United EPoS Solutions
United EPoS Solutions approached Honeystone to help realise their aspirations for a new name, a new brand and a "harder working" website. This comprehensive reboot needed to reflect their growing nationwide footprint and their strategic shift from simple cash registers, to flexible and affordable software solutions.
Laravel (an MVC framework built with PHP) was used as the foundation for website so that fast, static content could be served, and content types (pages, case studies posts etc) easily modelled and output by category. This was key to delivering the core requirement of a curated, sector specific user experience.
Less and webpack were used to compile dynamic dependencies into static assets and minify CSS. This reduced development time and build time and more importantly helped to boost the performance of the website.
Building a custom CMS meant that the information architecture and content management functionality could be tailored to create and manage unique user experiences for different industry sectors (e.g. retail, members clubs, stately homes). As well as outlining the unique challenges of each sector, appropriate modules from the ICR Touch platform could be presented in content and with appropriate support documentation.
We took a content first approach to developing the website which meant that the copy was able to help inform the design early in the project. We worked closely with the client to develop a content plan which they then used to develop the copy internally. Thinking about the content holistically and early in the project helped to yield more tailored user journeys and meant that we were able to configure the CMS to work for the content rather than developing content to fulfil an empty CMS.
We were briefed with designing a new logo to better showcase the company’s reputation for strong customer service and helping customers to grow their retail sales. After detailed discussions and analysis we agreed that the company should change its name to United EpoS to better reflect their growing national footprint and the strong strategic alliances underlining their product range.
Several options were crafted using Adobe Illustrator and presented to the client. The preferred option was chosen because it was clear and distinct and best reflected the positive impact good point of sale software is demonstrated to have on a retail or catering business.
UI / UX
The discovery findings were carefully condensed into a design brief along with the new branding assets and guidelines and the new content appended.
The user experience design work was undertaken using Sketch to create flat file representations of the user experience. These were then used to refine aspects of the design before starting the application build.
The United EPOS website is deployed to a DigitalOcean droplet with standard backups to deliver solid performance and appropriate resilience.
With no requirement for clustering or advanced network solutions, the deployment workflow can be conveniently managed using GIT attached to Laravel Forge.
The goals of the project were broadly twofold. Firstly there was a requirement to generate more quality leads to help grow the business. Secondly improvements to the provision of technical support information was important for existing clients.
The United EPoS client base were increasingly UK wide and it was felt that the old name “West Country Cash Registers” did not help address this new dynamic. Furthermore the company was primarily involved in selling software solutions, and had almost entirely moved out of cash registers. A new name and brand would be required.
The modular software supplied by United EPoS is used by eight key retail and hospitality sectors. This meant we would need to tailor the help and support information for each sector, ensuring that each article could be available for multiple sectors but updated simply and centrally.
The beginning of wisdom is to call things by their proper name ⁽¹⁾
The early strategy meetings for the project revealed that the nationwide footprint, focus on offering solutions and close customer relationships were the factors which should inform the new brand name and company logo.
From a shortlist of potential names we had compiled, we agreed with Gwyn, the business owner that United EPoS Solutions met all the key requirements. Both the .co.uk and .com domains were available so we registered these immediately.
We then brainstormed to explore possible concepts for the logo, and based on the outcome we prepared four different design concepts. Gwyn was clear which he liked best as it strongly represented the business growth he endeavoured to deliver to his clients. This concept was then refined in the blue colour option which was to become the now familiar United EPoS brand colour.
Adding a little more ka-ching!
We recommended that the strap-line “Putting a little ka-ching into your business” be rolled over from the old brand.
We felt this was catchy, memorable and hit the nail on head by simultaneously describing the emotional and financial benefits of using United EPoS to enhance any given point of sale experience.
Writing in support
The website had several key support roles to fulfil and this content would clearly need to be developed from scratch as the old site was very out of date. With his in depth knowledge of the software and typical support requirements of his clients Gwyn was in the best position to write this.
Taking into account the eight key retail and hospitality sectors, and the software modules popular in each sector we wrote a content plan to guide both Gwyn's copywriting work and the experience provided by the website.
Vocation, location, ovation
Armed with this content plan and the shiny new brand we worked up a UX (user experience) design to refine with United EPoS prior to the development phase.
One of the key features of the design was to position eight clear call to action boxes on the home page - one for each type of United EPoS client. This allows a members club owner, or a retailer, for example, to quickly navigate to feature and support information tailored specifically for their type of business.
An important change we made to the design was to include the old West Country Cash Registers logo in the header. This enables clients with ageing hardware under the old brand to know they have landed on the right website when looking for support or an upgrade.
A number of United EPoS client's kindly allowed to let us take photos at their premises to proudly represent their industry sector. We are extremely grateful for their help.
A sound investment
We asked Gwyn what impact the site had during its first couple of years and how United EpoS had then fared during the COVID-19 pandemic. We are delighted to share his comments are below.
We commissioned Honeystone to provide us with a website as we had a specific vision and were unable to find anyone else who could provide us with what we envisioned.
The last year, with the Covid pandemic affecting the world and most businesses, was a particularly worrying time for us as most of our clients had their usual businesses closed down because they are in the hospitality and retail arena.
Surprisingly, for us, even though many of our clients and prospective clients were closed we were still receiving inbound inquiries. Many from new prospects.
On asking how they found us it was unanimously “on your website”. I am very happy we invested in a great website as it has paid for itself many times over, during what has been possibly the most difficult time to obtain new business. Thank you David and your team.
Gwyn Russell, Director, United EPOS Solutions