“From the start, Cariad Marketing has been professional, friendly, encouraging and supportive of all our needs. We hope to continue our excellent working relationship and we would happily recommend Cariad to anyone who is looking to grow their online business.”
Colette Cooper, Marketing Manager at Henleys Medical Supplies.
Founded in 1948 and still family-owned, Henleys Medical Supplies is a leading UK manufacturer and distributor of healthcare products, such as blood pressure monitors and surgical instruments. The company’s Head Office is in Welwyn Garden City and it has two depots from which it supplies the NHS, as well as other healthcare organisations such as care homes. It also sells directly to consumers.
The business challenge
Henleys recognised that its website was falling behind those of its competitors. Marketing Manager, Colette Cooper remembers: “We could take orders online, as well as by phone, email and fax. However, we felt that the products were simply “listed” on our site and not being effectively promoted. We wanted an e-commerce site which would allow us to showcase our extensive range more effectively and to help with our online marketing strategy. Given the importance of the project and its limited experience in online sales and marketing, Henleys was particularly keen to work with responsive local specialists with whom it could establish a close working relationship, including regular face-to-face meetings. Among the companies it contacted, Cariad Marketing stood out for its friendly and no nonsense style, not to mention its extensive experience in developing search engine friendly sites. Colette Cooper explains: “When Justine came in to talk to us, there was no hard sell: she simply showed that she understood what we wanted and explained what Cariad could offer. We are a family business and a lot of our working practices are friendly and informal so this straightforward approach was extremely persuasive. We felt that Justine and her team would complement ours perfectly.”
The e-commerce enabled website that Cariad designed and developed incorporates a content management system so that Henleys can edit site content with ease, from uploading new product lines, to amending prices. And it gives the company the opportunity to run special offers and promotions to foster customer loyalty and reach out to new markets. For example, Henleys wanted to encourage customers to buy its best-selling incontinence pants directly, rather than through a wholesaler. Cariad developed a ‘Free Delivery’ promotional code for this item which drove up sales, while the sophisticated reporting software on the site enabled Henleys to monitor the success of the campaign.
As a family business, Henleys has always been keen to forge close relationships with its customers and the site provides more opportunities for engaging with them. For instance, when Henleys was shortlisted in the Family Business of the Year and Longevity categories in the prestigious 2012 Red Ribbon Awards for family businesses, its new site provided an ideal space to publicise the achievement. In addition, an online form allows site visitors to subscribe to regular email updates and offers; while a link encourages them to follow the company on Twitter and Facebook.
In partnership with Cariad, Henleys wants to continue growing its sales through website promotions and by offering an enhanced experience to online customers. This means taking further advantage of the social media integration provided by Cariad and exploring new methods of communication, such as video blogging.