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User Experience Design Improves Customer Satisfaction

Started in 1994, Leis Pet Distributing Inc. distributes pet food and accessories from their south-western Ontario warehouse to more than 800 independent retail pet food stores throughout Ontario and the Maritime provinces. As a full-service distributor, Leis Pet carries more than 12,000 items including several lines of dog and cat food, bird and small animal food, as well as pet toys, grooming products, cages, etc.

Leis Pet Distributing Inc.

Pet food distributor improves warehousing functionality, increasing customer satisfaction and sales generating activities.

The Challenge: Limited Technology and Manual Processes

Customers could browse 12,000 products on the existing Leis Pet website but only 1000 product images were posted. Additionally, the old database platform did not allow for product descriptions. “The old platform was so clunky that it was difficult to post photos. The search capability was also limited,” says Hugh Rice, Leis Pet’s Business Development & Marketing Manager.

Frustrated store owners were calling Leis Pet customer service staff on a daily basis for product information. If the staff didn’t know the answer, calls were referred to the marketing coordinator who located information in one of their printed catalogues, or on a supplier website, and faxed or emailed it to customers.

In addition, Rice needed to update the product offerings from suppliers each month. This was a challenging, manual process that took him away from other more productive activities.

Leis Pet also wanted to improve their online order capabilities so that customers would have the choice of faxing, phoning, or ordering products through their website. “We are a growing business. We saw the need to get more into electronic media and away from print,” says Rice.

"Our [website] usage jumped the day it was live. And it has continued to grow. We are getting more users using it more often...staying longer and looking more deeply."
Hugh Rice
Business Development and Marketing Manager
Leis Pet

The Solution: PeaceWorks and the Success of Change

Leis Pet does not have a dedicated IT professional, so when they needed guidance on a custom software solution, they turned to PeaceWorks. In order to most effectively determine the unique needs of Leis Pet and its website users, PeaceWorks completed a User Experience Design (UXD) with various staff. The process involved extensive meetings to understand all the possible scenarios and user cases that the final design needed to satisfy. Six types of customers were identified.

After completing the UXD, PeaceWorks created a proposal detailing features that:

  1. Provided more product information and photos on the website
  2. Enhanced the search capabilities of the online catalogue
  3. Integrated information from the warehouse ERP with the online
  4. catalogue and,
  5. Customized a flexible off-the-shelf shopping cart platform that would
  6. suit their needs

To make the best use of their money, Leis Pet staff gave continuous input on the project and the detailed specification was tweaked before any programming even began. As the project evolved, Leis staff decided they wanted some additional features like automated product updating from the warehouse ERP to the online catalogue. PeaceWorks was able to accommodate their needs.

An agile design process and phased roll-out of the new website generated valuable feedback that contributed to an effective final product.

Results were instant when the new Leis Pet website was launched.

"PeaceWorks staff is very professional,...pleasant to work with, and technically ahead of the curve."
Hugh Rice
Business Development and Marketing Manager
Leis Pet

The Results

“Our [website] usage jumped the day it was live. And it has continued to grow. We are getting more users, we are getting users using it more often….staying longer and looking more deeply,” says Rice. PeaceWorks helped set up tracking capabilities so Rice can keep in touch with website analytics like: how many unique visitors go to www.leispet.com, which pages they visit, how long they stay on the site, and which pages they spend the most time on.

The number of calls about product information has dropped significantly and should continue to decrease as more people find out about the enhanced website. Now customer service staff have more time to talk to stores about add-on sales.
Additionally, instead of gathering or updating product information manually, the marketing team invests their energies into sales generating activities like planning and implementing promotions.

Customers appreciate having product information accessible day and night on the new website. They also appreciate time-saving features that allow them to quickly create new orders based on past history, or enter SKU numbers directly
in a quick-order format (rather than having to browse for everything). With the improved search capabilities of the online catalogue, customers can specify things like “nylon dog collars” to see a few applicable products instead of scrolling through hundreds of choices in a general category like “collars.”

Rice expects that the time saved by staff – and the increased customer satisfaction with their easy to use online catalogue and ordering system – will help fuel the continued growth of Leis Pet.

"We really do appreciate our relationship with PeaceWorks and look forward to working with them for many years."
Hugh Rice
Business Development and Marketing Manager
Leis Pet

The Relationship

A genuine focus on client-relationships made working with PeaceWorks a pleasure. Rice found PeaceWorks staff to be “very professional,…pleasant to work with,” and “technically ahead of the curve.” He appreciates the fact that, though PeaceWorks developers are experts who can deliver first-rate solutions, they can communicate effectively with people who are not technically minded. “We really do appreciate our relationship with PeaceWorks and look forward to working with them for many years.”

About PeaceWorks

PeaceWorks provides first-rate technology solutions that enable organizations to achieve their mission with increased ease and efficiency. We focus on genuine client-focused relationships, connecting client needs with sustainable and reliable technology solutions.
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