• Design & Build
  • Strategy

Recorded Books

75% increase in B2B online sales

Brief

Recorded Books is one of the most famous brand names in the industry, but their online presence didn't live up to the company's brilliant reputation and they were losing ground online. We worked with them to understand what makes them unique and used our findings to inform the new website, which is modern, user-friendly and stands out from the competition.

Solution

The extensive three-month discovery phase allowed us to define users’ requirements and understand the issues some people had with the previous site. Then we started our signature iterative design process, involving wireframes, information architecture planning, mood boards, sketching and rapid prototyping. We built the new site on Kentico EMS as it’s flexible, sophisticated and easy to use.

What we did

  • DEVELOPMENT
  • ECOMMERCE
  • KENTICO
75%

increase in sales

99%

increase in session duration

63%

more pages viewed per session

30%

decrease in bounce rate

The largest independent producer of audiobooks in the world

Recorded Books is the largest independent publisher of recorded unabridged and wholly authentic titles with operations in the United States, Australia and the United Kingdom.

They provide great value to libraries and deliver the highest-quality audiobooks, eBooks, eMagazines, movies, learning programs and more.

The company was founded in 1978 by Henry Trentman and the first book they recorded was Jack London's ‘The Sea-Wolf’. As of August 2018, Recorded Books has over 35,000 titles in its catalogue.

Discovery first

Our primary goal was to understand what site users were looking for and then provide them with a resource that met their needs. Buyers expect a slick and easy-to-use website, and we worked hard to ensure this would be Recorded Books’ customers experience.

Over a three-month period, we led a discovery phase to determine all possible opportunities, review competitors, eliminate flaws and define a comprehensive digital strategy for the entire Recorded Books brand.

On-site research

We travelled to the United States, where we led a series of workshops with internal stakeholders. We also engaged with 20 libraries and collected data from a good sample size to ensure we surveyed a cross-section of their client base, including different locations, populations served, sub-branches and average spend. For this we used quantitative techniques, including onsite analytics and website performance, as well as qualitative research, including conducting surveys, to give us an accurate competitor benchmarking report.

Implementing and upgrading functionality

The upgraded functionality of the website includes:

  • Recently viewed titles – the website remembers the most recent titles viewed so users can quickly navigate back.
  • Recommendations section – split into 3 categories: New Releases, Bestsellers and Upcoming Releases.
  • Title detail pages – includes title images, authors, synopses, audio previews and other relevant information.
  • Creating an account – new and existing users have the option to complete an online form and create an account.
  • Enhanced content in the help section – users can look something up in the much-improved FAQs section or just watch a short video.

Improved shopping cart experience

The new website can also display and transact items in multiple currencies, as well as show bundling, and promotional and curated lists. Customers can take advantage of having an infinite shopping cart too. This means they can add, delete, move or share content with other customers without having to worry that the items they’ve saved might expire and disappear from their shopping cart.

Custom search

Another key area we worked on was significantly improving the search experience. Users can quickly find what they’re looking for on the new site using the 'quick search' box. We included other handy search features too, such as contextual relevance, suggestive search, advanced search and pre-set searches – all designed to make the site more helpful and easy for users to find what they want.

A custom discount module

We created a custom discount module on Kentico with extra functionality. We built a bespoke module so that filtering was included and added a macro builder so Recorded Books could make more specific filtering. In the API, discounts are calculated in runtime for each title, in every page (including title details, search and wish list.). This is possible without negatively affecting site performance thanks to AngularJS, which calls to this function asynchronously for each title.

Results that matter

The new website increased customer satisfaction immediately. Since it went live in April 2016, Recorded Books has seen a massive 75% increase in sales.
As well as...

  • 10% increase in page views
  • 99% increase in session duration
  • 30% decrease in bounce rate
  • 63% more pages viewed per session

The project reduced the cost of ongoing maintenance and has given Recorded Books an engaging online platform that gives customers a much-improved online experience.

This project was both very challenging and very rewarding. We put in a lot of work and came out with a great new website, that has increased our online sales considerably.

MIKE TRASK - DIRECTOR OF PLATFORM DEVELOPMENT

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