As one of our oldest clients, Franchise Brands were one of the first websites we built back in 2012 using responsive design techniques but after a long 5 years it was definitely time to bring them up to date both in design and with a completely fresh Umbraco build.
Franchise Brands are a pleasure to work with because their business is very strongly tied to conversion on two fronts and the entire foundation of the businesses they operate is geared towards generating leads for car repairs (ChipsAway) and cleaning (Ovenclean) quotes along with encouraging people to register their interest in becoming a franchise owner.
Our goals in that respect were very clear and we began the task of a complete overhaul of both front and back end of their sites.
Having managed the existing website for a number of years, we already knew what we were dealing with and from the very beginning knew that it would be quicker and more efficient to simply replace it with a new ground up build using the latest Umbraco version rather than trying to port years worth of tweaks and modifications to a new version.
As a client, Franchise Brands spend a great deal of time and effort measuring and optimising their content so we were comfortable the broad structure and actual content within the core pages was strong but one of the key issues we identified was that they were simply unable to react quickly enough to their fast-paced advertising requirements.
They're a company who invest heavily in marketing from print and web to TV adverts so it was vital for them to be able to push traffic spikes to a particular page on the site that supported their message rather than all to the homepage and hope!
As a company we often follow an "atomic" approach to designing client sites and for Franchise Brands, this made perfect sense because a set of components they could use and customise and then stack up to build bespoke landing pages for campaigns and content pages meant we could hand off a library of styles that were flexible enough to cover the requirements of the marketing team and content editors.
Not only does a modular library of components make sense for marketing, it also helped because one of the other core parts of the project was that we would be launching two sites rather than one so they would share components and styles and only the branding would differ - thus allowing for future franchise brands to be quickly built and deployed.
Both the ChipsAway and Ovenclean websites had optimised their quote request forms over the years but we felt that they were too intimidating for people to fill in - particularly on mobile devices - because the form had 9 fields on a single page which were required.
In order to strike a good enough balance between not scaring off a potential customer and providing a reasonable standard of lead for a franchisee to follow up on this number needed to remain.
Our research and testing of an initial prototype showed that splitting the form into two parts dramatically improved the UX of the form, reduced the "intimidation factor" of having to fill in so many fields and introduced an additional opportunity to capture half completed leads which could be followed up.
Once a potential lead had begun the process of filling in the significantly shorter "Step 1 of 2" part of the form with some general contact detail we found that they were significantly more likely to complete the second step of providing more specific follow up details about their car or oven depending on the site they were on.
We were able to design and rebuild both the ChipsAway and Ovenclean websites to provide a much more contemporary look and feel that gives the content team a range of components and marketing tools to create and deploy content much more effectively than ever before which creates significant freedom and flexibility in how they're able to market and promote their services and franchises.
On top of that, for potential customers visiting the site, it's now easier than ever to request a repair or cleaning quote and the increases in conversion rates of 15% (mobile devices) show that our research, design updates and testing of an already heavily optimised form delivered great benefits.
Working with a progressive company like Franchise Brands on this project has led to some incredible and immediate results and with a strong Umbraco foundation and design library to build on top of - much more is possible moving forward.
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