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Systems integration and improved UX: Pattersons

Pattersons is a family-run business specialising in the supply of cleaning, bar & catering supplies. With over 125 years trading history, Pattersons is valued throughout the UK trade for its breadth of product choice and high levels of customer care.

The problem

Pattersons was increasingly relying on their website marketplace ( to drive revenues. However, its outdated e-commerce site was affecting its bottom line and its customer experience. Here what they found:

  1. The system couldn’t handle the growing number of products (12,000 and counting…)
  2. They wanted new features – especially to keep up with competition
  3. They wanted to be able to encourage customer loyalty
  4. They wanted to increase conversions and cross-selling opportunities.
  5. They wanted to improve the overall user experience (UX).

The solution

We got to work, and did the following:

  1. Develop a project plan to meet user needs and business objectives.
  2. Audited existing IT infrastructure.
  3. Added ability to manage dynamic pricing across web assets (a very complex task!)
  4. Redesigned UX and overall user interface – making it delightful and easy to use.
  5. Improve SEO rankings – increasing organic traffic to the site.
  6. Performed user research, leading to increased conversion rates and revenues.
  7. Integrated multiple systems together: e-commerce system, 5 microsites (websites), legacy ERP and stock management systems.
  8. Created a robust, scalable infrastructure to host and maintain the new e-commerce site.

(… AKA a huge digital transformation!)

The outcome

  • The site is steadily growing – generating around 640,000 product requests every day.
  • Zero downtime incurred as a result of the old-to-new website transition.
  • Positive feedback from customers around the changes.
  • Outstanding return on investment – project delivered on time, on spec and on budget.
  • Capacity to cope with higher customer order volumes in future.

Rob Ireland, IT and Finance director, had this to say:

“Helastel (now illumo digital) have taken our e-commerce website to a new level in the way it works and its ease of use.”

“Now, two years on, I have much less stress than I ever had, despite the fact we’ve had exponential growth.”

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