How Electrical Wholesaler Medlocks Dialled up their Ability to Serve both Trade and Retail Customers with a Move to Magento 2

 

A mobile phone showing the Medlocks website in action

Medlock Electrical Distributors is one of the UK’s largest independent wholesale groups. Headquartered in Hertfordshire, the company has more than 40 distribution centres located throughout the UK and the Republic of Ireland.

The company offers a vast range of items – from wiring accessories to lighting and lamps, smart home technology and ventilation products.

In order to better serve its wide-spanning customer base online, Medlocks chose Magento specialists Williams Commerce to develop a new website built on the latest version of Magento.

Services: Ecommerce platform development, Web development, Ecommerce implementation, Digital marketing consultation,

A user with both mobile and desktop showing the Medlocks website

Catering for a spectrum of customer types

The Medlocks site is predominantly B2C driven, but has in-built B2B functionality to cater for trade customers.

To replace their existing ecommerce website, Medlocks turned to Williams Commerce to create a new site on Magento 2.

The site includes a warehouse system module that pulls stock from 5 different regions of the UK, helping to provide customers with an accurate picture of what’s available. There are also regular stock updates from across Medlocks’ 43 stores for click and collect buyers, System integration is handled using the Magento API.

AFTER
The Medlocks website after Williams Commerce's project
BEFORE
The Medlocks website before Williams Commerce's project

Tailoring the user experience for their target audience

When browsing the site, the branch locator map makes it easy for users to find their nearest Medlocks depot. Visitors can then select their nearest branch and check the warehouse stock available at their selected location if they do not wish to purchase online.

There is also an Inc/Exc VAT toggle to display accurate payment information to customers. This feature was custom built by Williams Commerce.

Users can also take advantage of a click and collect from store option, with certain products only being available for click and collect (rather than shipping) due to their size.

On the payment side of things, customers can buy from Medlocks.co.uk using PayPal and Barclays Payments methods.

Medlocks website on a tablet

A range of enhanced functionality

Reviews of products are now featured on the site, allowing for visitors to get a feel for what might be the best fit for their needs and providing an added trust signal.

Another exciting feature is custom display messages across the site – a custom feature built by the Williams Commerce development team.

On the homepage for example, alerts for offers with start and end times are displayed, as well as things like bad weather, can be displayed.

The basket area features alerts around estimated collection or delivery times if the product the customer wants is not currently in stock. This is linked to the warehouse module integrated with the site.

Another alert is present in the basket area when a customer picks a product too large to deliver and collection is required.

There is also a custom pop-up to select a delivery method – Click & Collect or Fast Delivery.

The site features Mailchimp Integration for newsletter emails, as well as the Sphinx Search Ultimate module. This delivers improved search usability for shoppers across the Medlocks website.

A laptop with the Medlocks website

The Medlock new site build was a really interesting project

We have worked with a number of hybrid sites, where the website needs to serve a mix of trade customers and retail consumers. Digitally focused B2Bs are looking for the best of both worlds, offering a seamless user experience while incorporating sophisticated ecommerce functionality, automation and integration behind the scenes to cater to their ever evolving trade customer’s needs.

Head of Ecommerce Project Delivery, Williams Commerce Tom Wheeler
A white plug being unscrewed by Medlocks

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