Established in 1838, ERA designs, manufactures and distributes the UK’s widest range of residential security products; from window handles, door locks and hinges to the latest smartware security technology. The company employs over 300 people and has an extensive product portfolio. The customer is equally diverse, from window and door manufacturers, distributors, merchants and locksmiths.
The security industry has until now been very traditional in how it does business, but ERA was keen to balance this with the opportunity to "move with the times" and buy online. This meant creating a new website platform robust enough to handle a large, diverse and complex product range of over 12,000 stock keeping units. The site needed to be exclusive to ERA customers and offer state-of-the-art account management facilities.
ERA joined forces with Episerver partner Maginus to create the new website. The company recognised that for customers to easily navigate through and choose from over 12,000 products would be a huge challenge. It needed to ensure that all of the product information that customers needed to make a choice was shown and accessible for the customer to take away or share. To guide and help direct customers in choosing the correct product, Maginus designed ERA Everywhere's website so that it had two clear customer journeys; one using the main mega-menu navigation and the other using its enhanced search capability.
Victoria Hammond, eCommerce Manager at ERA commented “We chose Maginus because of their B2B credentials and their proven ability to help us develop a site that could manage our complex data and would ultimately help our customers sell our products for us”.
By also enhancing the search facility with Episerver Find, the site caters to a variety of visitors - from those who are new to the ERA brand using common industry terms, to those who know the specific ERA part codes for their most ordered products.
The ERA Everywhere ecommerce site is quick and easy to use with guided navigational tools, quick ordering and dynamic search functionality. Customers also have access to technical data sheets, fitting instructions, imagery and videos to allow them to find and order any ERA product. Without the need to sign in, the site provides uninhibited access to product information and customers only need to sign in for their individual prices before placing an order. ERA trades with large and small businesses and, as such, customers often need to order products and manage their account outside normal office hours. With ERA Everywhere, content is customer-focused and uniquely suited to this industry.
ERA Everywhere is a ground-breaking industry first for the UK security products industry. No other manufacturer in the industry has been able to deliver a B2B eCommerce site on the same scale. With a large number of orders historically received via fax, email and phone, order processing could be inefficient and slow with a wide margin for error. Maginus designed the site to provide maximum user engagement, order efficiency and flexibility to allow ERA to tailor the customer experience by channel. The result is a site that is packed with unique customer-focused features but, most importantly, a quick and simple ordering functionality. The ecommerce site fully meets the challenge of exposing the breadth of the ERA product range through dynamic navigation and accessible product information.
Victoria Hammond, continued "We chose Episerver as we felt it could best handle our wide and complex product range, whilst giving us the flexibility in the CMS for us to manage the content of the site ourselves which means we can quickly make changes when we bring on new products, attend a trade show etc."
Since officially launching the site at the beginning of 2017, the response from new and existing customers has been extremely positive. When previewed at its annual industry show, the ERA Everywhere demonstration area proved extremely popular with Purchasing Managers and Company Directors alike. The scale of adoption has far exceeded initial expectations.
ERA is forecasting ambitious growth over the life of its 5-year plan with the site becoming the dominant ordering channel for products. The site has started and will continue to lead the way for customer-focused ecommerce platforms in its sector.
We chose Episerver as we felt it could best handle our wide and complex product range, whilst giving us the flexibility in the CMS for us to manage the content of the site ourselvesVictoria Hammond, eCommerce Manager at ERA
Ground-breaking first for the UK security products industry
Over 12,000 SKUs