We always really appreciate the opportunity to develop a new brand alongside a new website / shopsite. With Nukey / JCM Locksmiths, that is exactly what happened! We also discovered that there is rather more to the business of key replacements than you might think!
We were introduced to Nukey / JCM earlier this year. Nukey is based in Littlehampton and JCM Locksmiths have a shop in Surbiton. John McMahon, who started the business in 1970, had a first class reputation amongst other locksmiths and this family-run business became very successful. John sadly passed away in 2013 although his ethos has remained firmly in the DNA of the company.
Keys and Locks are a complicated business!
In our initial discussions with Vanessa, Lisa and Nick at their operation in Littlehampton, I was extremely impressed with their set up. As well as a huge range of blank keys of different sizes and shapes, sophisticated key cutting equipment and the like, there stood an old safe that looked like it could withstand just about anything! Within this safe were the key codes for just about every lock that exists in the country, even those that were decades old! This is one of the things that makes them different, they not only supply all the usual makes and model, they can provide keys for old, discontinued locks as well.
As we discovered, there are many different manufacturers and each one has their own system of cataloguing each key they provide. A standard lock, for example, can be configured so that it can be opened by one of many different variations of a key, sometimes there may be over 1000 of them! Looking at the full range, you could be talking about 2 million different keys in total!
They had an existing website that had been built in Joomla but they got almost no sales through it, orders were either taken via email or over the phone. A review of their website allowed us to understand why this was the case:
- The website's code was over 10 years out of date
- There were 14 coding errors and 25 accessibility errors on the Home Page
- The website's navigation was not accessible (follow this link to understand why)
- The website was not mobile friendly
- Links to specific products did not work
- The search function did not work
- Customers did not have the ability to create their own accounts (creating an account vastly increases the chance of repeat business)
Understanding the customer journey
As this was not a conventional online shop, it took a little while to understand how their customers would interact with it. Some might even be other locksmiths, knowing exactly what product they needed but the vast majority would not know anything more about the locks on their drawers than you or I do. Here's a typical scenario:
A customer has lost their key. They are looking at their filing cabinet and that has just got a lock that has 1319 stamped on it. That is all the information they have and therefore they would find a website, enter that into the search box and all the possible keys are shown. Once they see an image of their missing key, they can go and order it online immediately. If they are not sure, they can take a photo of their cabinet and upload it to the website, either through a form or via an online chat. Nukey wanted to be able to offer all 3 options. They also wanted their customers to be able to order more than one key at a time.
To make it more challenging, each manufacturer has a different way of recording their serial numbers. With over 2,000 different keys on the website, the number of individual keys runs into the millions! For example, a Lowe & Fletcher key can be in the range 31001 - 33000, A001 - A200, 4R001 - 4R4000 or many other combinations. A Group One Locker Key might be in the range ZA0001-ZA1800. The lock you want a key for might just have a number on it, such as 1319. As you may be beginning to imagine, catering for this in an e-commerce system was going to be a challenge .
It is one of those cases where you cannot beat having a great depth of knowledge. One phone call that can be answered by an expert such as Nick can be done in seconds!
Time was in short supply!
Nukey wanted to have a rebrand at the same time and time was of the essence. Our bespoke e-commerce websites can take between 4 and 6 months to develop, however Run Your Own Website allowed us to do it in only 6 weeks, including importing over 2,000 products from their existing Joomla site. Our designer Polly loves creating new logos and branding and, as always with a rebrand, we asked Nukey to fill in one of our web design questionnaires. They wanted a design that reflected the age of the company and their traditional values whilst also working as a brand in today's world.
Polly came up with a great range of choices, as you can see below. Nukey chose their favourite, asked for a few tweaks and the job was done. They now have a fab new logo with full branding guidelines for all their printed materials.
The website is now live and open for business! You can find it at https://nukey.co.uk/
What about your business?
If, after reading this, you are thinking that perhaps you like the idea of selling online or you just want to be better-placed to attract new customers when we begin to emerge from the other side of the current challenges of COVID-19, please give us a call on 01243 776399 or email us at: email@example.com. We would really appreciate the opportunity to see if we can be of service to you.