A new era for shopping centre websites
11% sessions increase
15% increase in users
17% increase in session duration
Eden Shopping Centre is a retail and entertainment complex in High Wycombe. With a floor area of 850,000 square feet, it is the 32nd largest shopping centre in the United Kingdom and has the 2nd most affluent catchment area (excluding Central London).
The centre includes 107 shops, a bowling alley, a cinema and a library, as well as parking for 1600 cars.
We were engaged to redevelop the centre’s website. The brief was to create a visually stunning responsive website that would engage with the Gourmet Traveller, Spending Sporty Family, Affluent Modern Family and the Healthy Wealthy and Wise demographic profiles.
It was important that the site become a useful resource for the target market. We therefore needed to lift the content beyond the traditional retailer list, events, promotions and offers copy usually associated with shopping centre websites.
Market research confirmed the primary reason for visiting Eden is fashion shopping. This activity feeds the dining and leisure operators with 36% of shoppers also using catering outlets (benchmark 28%). House of Fraser and M&S are consistently the most popular destinations.
In addition, the client was keen for retailers to be able to use the site for advertising their own promotions, events and even job vacancies.
This project elevates shopping centre website production to a new level. The combination of engaging content, considered design and measured programming techniques give the site a premium and intensely stylish feel.
The design is truly ‘mobile upwards’ and displays bespoke photography effectively; whatever device the consumer is using. Large headings, interesting use of shapes and textures, relaxed colour ways and typography encourage the fashion oriented, wealthy catchment to browse and be inspired.
Trending techniques such as parallaxing are used as and when necessary to generate greater interest. Restraint is definitely the key to this site while sticky navigation, lazy loading and extensive isotope filters all serve to improve the user experience.
With the sheer volume of content, it was important to create a bespoke mega menu. Breaking down the offer into shopping, dining and leisure operators enabled us to display individual retailers, brands and products effectively. This was important as communicating the quality of the retail offer is essential when promoting the centre as the number one shopping destination in the area.
Retailers, stylists and copywriters from throughout the region have been encouraged to provide engaging and independent content. These third party endorsements are designed to lift the value of the site beyond the traditional retailer list, event, promotion and offer type content usually associated with shopping centre websites.
It is this content, split into fashion, lifestyle and culture sections, under the #EDENLOVES navigation that truly inspires visitors.
Each retailer, restaurant and leisure operator has its own section of the site. These have proved to be exceptionally popular as they promote individual opening times, contact details, social platforms and even job vacancies. Generating and implementing this database was a substantial part of the project.