East Thames – Building a Digital Future

The Challenge

East Thames is one of our longest running clients (18+ years) and we are very proud to be their digital partners. This case study refers to one particularly monumental project we worked on with them.

At the time, the organisation was operating two sites – a main site and an additional site which was specifically used for property searches. The decision was undertaken to move the site over to a better CMS tool and to merge the two sites. The decision represented an internal restructure and a wish to reduce ongoing overheads and vastly improve the workflow of the sales team.

In addition to this, East Thames had a confusing array of sub-brands with various inconsistencies and great difficulty in keeping content fresh and regularly updated. We supported their decisive action in bringing all their work back under a single umbrella brand, and the new website design was a key factor in this.

The solution

As with any project, we placed a great emphasis on the planning and scoping phase, making sure that all the site’s stakeholders had their opinions heard and taken into account. We worked extensively to understand the various groups on the client side, from marcomms (existing site owners) to sales (old property site owners) and make sure everyone had a voice in the initial phase. The key functionality across the two previous sites also needed to be replicated and improved upon.

A Drupal CMS was set up, clarifying the existing branding and design. Content was migrated and functionality was recreated using tailored Drupal modules. The largest single tool on the site was the property search and display functionality which is similar to the tools used on most estate agent sites. We used the sales team’s input to guide us in shaping the solution for them. During this project we tried to ensure that we proactively delivered more functionality and improved a larger number of workflows then was initially scoped out. We did this because we felt that it was important for East Thames’s internal strategy that all of their teams had a good ongoing experience of the new site and its capabilities.

The Results

The newly launched Drupal site was user friendly and simple to update in the back-end. Its improved user experience, functionality and design yielded the following results:

  • Page views increased by 68%
  • Average visit duration increased by 88%
  • Visits to the site increased by 29%

In addition, the number of returning visitors also increased dramatically and now makes up 43% of total visits. This indicates that the new site is being used and enjoyed by site visitors on a recurring basis. We also received excellent feedback from East Thames, with people from across the organisation commenting on how attractive and forward looking the site now looks.

Pedalo listens to our requirements and takes time to learn about our organisation. They have always been on hand to deal with any problems and they provide an excellent ongoing service so our sites can evolve and improve over time.
– Llewellyn Annandale, Online and Marketing Support Manager

SERVICES PROVIDED FOR EAST THAMES

Do you need an expert digital partner to support, maintain and develop your site? Get in touch now to find out more about our services.

East Thames is a registered housing provider and social regeneration charity with more than 13,500 homes. As well as building new homes, it also provides care and support, employment, training and community services.

Project Highlights

  • 18 years ongoing relationship and digital strategy input

  • Website redesign

  • Online housing tools

  • Community resources