B&Q recently unveiled its brand new responsive website, which came complete with a whopping £60m price tag.

Obviously this created a great deal of interest as to where exactly the money was spent. One would assume that a majority of the investment went into upgrading the backend and in-store systems.

Thankfully B&Q were happy to provide us with some insight into the work behind the new site.

Here’s what director of omnichannel Mike Durbridge had to say…

The stated figure of £60m has obviously attracted a lot of attention. Please can you let us know how this breaks down? How much was spent on frontend development vs. backend, etc?

The majority of the £60m was spent on the backend development as the solution that we have implemented will also then be the solution for store customer ordering and contact centre customer management.

All of our channels will be using the website as a single customer order management tool. The store and contact element will go live in summer 2015.

Can you let us know which agencies you worked with on this new site?

TCS (Tata Consulting Services) delivered the code, EMC delivered the UX.

What sort of user testing did you do as part of the redesign?

We used a combination of focus groups, business user testing, colleagues in stores testing and customer testing remotely.

I noticed that product imagery is quite limited. Is this something you aim to improve?

Product imagery will be a key area of focus in the next 12 months as digital assets become the central source for business activity including catalogues, POS, marketing and website use.

How much have you invested in content? Why is this important, & how will it be used in-store?

We have invested in resource, skills and capabilities to create, manage and optimise content.

Our aim is to make it as easy as possible for customers and colleagues to access this content in store so we are introducing free WiFi, a responsive design site, barcode scanner in app, and tablets introduced into stores for colleagues to use on shop floor with customers.

What has been the immediate impact on on-site behaviour (e.g. browsing time, sales, conversions)?

It very much depends on the customer journey. We are seeing fewer clicks-to-buy but higher conversion from customers that self-navigate using the mega drop-down menus.

We know we have optimisation opportunities for customers using the on-site search capability and will continue to improve this.

 

Our videos have been a success and we have been pleasantly surprised at the number of customers interacting with the inspirational content and the dwell time on these pages.

Views of our project/ help and advice content have also increased dramatically as this is now merchandised alongside individual products as opposed to just being in its own section of the site.

How will the new site work across channels? Will you be able to track customers in-store and online?

It will be the same experience across all of our channels from summer 2015. We will be able to clearly track customers in-store and online for orders that have been placed by customers that are in a signed-in status on any device (desktop, laptop, tablet and smartphone).

This will make it more efficient for us to run and easier for the customer to navigate their way around diy.com on all devices. We have plans for further backend integration of store till EPOS into customer account history. 

Why did you decide to put such a great emphasis on click & collect? How will you be developing this service over time?

It’s a fundamental requirement for our customers. We have over 360 stores in the UK and the largest range of home improvement products, so it is imperative that we give our customers the option.

Making it easy to connect our customers to our products in a way that is most convenient to them is always a key priority so we will absolutely be developing this service over time with exciting enhancements to come in late 2015.

When we spoke last year you said you were embarking on a five-year plan. How far have you got down that road and what is there still left to achieve?

We are around 12 months into that plan now. We are pleased to say we are on track and have achieved everything we set out to and the next 12 months’ deliverables will be key for creating the foundations for future growth.

The reality is that you will never the reach the end goalposts as they are continually moving.

Changes in technology, customer behaviour and competitor activity means you need to have a clear vision, with clear strategic deliverables but be agile in the approach to adapt to these environmental changes.