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JD Williams has redesigned the homepages of its e-commerce sites and has redeveloped its content management system (CMS) with the help of sister company Zendor. A leading Manchester-based direct home shopping company with over 20 catalogue titles in both print and web format, JD Williams needed a CMS solution, which would enable the team to update all its home shopping websites quickly and easily. The redevelopment by Zendor means that JD Williams can benefit from significantly altering the look and promotional content of all its websites (e.g. www.simplybe.co.uk, www.jdwilliams.co.uk,
www.naturallyclose.co.uk) from a single CMS and on a regular basis, keeping each one updated, fresh and individual.

Whilst JD Williams’ websites were already delivering market leading conversion and order rates, the Company wanted to further develop its websites in reaction to the evolving market and customer needs. JD Williams renewed its objectives, aiming to improve the use of real estate on the homepages, the usability of the sites and to update the ‘look and feel’ to differentiate the brands. JD Williams felt that improving the flexibility of the websites would enable the business to dynamically react to the customers’ need for new and fresh content. The obvious start was content management and the homepages.

JD Williams and Zendor worked together on the project as a continuation of their successful 3-year e-business partnership. The Zendor design team were briefed to create six homepage templates. The template designs were based on grid sections, some containing permanent elements, such as links to other JD Williams sites and others containing changeable elements. Promotional images and text can now be updated more easily while maintaining the distinctive personality of each site, providing more selling opportunities via the homepages.

In addition, Zendor’s technical architects incorporated dynamic and flexible ‘freeformat pages’, enabling JD Williams, through just one CMS, to manage both content and promotions for all 23 sites while at the same time allowing each one to display significant brand differentiation.

The new templates developed by Zendor means that the JD Williams e-Business team retains all ownership and management of its transactional websites and can react more quickly to the needs of the business. Customers continue to have links to other selected homepages, allowing them to conveniently switch from site to site and browse with their shopping baskets intact, thereby increasing potential sales revenue. With a more adaptable architecture and a customer-centric approach, JD Williams’ new online presence provides a refreshing and more user-friendly experience.

Wendy Derbyshire, Head of e-Business at JD Williams says, “The Home Pages have been a phenomenal success – we are already seeing an increase in conversion and customer satisfaction. The opportunity to publish, quickly and easily, more timely and relevant offers to our customers was our number one priority and we have definitely achieved this.”

Zendor provides a range of distance shopping services to retailers including website design and development. Zendor’s clients include Bon Marche, River Island and Early Learning Centre. For further information on Zendor’s services, please contact Zendor direct on 0161 237 4900, email curious@zendor.com or visit www.zendor.com

For further press information please contact: Liz Ebbrell The Scott Partnership, The Old Barn, Holly House Estate, Cranage, Middlewich, Cheshire CW10 9LT Tel: 01606 837787 Fax: 01606 837757 e-mail: pr@scottmail.co.uk

Published on: 12:00AM on 30th April 2004