Case Study

Endorsing a market leader

Southgate Timber

reinvention, optimised 

Brand awareness, Customer Confidence, Customer Experience, Web Development, SEO, Social Media

Southgate Timber Company Limited are one of the UK's leading timber suppliers. Based in Moreton, Essex, they combine expertise in timber with quality customer care. Their new feature-rich website had to provide the user with an easy-to-use eCommerce platform whilst addressing a number of challenges:

The Challenges

Creating an eCommerce website for Southgate Timber posed a number of challenges that we needed to address to make the website achieve maximum commercial success.

In what is becoming a very competitive arena, we also had to think about data capture and delivering a quality of traffic that would give the greatest ROI.


Multiple delivery costs

Various factors determine delivery costs including, post code, basket weight and product length. Premiums are calculated for weight and lengths over specified amounts. The cart process had to cater for this.


Product cost variations

Single products attracting different price points depending on the chosen length. It was important to allow customers to be able to have the same choices online as they have when ordering offline.


Multiple measurements

Southgate Timber have a number of different products that are offered at different prices based on various units of measurements. It was important that the buying process allowed customers to do this.


The Solution

White Feather Designs worked with Southgate Timber to identify the offline processes used when taking telephone orders and how they could be translated to the new website.

This research showed that the new site would need to be as easy to use as possible and it not only needed to appeal to the professional builder or landscape gardener, but also a second critical audience, the do-it-yourself (DIY) market.

With this in mind, White Feather Designs implemented a number of features to help all visitors.

A decking calculator helps to calculate how much wood and screws will be needed. There are also 'how to' guides with help and advice and, more recently, useful videos. We also implemented a 'mini basket' that would follow the user throughout their website visit.


The navigation was also a very important part of our thinking. Opting for a 'mega menu' allowed us to preview to the customer the type of applications a timber could be used for before clicking through.

With White Feather Designs being very SEO conscious, the site build was tested thoroughly before launch to check image sizes and any loading delays that may have occurred.

The mobile side of the Southgate Timber website was built with speed and ease in mind. We wanted to make sure users on site would be able to find and purchase what they required quickly and in as few clicks as possible.

Judging by the stats, we achieved this.

By managing all content through a bespoke CMS, Southgate Timber's new website was created to handle an abundance of products as well as resources to assist customers with all of their needs.

The CMS is feature-rich and includes a facility to 'duplicate' products, making it quick and easy to set up new products, a reporting tool to generate sales reports and a specific delivery module to create a number of different delivery rules.


Southgate Timber's website has been designed to provide all of its target audiences with a streamlined mobile and desktop experience. It features intuitive navigation showing site visitors exactly what they are looking for and product filtering to help find relevant information they need quickly and easily.

The site features a mini-basket that follows the visitor around the site so that they can always see what product, size and quantity they have ordered. A seamless integration with Barclaycard to process payments providing users with a full eCommerce experience.

The Results

The technical build and strong visual aesthetic boosting the brand presence and trustworthiness gives Southgate Timber a strong advantage over its competitors.

The calls-to-action to add to cart or ask a question are clear and easily accessible on all devices making sure the conversion points are at the forefront of all site visits.

Making the site responsive was key due to the browsing behaviour around the subject. Professionals often search for timber and accessories whilst on site.

The site is built perfectly to mould itself to users' screens in desktop, tablet and mobile formats ensuring the best user experience is always on offer.

The user interface was designed to instil trust and an intuitive user experience to drive results. The focus of the site is to engage the customer, generate sales and encourage return visits.

The site is built using a CMS which allows Southgate Timber to update content, products, prices, generate quotes and manage orders securely and efficiently.

At A Glance

White Feather Designs and Southgate Timber have had an ongoing relationship for over 20 years. In 2017 after months of research and strategy meetings, we launched Southgate Timber's first ecommerce website.

Additionally, White Feather Designs provided Southgate Timber with its first brand and category level SEO and PPC strategy, as well as its first social promotions.

The results have been outstanding


increase in traffic



increase in monthly revenue



reduction in bounce rate


worth of orders


338 %

increase in mobile traffic

WFDL always exceed our very high expectations. They have guided us through the mind field of online, ecommerce and social media options with total commitment. Communication, dedication and support is beyond compare. We look forward to many more successful years trading together. Thanks for all you efforts to date we could not ask for anymore."

Mark Jenkins

Director and Sales Executive
Southgate Timber Co. Limited