Immediate, measurable rise in online bookings

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The desire to create a better user-experience was the driving force behind the recent rebuild of the Qi Health and Yoga website.

Qi Health & Yoga, is a popular business on Sydney’s Northern Beaches, offering Yoga, Pilates, wellness retreats and workshops as well as a wide range of treatments including massage, acupuncture, Reiki and more. The existing website, had ‘grown’ alongside the company. As the business expanded, the website was simply reorganized –  bits were ‘bolted on’, functions were ‘added’ and back-end links were developed to give customers what they wanted at the front-end.

“Eventually we realized that all of this modification had made the site clunky, and that the user-experience was not very good, says founder Mark O’Brien.

“One of the priorities of the rebuild was to change that, and to give our clients a much better website experience. We also wanted to improve the website’s overall functionality, employ the very latest in technologies so that the site can take us into the future, and create a fresh look and feel,” he says.

“The new website delivered an immediate and measurable rise in online bookings. This saves us time at reception and results in a much improved bottom line.”

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Background

Qi’s customer base is long-standing, extremely loyal, and predominantly female. Daily Yoga and Pilates classes are so popular that patrons need to book in advance to secure a spot. 90% of them do. Treatments can also be booked online and other services – such as health retreats and educational workshops – can also be booked through the website.

The old website was a combination of two systems – the front end, or ‘face’ and the back end, a system called MindBody, a database which would pull information to the front end when the user requested it.

While this combination of systems worked effectively, it did not work efficiently.

“When our clients would go to book a class, the site would leave them hanging for a moment or two while it processed,” says Mark.  “Any delay is unacceptable. It was imperative that we fixed this,” he says.

“The site also didn’t work well across mobile or tablet and we wanted to address this too, because around 50% of our traffic comes through hand-held devices.”

With these issues forming the basics of a brief, Qi Health & Yoga engaged Brilliant Digital Internet Marketing to completely rebuild the website.

“The most challenging part was developing the seamless integration of the two back-end platforms,” says Brilliant Digital’s Managing Director Deb Jeffreys. “This was a complex part of the build, but it was necessary in order to achieve the required outcomes. The two systems now work in parallel,” she says.

“The delivery of information is now way better,” agrees Mark. “But the big difference is in the way these platforms work to process a transaction – it is a million times better than it was before.  As result of this, clients are spending more time on the site, and they are buying more,” he says.

In most cases Qi Health & Yoga customers know what they want. The site has 12,000 unique visitors per month. It’s primary function is to enable visitors easy access to information and an avenue to be able to conduct transactions – booking classes, paying memberships etc.

“Site traffic has remained steady since the rebuild, but the volume of online transactions has increased noticeably,” says Mark.  “And the benefit to the business is that they take up less staff time, and because the web stats give us a very clear, accurate picture of what customers are buying, we can be better at serving our customers.”

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Deb’s team also worked hard on developing the website timetables so that they became:

  • Faster loading
  • Clearer to read
  • Easier to navigate and to book.

The ‘scroll over’ function on the timetable allows the user to access more information about a particular class or instructor, without clogging up the timetables.

“I like the templates at the back-end too,” says Mark. “These make updating information very easy when we need to.”

The BBIM strategy also included making the website ‘responsive’ using technology which enables a website to look the same and work the same across a number of devices: desktop, tablet and mobile.

“We developed a free app some time ago which allows users the same functionality as the website because we thought this would make it easy for our customers to book ‘on the go’ but hardly anyone was using it,” says Mark. “It is now more prominent on the site and downloads have increased.

“I was stunned at how little this cost us,” says Mark. “When I think about what we achieved, it was very good value. Deb bought some excellent ideas to the project too, and turnaround was very smooth.

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