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July 19, 2011

Adding some real grunt to a website…

by Tim Fifield
4x4 Solutions

Project: 4×4 Solutions
Site Published: June 2011

4×4 Solutions is based in Maresfield, East Sussex and is run by self-confessed 4×4 obsessive David Ede. For over a decade David has been looking after the needs of a loyal group of customers ranging from city types through to farmers ensuring their motors are running to the peak of performance whatever their use.

But his passion with the world of 4×4 extends well beyond his business. You’ll see David on trials, show days, club events and adventures that often see his vehicles in extreme and challenging conditions. David explains “a serious off-roader get’s you in touch with driving at the extremes of your and your vehicles ability. I simply love pushing the car to its limits. Having an in depth knowledge of the vehicle is key to getting the most out of it”.

An early adopter…

Back at work David runs a tight commercial operation but like most forward thinking business people is anxious to keep ahead of the game. Having looked at his marketing and the opportunities within the industry he began to consider making greater use of the web.

“We’d been a fairly early adopter, especially in our industry, but our website was still only a shop window, and a fairly basic one at that. I knew there was more to be had but didn’t really have a clear vision of what was possible and crucially would give us a decent return”.

David approached me earlier this year and we began to discuss some ideas. He’d already began thinking in terms of online sales and had begun conversations with some major suppliers. After an exploratory  session I came back with a project proposal that managed to harness the needs of the site in four ways:

  1. An intuitive online shop
  2. Interactive services to bring people back
  3. A great design that truly reflected the style and excitement of the business
  4. A robust and effective marketing campaign

The 4x4 Solutions Online Shop1. The Online Shop

This new venture is a logical extension to the 4×4 Solutions business and has been designed to provide easy access to a range of 4×4 parts and accessories. We designed it specifically for ease of use, speed and product groupings that reflect the key vehicles the shop is supplying product for.In addition the site features a simple yet powerful administration area allowing the business to add products, create featured and related products, and run special offers directly from a single control panel.

The 4x4 Solutions Dashboard2. Interactive services to bring people back
Getting visitors to the site is one thing, getting them to return is a whole new deal. That’s why we thought long and hard about what could hook users into the site long term. We therefore devised “My Dashboard” – a simple reminder service allowing visitors to log when their MOT, service, air conditioning service or winter check is due. Users simply register their details and then receive an email alert two weeks prior to the event. Not only is this a useful service for the user, but from a business perspective this allows 4×4 Solutions to have an ongoing and meaningful communications.

4x4 Solutions Design3.
 A great design that truly reflected the style and excitement of the business
The old site reflected nothing of the passion and excitement of the business, a typical brochure site of old. We’ve created a site that looks and feels exactly like the business it portrays with strong descriptive text backed up with a great design style and plenty of great photos. The project section of the site shows the latest vehicle undergoing a major restoration. In time we will be featuring video and further projects.

4x4 Solutions in Google4. A robust and effective marketing campaign

We are now working on a series of marketing campaigns designed to drive more traffic to the site. This includes a big push on SEO and an email campaign to outline what the site is all about and some of the great features of using it. In addition we’ve now got a Facebook presence and will be working with 4×4 clubs to use the site as a hub offering them discounts and special offers on parts and servicing. The fruits of this work are beginning to show and the site is now taking orders and achieving good results on Google.

Client Feedback:
“Tim spent a lot of time working with us to understand our business and create a strategy to help us identify a strong online presence. We are exceptionally pleased with the result – the site truly reflects who we are as a business and now that the marketing is kicking in we can see firm orders and growing visitor rates. I would definitely recommend Tim and his team and look forward to a continuing relationship between our two companies”. David Ede – Managing Director, 4×4 Solutions

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