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Working with one of the UK’s most renowned cider brands to sell products online in a post-pandemic world with a sleek new platform.
In 1904, William Thatcher began making cider at Myrtle Farm. In 2021, Thatchers Cider launched a new website with Squarebird to share the Somerset dream across the UK.
The need for e-commerce.
As the hospitality industry shut its doors in 2020, Thatchers Cider had to find new ways to give consumers a taste of their great cider. They already had a website with e-commerce functionalities, but the huge demand from thirsty consumers proved too great for the previous platform.
So, Thatchers Cider got to work assembling the perfect task force (including us!) to leverage the boom in online purchasing.
Firehaus, a branding consultancy in Bristol, laid the groundwork for us. Following extensive research, planning, and brand strategy work, Firehaus provided us with user journey insights, key technical requirements, and other must-haves for the new website.
The new Thatchers Cider website.
Then, we got to work designing, building, and coding over 300 pages, posts and templates for the new WordPress website.
Special features to look out for include:
- Individual product pages for each of the ciders with categorised content
- Interactive booking calendars
- Scrolling timeline of Thatchers’ history
- Animated bubbles in the taste bar adjusted for each cider
- ‘Quick view’ function on the shop
- Automated product matching for pages across the site
- Unique cocktails and recipes pages
- Huge trade section customised with content for breweries, shops, and pubs
- Exclusive account section for customer log-in
- Events and competition pages
…not to mention a sleek custom shop – but more on that below.
As if one stunning e-commerce website wasn’t enough, the previous website for The Railway Inn, the accompanying pub at Thatchers HQ in Somerset, has been merged within the new Thatchers Cider website. Here, users can view the menu, book a table, and plan their visit. There’s also sections for tours, the farm shop, events, competitions, and open days.
Our WooCommerce expertise.
The Thatchers Cider’s e-commerce store was built with scale in mind, initially housing three main categories of product; drinks, merchandise and clothing. For the 35+ products, there are custom filtering functionalities and variations, including bottles, cans, or bulk alternatives for the ciders.
Our WooCommerce-native developer got stuck into the shop, cleverly and creatively adding products and functionalities. Due to the complexity of the shop, our development team thought ‘why be limited by a plug-in?!’ and amended the popular WooCommerce platform to suit the needs of Thatchers.
Aside from product filtering, subtle hover animations, and numerous product variations, the shop includes an automated product pull-through feature. So, no matter what page users are on, if a product category applies, the appropriate products will automatically pull through on the page.
A taste of success.
Since the website’s launch in April 2021, Thatchers Cider have only started to scratch the surface of what’s possible. Customers have entered competitions, explored more about the iconic business, applied for jobs, created recipes, and, most importantly, bought delicious cider. The website has also seen huge leaps in its SEO performance, appearing for high search volume terms like “buy cider” (now position number 1 on Google)!
We can’t wait to see what the future brings for Thatchers Cider and the fantastic website (if we do say so ourselves). I guess you could say we are thirsty for more!
We worked with Squarebird on a brand new website, expanding our brand story and building up the ecommerce side of the site. Nick & Kirstin were brilliant from the start – suggesting better ways of doing things and making sure the site was built in a way that worked for us. Post-build they have also been on hand to help with training and ongoing support which is exactly what we have needed!