Onsharp Case Study
My Name is Joe
Ushering a century-old industry leader into the modern age of e-commerce.
When global tire-equipment leader Branick needed to create an online sales platform, it tapped Onsharp to revamp its website for modern e-commerce activity.
HQ: Fargo, ND
Project: Website Development
Objective: Create an e-commerce platform to modernize online sales capabilities
Technologies: WordPress, WooCommerce, custom programming
Branick Industries is a leading manufacturer of tire service equipment, repair equipment, and inflation systems. For over 100 years, distributors have sought out the company for its dozens of cutting-edge products, which are now enjoyed by 750,000 customers around the world.
At odds with Branick’s innovative product line was its antiquated website. According to Branick Marketing & Media Coordinator Chris Lein, the site wasn’t suited for modern e-commerce and had fallen behind in the industry.
“The website was static and really unorganized. It either lacked important content or had too much that was unnecessary. It was almost nonfunctional.”
Chris and his team knew this was directly affecting their business. The site’s poor UX had been driving potential customers to competitors with more user-friendly sites. This impacted Branick’s brand perception and awareness as much as its sales.
It was time for a change. Branick required a working e-commerce platform that matched the quality of its solutions. To accomplish this, they needed a technology partner capable of meeting specific objectives:
- Better organize site content to make it simpler and easier to find
- Customize product page layout and functionality
- Implement a back-end system that Branick employees could understand and use
- Expedite the project without sacrificing quality in order to get back on track quickly
Chris wanted to find a local partner and spoke with several firms in the area. Not only was Onsharp the most responsive—which Chris saw as a positive indicator of how it does business—but it also provided a strong roadmap coming out of an in-depth “discovery” process.
“I didn’t feel with other companies that I was going to end up with what I needed. Onsharp made me very comfortable that they would do what we wanted in the long run.”
Onsharp’s e-commerce experts knew right away that Branick required a complete rebuild. There was simply no way around it since the site’s architecture couldn’t be updated. Plus, it couldn’t handle the amount of inventory—over 40 products—that had to be integrated alongside key functionality like online payment processing.
Based on Branick’s desired specs, Onsharp identified WordPress as the ideal solution for several reasons:
- Wide selection of readymade templates that could be tailored to company needs
- Easy training for nontechnical users, who could then make basic updates on their own
- Reliable sales capabilities through its e-commerce plugin, WooCommerce
Onsharp gave thought to overall design while Chris compiled brand assets and other necessary content. Branick was very particular about not just the elements it wanted, but where it wanted them to appear. In some cases, locations for things such as the shopping cart, shipping terms, and “related products” weren’t possible with WooCommerce’s out-of-the-box functionality.
That didn’t stop Onsharp developers. The firm’s “anything is possible” mantra just meant they’d find alternate solutions through custom coding, no matter how extensive the request.
Their ingenuity impressed Chris throughout the process.
“There were at least two or three times where I said ‘I want something like this.’ They said it was never done before, let us look into it. They found an answer every time.”
By the end of the project, Onsharp had created a brand-new e-commerce ecosystem. Top to bottom, Branick.com looked and performed exactly the way the company had envisioned it.
“The functionality, updatability, and usability of the site was well thought through,” said Chris.
A fully-reworked sitemap drastically improved the UX. The home page, previously overloaded with content, was clean and intuitive as a guide for navigating through the site. Visitors were able to find what they needed without effort or endless click-throughs.
Filter and sorting features on product category pages made this process smooth. The product pages themselves were then highly-organized. Visitors could review thorough descriptions, download spec sheets, and watch demo videos as part of a multimedia shopping experience. Administratively, Onsharp made it easy to simply duplicate these pages and update the content each time Branick needed to add a new product.
Much of Branick’s business comes through its distribution network, so Onsharp added a dealer locator map as well. A customized plugin offered customers a convenient way to find and contact local distributors. In turn, and as a testament to their partnership, many distributors also began promoting Branick’s website because of its new industry-leading interface.
This was a huge win for Branick because it could now sell directly online. Onsharp created a purchase process that mirrored what buyers are used to with other e-commerce merchants. The ability to offer coupons and other incentives made the company more competitive while integration with Stripe’s payment processing system streamlined the entire transaction.
All of this tied seamlessly to the back end. Branick could pull reports and invoices on-demand for sales and inventory tracking. Along with benefits such as security scans, automatic site updates, and 24/7 support, this turnkey operation was a big reason behind the decision to continue hosting its site with Onsharp. The free year that comes with the firm’s website contracts was enough for Branick to see that it was in the best possible hands.
“I’ve had comments from everyone I work with and from multiple customers saying how much better the site is than what we had.”
Chris’s remark neatly captured the reaction from Branick’s many stakeholders. Customers today enjoy a best-in-class user experience and employees can handle day-to-day e-commerce management. Once perceived as outdated, its website now genuinely lives up to the company’s reputation for innovation.
Improved brand perception accompanied similar upticks in awareness and engagement, as seen by enhanced site metrics in the first year:
- +53% users
- +56% new users
- +50% user sessions
- Increased traffic from all sources
- +15% organic search
- +64% social
- +102% direct
- +448% referral
More importantly, Branick saw immediate effects on its bottom line:
- Increased revenue
- Boosted offline sales productivity by reducing customer inquiries over the phone
- Increased online sales during the second half of year one by 750% over the first
- Earned online margins at nearly double those from traditional distributor sales
- Decreased overhead
- Eliminated the need for external developer support with basic site operations
- “Future-proofed” the platform to avoid major updates every 2–3 years
What began with a basic, no-frills WordPress template ended as a fully-customized site that met critical business needs. And, because of the organized, transparent approach taken by both partners, the timeline was slashed almost in half compared to similar projects of this magnitude.
Branick has since retained Onsharp for ongoing dot-com support as well as for other projects. This included similar redevelopment of Safety Seal’s website after acquiring the leading tire-repair technology brand. Simply put, Chris and his team are excited to have found their go-to web partner.
“Honestly, the experience from start to finish was good—really good. They were determined to get it done the way we wanted it rather than what was easiest for them.”
“I can’t believe you guys have an unhappy customer.”
Key Metrics Realized:
Increased users and engagement
+56% new users
+50% user sessions
Increased traffic from all sources
+15% organic search