Tim and Sofia approached us to design the first website for their new business in 2001. After the success of the site in its first 2 years they have had several rebuilds and redesigns with many areas of added functionality. The site was initially bilingual with all content entirely replicated in English and Swedish. The latest version however has reduced this to a single page in Swedish with the bulk of the site managed in English as this better reflects their broader client base.
The site has become more sophisticated over time and now makes extensive use of social media as a marketing tool together with the built in SEO features to ensure they are well represented in the search engines. They also use our Smart Messenger service for email marketing
For a very small business, value for money was their primary guiding principle. The bulk of their marketing budget and a large portion of their time was spent in producing and mailing a beautiful brochure detailing the tours for the coming year. From the start the main objectives were to increase the number of customers and reduce the reliance of the business on direct mailing a considerable number of very expensive brochures overseas.
To achieve this the site needed to be as informative and visually attractive as the brochure and also needed to be available in English and Swedish. In order to manage their costs the site needed to allow them update all the content in both languages as required. They also needed to the site to reuse as much content as possible from year to year without needing to re-enter data each season.
We were able to match their styling and presentation relatively simply as they already had an established set of design principles embodied in their brochures. In addition they had a large library of wonderful photographs making it easy to produce stunning visuals. The main design aim for us was to make the site easier to use and provide more information than a brochure.
We were able to achieve this by carefully considering the navigation to make finding a tour as simple as possible, via several routes. When a tour is found the itinerary descriptions utilise their existing skills in copywriting together with their imagery to produce beautiful pages. The itineraries also have links to all the gardens and other places visited, initially these were created in the content management system but nowadays they are links to the external websites.
All the gardens visited have separate entries in the content management system together with all of the hotels, restaurants and B&Bs used during a tour. These are reused year after year as are large parts of the main tour material. The site also has a comprehensive booking system to help turn interest into real business.
We have been with 101 for around 12 years and, although we shop around occasionally, we remain with them, because they understand our business, and as a small business, this is essential to us. We recently upgraded the whole website and have subsequently added Twitter, Facebook and Google+ and these are already making an impact with our customers - and their ability to broadcast our name.