UK-based Jackson’s Art Supplies, which sells 60,000+ art material products to 246 countries, appointed Xigen in 2011, initially to move them to a new ecommerce platform with some bespoke additions, as they looked to scale and grow their business online as well as improve their user experience.
After moving Jackson’s successfully onto the Magento platform, Xigen’s role has evolved with Jackson’s objectives to ensure that all aspects of the ecommerce offering across all devices are delivering a great experience for customers. Xigen has also been proactive in identifying and opening up new revenue streams for the retailer.
Xigen’s work has seen the creation of a dedicated Magento channel for Jackson’s to run orders across Amazon and eBay, the delivery of platform infrastructure that supports organic search, interface changes to improve usability, the creation and launch of Jackson’s websites globally, the building of a new shipping system, and outside of core ecommerce the design and development of a bespoke EPOS system.
Jackson’s Art are very happy to accept Xigen’s recommendations, knowing they will see a strong return from the activity. This case study looks at the recent proactive activity Xigen has delivered for Jackson’s Art Supplies (from 2016 onwards), and details how Xigen has helped them to future-proof their website as it has scaled up, and drive revenue from it.
Jackson’s new Magento platform officially launched on 2nd January with a key part of the customised work Xigen delivered on the new platform around functionality and user experience.
The platform offered improved search using Solr that delivered predictive search (it suggests / predicts the rest of the search terms) - vital to help narrow down the 60,000+ products on the site. It enabled users to quickly search for a specific brush or paint.
As part of this new functionality Xigen created an easy to use brand menu, allowing consumers to easily search for products by brand, and also offer a full range option to see every colour or size option on one page. Xigen carried out long range A/B testing throughout 2016 to enable them to keep monitoring and improving the site on the new platform.
The new customised Magento platform delivered 16% more traffic by the end of January 2016 compared with the previous platform in January 2015. Average session duration leaped by 79% in 2015.
Average session duration post-Magento
“From re-platforming our website to help ensure our scalability and usability in the long term to opening up new online revenue streams, Xigen have been there every step of the way. They have even helped us with our in-store EPOS systems and back office order management system to better run and scale our business.
After eight successful years working with Xigen we have almost without exception accepted all Xigen’s recommendations which has resulted in a strong increase in online users, orders and revenue. The value they have added to us as a business has been immeasurable. We’re looking forward to working closely with Xigen for many more years.”
Managing Director, Jackson’s Art Supplies
Xigen created and launched another Magento channel to run channel orders across Amazon and eBay, opening up Jackson’s to a huge additional marketplace. Xigen also delivered major work on improving page speed to increase organic traffic and usability in the spring and summer of 2017.
When Google made major changes to search in 2017 Xigen made sure Jackson’s backend platform infrastructure reflected these changes to ensure the business continued to rank highly in organic search.
Xigen carried out a mobile website re-design to improve conversions on mobile devices. For desktop Xigen made changes to the user interface and redesigned the checkout to help reduce clicks and unnecessary page loads.
Xigen worked on improving the user experience even further by undertaking major user interface changes. This included building highly bespoke colour, brush grids and brand / product finders. This work was delivered after Xigen was proactive with conversion rate optimisation (CRO) activity, in studying how users were navigating the site. The balk of this work led to simplifying the site to decrease time on it and drive spend.
Xigen developed a ‘hot’ disaster recovery strategy / plan. This meant that if Jackson’s servers went down it would be up in a matter of minutes, served from an alternative data centre. In December this plan was enacted when their servers (provided by a third party) failed for two days.
Mobile site revenue increased by 34% and tablet 23% (4 weeks after the mobile website re-design went live). Revenue from purchases on desktops increased 12% by helping to reduce clicks and unnecessary page loads. Organic search traffic increased 58% with the technical infrastructure Xigen delivered. Revenue from the website increased 35%.
Mobile site revenue increase
Increase in mobile sessions
Organic search traffic increase
“We enjoy delivering a full-service ecommerce offering to Jackson’s, including re-platforming their site, being proactive in spotting opportunities to improve the usability and functionality of their site across all devices, including opening up new revenue streams; driving the site’s long-term scalability by ensuring its back-end keeps up with its front-end developments, and building and launching Jackson’s sites in other countries.”
Xigen built and launched Jackson’s first international ecommerce website in Germany in May, the second biggest market for Jackson’s after the UK. The fully translated site was created bespoke for the German market. Also, Xigen designed the site to protect Jackson’s ranking on Google. Xigen is currently developing sites to launch in Russia, Spain, France, China and Italy.
Xigen’s ongoing analysis of Jackson’s website revealed that those who subscribed to their newsletter spent more. So Xigen made some changes to the Jackson’s Art website to encourage customers to sign up to the newsletter, and at the same time, amended the checkout process to improve the customer journey from the newsletter to checkout. With this activity taking place after GDPR Xigen managed to increase subscribers to the newsletter by +66% and revenue for Jackson’s Art increased over the same period by 6%.
Also, Xigen is working with Jackson’s to create a new back-office order management system to help improve the day to day running and scalability of the business – to better manage stock and calls from customers.
Xigen is also creating a new shipping system for getting products to customers because the existing shipping system is slowing down their Magento site by 80%. For Jackson’s retail outlets Xigen is starting to develop and build EPOS (customer self-service order points in-store). Xigen has designed a new bespoke system from scratch which will launch later in 2018.
Also, looking ahead, Xigen is developing and improving Jackson’s site infrastructure to keep up with the front end and strong growth, particularly in their new international markets. It’s worth bearing in mind that Jackson’s usually has 100 people on their site at any time. After a newsletter goes out or a promotion is communicated it rises to 400+, with even more online for Black Friday. The work Xigen carries out ensures Jackson’s site can easily cope with these peaks.
Comparing January to June 2017 vs January to June 2018 – the number of users has increased 50%, organic traffic is up 34%, orders up 30% and revenue is up 24%.
Number of users
Increase in orders
Increase in revenue
Increase in website users
Website revenue increase
Increase in website orders
Organic site traffic increase
“Outside of the core ecommerce work we always look to add value where we can, which includes helping Jackson’s to improve their internal business processes, hosting platform and undertaking work in-store with their EPOS machines. We’re looking forward to being a key part of their ecommerce success story in the long term.”
Managing Director, Xigen