Founded in 1992, Hopes Grove Nurseries is one of the largest hedging suppliers in the UK operating across 80 acres of land in Kent. Their dedication over plant quality and handling as well as their experienced on-site staff puts them in a league of their own, and with more than 4,200 5-star reviews, they let their expertise speak for itself.
The business challenge
We were appointed by Hopes Grove Nurseries in the Summer of 2017 to revamp and completely re-build their eCommerce website. Their old site had been designed and built by an in-house developer on a bespoke platform, and unfortunately, they had a ceiling in sales, their conversion rate was low, and the site wasn’t aesthetically pleasing. All of these factors had resulted in them not ranking particularly high in Google, so, our friends at Sleeping Giant Media suggested they outsource their website to us.
Like all business owners, Morris wanted to give Hopes Grove Nurseries, and their sister business, Hedging Plants (but more about that later) the best chance of survival in the digital age. To achieve this, they were looking for a website that would deliver exceptional experiences, put them on the first page of Google, boost sales and position them as a credible retailer in their industry.
Moreover, Hopes Grove Nurseries isn’t open to the public. This means that they rely on telesales and the website to generate business and stay afloat, making the need for a high-performing, standout website, that ranks well all the more important.
The solution we delivered
Armed with the client’s deliverables, we set about understanding the client, where they sat in the market, how their competitors are positioned and the needs of their target demographic. This information laid the foundations of a website designed with user experiences fit for those less technically minded, as their target market is retirees and small business owners. We also implemented functionality such as dynamic calculators and recommendation tools to help ensure users get all the items they need for each bulk purchase.
The biggest hurdle of the project was that the new site had to cater for more than 1,600 products organised into more than 400 categories, most of which had a tiered discount pricing structure. We also needed to ensure that the products could get imported from their office inventory database system.
Since the launch of the website in November 2017, we’ve worked hard with the client to ensure it continues to deliver exceptional experiences online. Customer feedback has been a big part of the ongoing updates to the site as well as introducing the latest functionality to ensure it continues to deliver market-leading experiences. Additional features include AMP theme development which we introduced by recommendation of Google to boost the sites performance, schema mark-up, and the latest, a self-selection tool to help users find what they’re looking for more efficiently.
All additional changes to features and functionality have also been maintained on their sister site, Hedging Plants which is due to go live later this year (2020). With entirely different branding and visual design, the new website will target the younger market (millennials and first-time buyers), allowing the client to penetrate wider audiences and spread their brand’s presence.
Following the site’s launch, Hopes Grove Nurseries has seen incredible growth in sales. Their website has far surpassed telesales in revenue, they get daily feedback from clients about how easy the site is to use, and they’ve even spotted some of their competitors implementing similar features in a bid to keep up! And in the site’s first full year, the Hopes Grove Nurseries eCommerce website achieved over £1million in net sales, a 65% uplift on their previous website. Conversion rates have increased from 0.5% to more than 3%, and we’ve also helped them reduce their PPC spend by 140k. Previously the client relied on discounting and paid advertising to drive traffic during their quieter months but now, with their new-status, elevated presence and reputation, their bottom line continues to grow.
If we look at the site’s performance over the last year*, we see some incredible growth:
- Overall sessions are up by 27.42%
- Organic sessions are up 45.93%
- Organic new users are up by 48.82%
- Pageviews are up by 25.90%
*Nov 18-19 compared to Nov 17-18