When webdna first started working with Tim Kennedy, owner of Modelli Fabrics, back in 2009, the intention was to create an online platform selling high quality upholstery fabric direct to the public.
Tim had been running a fabric agency business since the mid 1980’s and was looking for a fresh challenge which could fully optimise the considerable experience he had acquired during that time.
Ecommerce & custom CMS
webdna designed and build a online platform that Tim could build his business on. For that we initially used Pyro CMS and built a fabric finder tool that allows Tim’s customers to drill down through the hundreds of fabrics available on the website to find the colour, texture, and pattern of material that is just right for their project.
The problem with buying fabric online is that most people really want to feel it, see it up close and get a sense of what it would like in the room that they have planned to use it in.
To help overcome that, we built a sample tool. Any sample could be selected and Tim would send it out free to the customer and then follow up with them by email to see how they liked it.
The idea of providing a free sample seems like second nature today but back in 2009 it was unheard of that anyone would send out a free fabric sample to anyone who asked for one.
In the beginning the website had to work especially hard. There was no fallback of a bricks and mortar shop or even a telephone line that a customer could call. Everything had to be available through the website and in such an intuitive way that no one needed to speak to anyone at Modelli.
The business grew rapidly through the first few years and by 2012 it was evident that the business model originally conceived in 2008/9 not only had legs but could continue to prosper with the right technical support.
New iterations of the website were introduced in 2011 and again in 2013 - each time streamlining and simplifying the customer experience.
The benefit of these investments, along with the regular monthly investment Tim makes with webdna has proved to be more than worthwhile given that the business has seen double digit growth every year since.
From the very beginning Tim has set webdna the challenge of allowing him to run his business with very low staff overhead, and we have delivered.
His business currently operates at ten times the revenue per employee of the business due to the multi-faceted approach that we have taken in partnership with Tim.
webdna have worked with Tim to improve every area of his business including optimising label and invoice printing, integrating with his accountancy software, providing his email marketing, SEO and PPC all built on a beautiful website that works for his standard retail requirements, trade requirements and the very bespoke requirements of some of his customers.
A full digital partner
webdna are now Modelli’s digital marketing team.
We know more about fabric than we ever thought we would and are using that knowledge to help Tim take Modelli from strength to strength using a range of our skills from website design and development, through digital marketing including SEO and PPC and even stretching to customer service if required.
But don’t take our word for it, this is what Tim has to say about webdna…
“Starting any new business from scratch is always a risk. Especially when you are looking to operate entirely in a marketplace which is unfamiliar - i.e., online retailing.
Whilst I had a good understanding of the products I wanted to sell, my knowledge of how the internet works (Google etc) was practically zero so I needed enormous help from outside sources and in this respect the relationship I have developed with webdna has been invaluable to me and my business.
Simplicity is the key to what we do. We have a complex product offer but the website is designed to be extremely easy to navigate so that customers can find what they need in a few clicks. Similarly, the way I work with webdna is based on having very clear plans and objectives and I very much appreciate the level of commercial understanding they bring to this issue. From my point of view having webdna on board is like having extra pairs of hands in my business and I look forward to maintaining this in the coming years.”
I love the level of commercial understanding webdna bring to my business, It’s like having extra pairs of hands!
At a glance
- Long lasting relationship - working with client since 2009
- Business growth - turnover grown year-on-year
- Bespoke ecommerce - primary sales channel - no fallback of bricks and mortar
- Digital partner - extending client’s team, with experienced, responsible and commercially aware digital partner, now fundamental to the business
- Business strategy - Based in almost all strategic business decisions (web, marketing, sales, customer service)