Setting a Specialist Aston Martin Store in Motion

Our brief was simple: to create an uncompromising and comprehensive parts, accessories and merchandise store for Aston Martin owners and dealers worldwide. The existing store was tired and was built on a convoluted Magento foundation, so the need to re-platform from Magento to WooCommerce was a no-brainer. Creating a modern vision to support one of the most world-famous classic cars whilst remaining true to their pedigree and heritage was the overarching priority. Working with some of the most iconic prestigious vehicles from the classic DB2 to the more contemporary V12 Vanquish, the typical user of the website could be an Aston Martin owner, dealer, or service centre, all within international reach and the need for a reliable online supplier with accurate product data.

Within the first week of launch, we could see from the data that customers were able to find products faster and add them to the cart with much more ease. Overall, their basket-building speed went up by using our CRO analysis approach.

[Brave] executed the brief to a tee and surpassed expectations,” they said.

Expertise Delivered

  • CRO Audit Analysis
  • Technical SEO
  • Wireframing
  • UX/UI Design
  • Data Manipulation
  • WooCommerce

Business Location

  • Hatfield, Hertfordshire

43% increase in traffic within first month of go live

Part of the issue with the Aston Store website pre-Brave was the fact the SEO equity on the site had little to no respect in Google’s eyes. The site had not been built originally with any SEO strategy, a lack of content strategy was audited by our SEO team and technical SEO aspects were missing completely. We had full control over the build specification and we included a significant level of SEO planning with the team from a pre and post-launch SEO point of view.  This made a huge difference and meant many (thousands) of parts were finally possible to be indexed by Google.

Early Successful SEO Signs From Launch

When it comes to SEO, websites can start to see tangible results in 4 to 6 months. Aston Store suffered from its previous installation being riddled with poorly-executed SEO strategies, badly implemented technical SEO and poor visibility. One thing we were transparent with was they also sat on a Panda penalty, meaning that no promises were made to see any instant results or at the very least for a number of months.

A week after launch, their visibility started shooting up and desired keywords were being ranked immediately. All the hard work in planning the migration and restructuring to a new on-page SEO plan clearly was a success.

As an SEO agency, we know that the “true” results grow over time. The traction you’re getting at 6 months typically is less than what you should be experiencing at 12 months. However, there are exceptions to the rule and this is exactly what we saw just a few weeks after the launch.

“After a disappointing ‘false start’ with a different agency, who managed to lose all of our SEO and attract Google penalties, we were very relieved to find Tony and the team at Brave. Despite the technical jargon, it was clear that Brave Agency operated in a different league altogether.

Neal Gerrard
Commercial Director

Creating a Mass-Scale Product Database

One of the biggest challenges was for our website developers to structure the data for the complete parts catalogue. This would need to become the most comprehensive database of its kind while still being intuitive with full-exploded view diagrams. To carry this out, this involved a rework of how a standard category is displayed into a much more easy-to-use layout, detailing each part for greater user experience.

From a technical development point of view, by using relationships between the main part and subparts, a custom archive loop needed to be created to connect these. Custom fields, also referred to as post meta, were used within the listings to highlight parts detailed on the schematic diagrams to increase user engagement, UX and usability to ensure they could see exactly which part they were cross-referencing against. This innovation increased conversions as the user would be confident they were ordering the correct part.

Migrating From Magento 1 to WooCommerce

Aston Store approached us desperate for a re-platform away from end-of-life Magento 1, which was slow, bloated and no longer providing them with the security, ease of flexibility and of control they needed. They were experiencing several pain points with the platform and needed custom code implementation, along with additional features that Magento wasn’t providing. With Magento 1 coming to the end of its life, they had to consider re-platforming to either WooCommerce or reinvesting in the latest version of Magento; a platform that they were becoming extremely frustrated with, and felt was over-complicated for what they needed.

This project was primed for a WordPress build with WooCommerce running a bespoke core eCommerce engine. We needed to ensure we understood the technical requirements and be able to support them long-term by focusing more on CRO and proactively around increases in sales rather than bug fixes. That’s exactly what we did via WordPress and WooCommerce.

UX Design Approach

After guiding Aston Store through our strategic and creative process, we arrived at the expression, ‘no fuss, just finesse’ – a positioning we felt encapsulated Aston Martin’s clean, prestigious and now modern approach to best-in-class British motor vehicles.

The desired outcome was to design a site that was both elegant and premium as well as easy to navigate due to the extensive parts catalogue that Aston Store offers. By using a clean and simple layout married with beautiful photography, we were able to elevate the site to showcase the beauty of the brand. We also refreshed the existing brand assets to give the site a more modern cutting-edge feel whilst still not letting go completely of the heritage and traditional values the company is based on.

User-First Design

Alongside visual enhancements, we also improved the user experience by focusing on the journeys of all types of customers. We thought about how the purchase paths would need to be different for those looking for parts, accessories, merchandise or even loved ones buying gifts for enthusiasts. Separating the key sectors allows users to quickly and easily navigate to their category of choice and follow the optimised experience for each meaning.

Filtering 60,000 SKUs

A huge part of optimising the website experience was creating a detailed parts catalogue that enables users to quickly search through the comprehensive range of over 60,000 genuine parts for both vintage and modern Aston Martins. We developed a filtering system that allows the customer to narrow down to a specific component with a breakdown of all of the individual parts right the way down to the nuts and bolts, allowing them to add either the whole component or specific parts to their basket depending on their needs.

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