Shaw & Sons are publishers, printers and suppliers of general and specialist stationery, legal forms, electoral services, funeral products and a wide range of products for local government, including civic ceremonial items.
In 2014 we were tasked with completely redesigning the existing site which we had originally built for Shaw’s back in 2010. The new design - as with the majority of our projects now - is responsive, enabling customers to navigate content comfortably no matter what device they are using.
The main reason for the relaunch, however, was to reflect the shifting focus of Shaw’s operations. After an appraisal of Shaw's current site and their business, it was decided that the Election Supplies and Funeral Products departments needed their own websites on their own domains. To this end, we created three related but separate websites:
www.shaws.co.uk - for Shaw’s forms and records, bespoke offerings and stationery sales.
www.electionsupplies.co.uk - for Shaw’s election supplies department.
www.shawsfuneralproducts.co.uk - for Shaw’s range of products for the bereaved and funeral professionals.
These websites are the largest online shops Novamedia has produced, selling over 22,000 products to both existing Shaw's account holders and to new customers. They were completely custom-built to the client's specification, integrated with SagePay, and give Shaw's complete control over their huge range of products, discounts and offers.
One of the main challenges in the Shaw’s website was getting the products database set up. There were three main sources of data: their stationery products, their forms products and all of their other products.
For the stationery products we had to set up a system that allows them to regularly merge a very large database of products from Spicers, a major stationery supplier, into their online products database. This was made more difficult because the products are stored on a separate server and the prices uploaded in a CSV file. We had to get all of this into a MySQL database.
Having achieved that, we then had to set up a system that allowed the other products to sit alongside the stationery in the same database. This was achieved by using the industry-standard stationery products classification and extending it by adding our own custom classifications for all of the other products. Staff at Shaw’s then populated the database template we supplied with thousands of their own products before we merged the whole thing together to make one seamless products database for use on the site.
We then produced a custom-built admin system for the client to administer the products going forward.
Novamedia created an entirely new website for us that features some 23,000 products available to buy on-line. Throughout the process, they were very helpful and worked through numerous problems that arose. Their attitude to problem-solving is, in fact, one of their main strengths. They calmly worked through issues as they arose and still produced the site to their original estimate. Dave Henson’s clarity of thought extends to the design and layout of the site, which is clear and easy to navigate. We would recommend Novamedia very highly.
Crispin Williams, Director Shaw & Sons Ltd