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Study: Normans increases web conversions by 48%

By Retail Technology | Thursday July 31 2014

The musical instrument specialist stepped up its web presence by redesigning its website and improving its user experience

Normans Musical Instruments is one of the country’s leading specialist suppliers of musical instruments and accessories. Established for over 50 years, the company delivers the highest standards of quality and service to customers in the UK and throughout the world.

Normans has a significant online presence, supplying schools, pupils, local education authorities and musicians around the world. The company had an established site but wanted to make a number of significant changes to the design and add functionality to further enhance the user experience. It also wanted to increase conversion rates that would generate a greater return on investment.

The project

Normans chose to work with e-commerce specialist Xanthos for the two-phase redesign and redevelopment of its website. 

The Xanthos team focused on a number of deliverables, including a site wireframe and redesign, including a large dropdown mega menu to allow easy navigation. 

The team also designed a smart one-page checkout to improve the buying process, integrated the Pay4Later e-commerce platform to allow additional payment methods, switched the site hosting to rackspace to increase reliability and security and provided ongoing support.

The solution was built to allow Normans to manage products, orders and promotions cross-platform. The redesign included a large drop down mega menu for easy navigation and the ecommerce software (AspDotNetStorefront) was upgraded from an older version (8) to 9.3.1. 

The new version is based on master pages, allowing Normans to define common structure and interface markup elements and includes an advanced sales promotion engine and one page checkout. The inclusion of a smart one page checkout means that customers don’t have to remember if they have an account or not and they do not have to go through 5 steps to make their purchase.  

Xanthos built an on-site search with instant display and custom filters to allow customers to filter their search results or results on product list pages according to their requirements. 


The site now receives a significant amount of daily traffic, something which the e-commerce platform's high-performance architecture has been designed to cope with.

Normans has reported conversion rate increases by 48% in the 3 months following the first upgrade,  translating to an increase in revenue of 118%. Conversion rates increased by a further 30% in the 3 months following the second upgrade, compared to the same period of the previous year.  

“Customers love our web store and regularly compliment us on both the look and functionality of the site,” said Gareth Haines, managing director of Normans Musical Instruments. “When the new site went live we saw an instant increase in conversion rates and traffic has continued to increase month on month.”

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