Custom WooCommerce Development For Chemical Specialties Manufacturer

United Chem Web-Development Case Study

At A Glance

United Chemical Technologies has become a leader in the specialty chemical market for organosilicon products through its service, pricing, and quality. They have thousands of highly technical products and serve a range of industries including but not limited to pharmaceuticals, cannabis, food, forensics, clinical, and environmental.

Industry

  • E-commerce
  • B to B
  • Manufacturing
  • Chemical

Our Role

  • E-commerce UX Analysis & Assessment 
  • UI/UX Strategy & Design
  • Creative Direction
  • WooCommerce Website Development
  • Conversion Rate Optimization

Obstacles & Objectives

Before working with Zen, United Chemical worked with a developer with less than optimal development practices. For instance….

  • Plugins were modified that kept them from being updated.
  • Functionality hard-coded into the theme frequently created bugs whenever WordPress, WooCommerce, or the 75 plugins used on the site were updated. 
  • There were multiple search tools used depending on the location search box, and each had wildly different search results, with none of them being very relevant.

These were all technical issues, but some serious design issues also needed to be addressed. For instance, United Chemical has a lot of products, which require a lot of nested categories and subcategories for them to be organized, but only simple dropdown menus. 

The combined result was a site that was extremely hard to find products. Search results were irrelevant, so you had to click through several layers of sub-categories to get to products, all while dealing with bugs and slow load times.

The primary objective of this project was to alleviate these issues by:

  • Creating a bug-free user experience
  • Improving page speed
  • Decrease the time needed to find relevant products

Before the Zen Team worked their magic, the website scored a GTmetrix Grade F.

Strategy & Solution

Overcoming Obstacles

Ultimately, it was clear to all parties that this site would need to be rebuilt with a custom theme and fewer plugins, but we needed a shorter-term solution to stop the bleeding.

Data-driven Recommendations

The following recommendations were implemented to address the obstacles:

1. Fixed Site Errors

An initial debugging of the site to remove any errors causing a bad user experience or slow load times.

2. More Powerful Web Hosting

Migration of the site onto Zen Agency’s Managed WooCommerce hosting stack, fine-tuned for busy WooCommerce shops.

3. Implementation Of A New Search 

New research by Baymard Institute shows that autocomplete features are now offered on 96% of major e-commerce sites. This means it’s a must-have for any online business that can’t afford to lose customers.

4. Filterable Category Table Layout

Added a list formatted category page layout that displays filterable and sortable products by attribution.

Product Table Sort Features
New Mega Menu

5. Mega Menu Implementation

Added mega menus so users could get deeper into the site with fewer clicks.

Meeting Objectives

As this work was completed it was launched and then monitored through a combination of Hot Jar and Google Analytics. Takeaways from analytics, heat maps, and recordings of customers using the site as it was being updated and optimized led to significant results.

By providing a more relevant search with product suggestions, customers could get to the right products quickly. The mega menus allowed them to get to relevant categories with less page load. Once on those category pages, they could sort and filter the products to narrow them down to just the most relevant ones, and because they now had access to attribute data on the category page, they could make a buying decision right then and there; no need to go to the product page to add to cart. 

Fewer pages to load, less time on site, but with a huge increase in the number of sessions leading to a placed order, and more products in that order – Everyone wins!

Increased Conversion Rate

61%

Lower Session Duration

19%

Increased Revenue

52%

Decreased Bounce rate

23%

Broadening Horizons

Now that we have overcome some major hurdles with our short-term solution, we are looking to make even greater strides with a full rebuild coming in 2022. This new build will benefit from an even more improved search, powered by our custom Algolia implementation. Users will also be able to have access to more attribute data on the category page, and even add accessory items from a more condensed, more functional, and informative, optimized category page. 

This effort will include a light and fast custom theme, with half the number of plugins used in the original build. As with the last project, we will provide ongoing monitoring and conversion rate optimization as these updates are rolled out.

Homepage Mockup
category-page

The website is super easy to use and I found what I was looking for. No improvements necessary.

Anonymous Satisfied UCT Customer

Services Provided

Product Naming

Create a unique, memorable product name that communicates the brand experience and is relatable to customer sentiment.

Brand Consulting

Research and consulting for brand environment.

Branding

Create a customer experience in line with the product experience.

Messaging Creation

Tone and voice of unique messaging to enforce brand experience.

Logo / Identity Design

Creation of logo lockup, word mark, custom type, iconography, and design elements.

Packaging Design

Strategically create packaging elements for ingredients that align with brand and identity experience.

Vendor Management

Research and source the appropriate vendors for print materials, packaging printing, and packaging elements.

Print Design

Design packaging inserts such as instructions and collateral that align with brand identity and messaging.

Marketing

Selling the product using online and traditional resources such as pay-per-click, ad words, affiliate marketing, email campaigns, and promotional offers.

Advertising

Promoting brand and product awareness to ideal customers through brand building campaigns online, social media, and affiliate networks.

Website Design / Development

Design and develop an online e-commerce experience that is aligned and encourages brand engagement.

Competitor Research

Research competitor products and companies to create a consensus and present a unique experience based on our findings to a focus group of ideal, potential, and competitor customers