Dealer of the Year Awards 2016: Honoring Excellence

Meet Your 2016 Dealers of the Year
Images lead Woodland’s website visitors to what they’re interested in. Information can be constantly refreshed as manufacturers introduce new products and supply new photos, alongside Woodland’s own job photo galleries. (Image courtesy Woodland Windows & Doors.)

Innovative Enterprise

Woodland Windows & Doors

ROSELLE, ILL., WOODLANDWINDOWS.COM

Woodland Windows & Doors recognized the trend of manufacturers reengineering their websites to focus on serving customers directly. Prospective customers can go directly to vendors’ websites for matching colors, glass samples, product literature, energy specifications and so on. Because Woodland’s website receives more daily traffic than its showroom, this Dealer of the Year had to find an innovative approach to keep prospects and customers visiting and exploring its website.

The new reality, the company tells us, also meant that product information it provided customers and prospects on the website was out-of-date at the moment that a manufacturer updated its website. “Our strategy was to tap into the new digital assets that manufacturers provided, while at the same time customizing the information—to the last detail—for our market segments,” says Woodland president Ken Mariotti.

The result, we’re told, was a winning strategy. Instead of duplicating information manufacturers provide, Woodland tapped into the latest technology to customize the information to its customers. Using Google Analytics and other search engine optimization tracking methods, the company also spotted changing customer search habits and expectations.

A NEW IMAGE

Analytics showed that Woodland’s website visitors were spending less and less time on its website. Looking further at the data, online search behavior also highlighted pages that were not aligned with search queries or customer expectations. “In the meantime,” Mariotti says, “we witnessed the rise of social media sites like Houzz and Pinterest and we weren’t able to participate in this new image-driven marketing.”

Woodland came up with a plan to design the new website around the latest marketing concepts of using minimal text and constantly refreshed images. The company identified five principles to guide the design of the new website:

  • Each section should be organized around the information customers require Customers should be able to easily and quickly navigate the site
  • Text should be replaced with ‘labeled’ images wherever possible
  • Product sections should mirror current manufacturer offerings with a condensed at-a-glance view
  • Customers should have easy and immediate access to all supporting documents

The process to launch a completely new site was long and difficult, nearly a year in the making, the company reports. It required producing a new site map, gathering scattered photos, case study information, videos, testimonials, updated product information and so on, and then organizing it all according to the above design principles.

VIRTUAL OVERHAUL

The result of Woodland’s approach to building a modern website interface is an experience that is designed to be “more appealing to the next generation of home buyers and online savvy shoppers.” The company wanted the site to be highly visual, easy to navigate, responsive and comprehensive.

“We had to bring everything we provided to prospects and customers at various stages of the sale online,” Mariotti continues. “We had to give customers everything they were looking for when they wanted it.” The website had to be able to deliver pre-sales, sales and post-sales information and support. And it had to be perpetually fresh.

The company observed how manufacturers, designers, builders and home improvement sites like Houzz constantly push visitors toward certain window and door brands, styles or materials. Woodland wanted to create a pull marketing experience instead, whereby the customer can pull in images, brochures, specifications and service information they require, as it is required.

“We looked at our entire approach to how we serve our customer,” Mariotti says. The new site launched in August. Woodland still keeps a close eye on the site’s performance with Google Analytics.