In 2018 our marketing and IT departments continued the redesign of the company website following a restructure of the company’s digital strategy. Unlike many other electrical wholesale websites our website is not purposely built for e-commerce. Rather, the online strategy of our company is structured around brand awareness and lead generation. These aims are built into our digital outreach strategy as we aim to move further into the digital age whilst also protecting our brick and mortar branches that our customers value.
The new design of our website has placed an emphasis on brand awareness and generating leads for our eleven branches to follow up on. Over the last 12 months 66% of visitors to our website have been new users, so promoting our brand to new audiences and facilitating their interaction with Sales Account Managers is paramount. We believe that the best way to build brand awareness and develop leads with our digital strategy is to provide additional value to our customer base upfront. With our website this value is delivered by providing industry-specific news and information that can be utilised by contractors in their day to day workload.
A significant problem with our industry, as e-commerce plays an increasingly important role in electrical wholesale, is the price driven nature of industry websites where e-commerce and cheap prices play a front and centre role in digital strategy. We aim to protect market prices with our online platform that provides our customers with 24/7 access to online ordering on a bespoke platform showing their own account terms. Our e-commerce platform can be accessed through the Accounts and Online Orders portal, which lets account customers access their invoices and statements online, as well as place orders through the website. This platform provides a bespoke buying experience for account customers, with individual pricing and favourite product lists set up for each customer to allow for quick and easy ordering and simple repeat ordering. The online ordering system on our website is a desktop extension of our Click & Collect ordering app where customers have twenty-four seven access to over eight thousand products with next day delivery on all orders. Customers are able to contact us directly for quotations on orders or to enquire about the products we provide and services we stock via the online contact form. Alternatively, customers can find all branch contact information on our branch directory webpages.
We are continuously developing our website as a reliable go-to source of information for electrical contractors and industry professionals. The news section of our website is updated weekly with industry, manufacturer and company news. Not only do we aim to target electrical contractors with information on new products, company initiatives, regulatory and legal changes, but we also target the end user with help-guides on topics like lighting and domestic fire alarms to help drive demand for the products and services of our customers. We believe that as an electrical wholesaler we have a responsibility to provide credible and insightful advice to our customers. What defines us against DIY or Big Box retailers is our specialist knowledge of products, standards and regulations, and our access to information from supply partners with electrical contractors as their target market.
In September we launched our own ‘18th Edition Hub’ that provides our customers with free downloadable guides on some of the notable changes in the 18th edition regulations. We worked with our supplier partners on putting together a selection of material on the key 18th edition issues from Arc Fault Detection and RCD Selection to cable management and fire safety. Contributing manufacturers included Hager, Trench, SWA and Wylex, with BEAMA guides also readily available for customers to download and read straight to their devices. The 18th Edition has been a major talking point in our industry over the past 12 months and this has most certainly been reflected in the traffic to our 18th Edition Hub. The content we’ve produced and provided on 18th edition has been our most viewed and distributed from the website, boosting our search engine performance and continually driving strategy in other aspects of our marketing.