was tired and in need of some long overdue TLC. The content throughout was small and often over-crowded the space available; granted users had all the information they could possibly need to make a purchase decision- but we needn’t make this difficult for them. This had to change. We introduced a layered navigation and facets to get rid of unsightly lists that used to dominate the page.
We designed and built the new Heinnie.com to be solid and robust, and boy can the product database pack a punch! We stayed very on brand colour wise and introduced Trustpilot to the top level of the site and made it quite prominent throughout, this was to show new users that the brand is one that is trusted and reliable, through independent honest reviews, Trustpilot can offer assurance to users that they won’t be let down if they make a purchase- far from it.
With a few custom widgets and modules the site really is all singing and all dancing. It offers amazing 360 degree product views, embedded Youtube reviews, and all the standard features expected from big brand eCommerce stores.
The site was built fluidly and works across all devices to ensure the user gets the best experience possible. With the addition of on-going marketing support from us at Big Eye Deers, Heinnie will be able to attract and retain customers like never before, using things like abandoned cart emails, bespoke initiatives targeted to segmented audiences and campaigns on swanky new knife releases.
Every element of the project that we handled from design through to UX and build was considered to make the site more user-friendly than its old-hack predecessor.
We worked to produce a fantastic product with a fantastic outcome. A bigger and better site with more hits, more revenue, and even more loyal customers!
Before the site went live we released a beta version that was restricted as a demo only, the Heinnie team then released this to forums where avid adventure/ survival / tactical enthusiasts would be able to have a poke around and share their thoughts as well as give suggestions. The feedback was very positive, and put Heinnie in a confident position prior to us pushing the button. Or so we thought!
Once the site was made live the Heinnie team started to receive emails from avid users and fanatical collectors that the site had changed and that they didn’t like it. Similar to when Facebook has an update and everyone kicks off about it!
But, it wasn’t simply a case of ‘nobody-likes-change’ syndrome, there were some usability issues that needed ironing out for accessibility. We took all the comments that were sent in on-board, and worked with the Heinnie team to get some UX updates in place. The site is now working as it’s users feel it should, and is keeping them coming back if the stats are anything to go by.
Sec Load Speed
From a development point of view Heinnie was a dream project; lots of bespoke functionality plus a couple of custom integrations with 3rd party systems thrown in for good measure!
From the outset it was clear that one of Heinnie’s main selling points was their impeccable customer service. We knew that the website needed to be as informative and helpful as possible to give customers all of the information they need when considering a purchase. With all this in mind we developed lots of useful features like live stock statuses, delivery estimates, customer reviews, 360 product views and advanced faceting.
Helping the customer didn’t stop at the front end though, we built a completely custom integration with Heinnie’s internal systems to ensure that stock levels were always bang on and that orders were processed and out of the door as quickly as possible.
With all the custom functionality, huge product catalogue and Heinnie’s impressive traffic stats we had to make sure that the site’s performance was tip top. To do this we implemented an advanced full page caching system which reduced page load times dramatically.
We loved every minute of this project, but boy, we couldn’t wait to hit the button on it! everyone including the team at Heinnie really had to pull all the stops to get everything as we intended it. You know you’ve got a strong dev team when everyone wants to stay on and work a little later to finish a module!
It was a pleasure working with Heinnie, it was like we became one giant organisation for a short while, and we’re thrilled that our involvement with them will continue long into the future. If only there were more Heinnie’s in the world- We could all live happily ever after!