Beach Retreats see immediate sales boost, following our mobile-friendly makeover
Beach Retreats’ new mobile-friendly website, custom built by Voice, has brought them an immediate rise in sales conversion. Proof mobile does the business for Cornish firms – more so now than ever.
Beach Retreats are the self-catering arm of the company that owns the world famous Watergate Bay Hotel, marketing unique properties that are only steps away from the sand. We launched the new site this April, giving them the edge on competitors just in time for the summer rush, and in time to dodge Google’s ‘Mobilegeddon’ – changes to the search algorithm that have made being mobile-friendly vital. And already, it seems our new website is more than proving its worth for the company.
The rapidly growing Beach Retreats came to Voice last year, with a brief for us to update, redesign and redevelop their website, to meet three key business aims. The task was not inconsiderable. As Beach Retreats’ Business Manager, Andrew Easton, told us, “We can barely keep up with demand. We need properties that not only meet but exceed demand, helping to ensure the new trend for repeat early bookings is here to stay.”
Our creative solution
Firstly, from the owners’ perspective, a smoother sign-up process and an easy-to-update backend had to be developed, ensuring that newly acquired properties could be ready to go online within two weeks of signed contract. Next, working closely with Beach Retreats’ marketing team – and alongside moving-image maestros, Studio Wallop – Voice addressed the customers, creating the striking, fresh visuals you can now see on the site. The idea was to emulate the look and feel of the outstanding coastal locations of the company’s portfolio of properties, so that guests could start to visualise their holiday before they arrive. Finally – and crucially, given the traffic profile of 30% smartphone and 40% tablet – each iteration of design had to be rigorously tested on multiple devices to ensure it looked spectacular, and worked logically.
How did it go?
“I’m absolutely delighted” was Andrew’s response. “Post-launch, it’s amazing that essentially there was no disruption to the business. Voice Group have taken a complex project and delivered a comprehensive solution which meets our guests’ needs, whichever device they use. The new website reflects our brand and service and will be key to supporting our continued growth. Early feedback has been very positive and we’ve already seen improved performance from the new look.”
For us, it’s always amazing to get feedback like that from our clients – it’s great knowing we’ve made a difference when it comes to local business. But this response has special significance for us, having been encouraging our clients to go mobile, and building mobile responsive sites, since 2009. The move to mobile has been going on for years, but Google’s recent algorithm change, rewarding mobile-friendly websites with higher search rankings, has brought the issue into sharp relief. Cornwall’s local economy is driven by 70% micro and small business, much of it reliant on tourism. Hotels, accommodation providers, restaurants and attractions all need to ensure their sites work well on all devices. More than half of all search, including pre-holiday bookings, is now on mobile. You get the gist. People have far more choice at their fingertips than ever before. And the message is clear: if they don’t like what they see, they’ll immediately choose someone else – one of your competitors.