We helped this audiobook company build their online presence to match their impeccable reputation.
Recorded Books is the largest independent publisher of recorded unabridged and wholly authentic titles, providing libraries and other customers with the highest quality audiobooks, eBooks, eMagazines, movies learning programs and more. They operate in the United States with sister companies Wavesound and W. F. Howes based in Australia and the United Kingdom.
Recorded Books approached us to provide them and their two sister companies with new websites, all three of which needed to be delivered within a few weeks of each other.
The core aim of this project was to provide the digital transformation of Recorded Books, Wavesound and W. F. Howes. The industry is moving rapidly towards digital, however, their existing websites weren't allowing them to transcend the gap from book store to digital. This prompted them to join the field.
These three companies required their own websites to target both B2B and B2C audiences and provide an excellent user experience through improved site navigation, recommended titles, user accounts and an easy checkout process. So we conducted an extensive research phase, followed by mapping out user journeys, wireframing, design, and finally, building the three new websites.
Personalized user experience
In the discovery phase, we found that there were six main groups of users, four of which were external users affiliated with libraries. To ensure a personalized experience for these users, we implemented the functionality for them to log in through their registered library. Additionally, users have a different level of authority over the account based on their role – librarians and library staff can make changes to the account, whereas patrons and borrowers are not.
Increase in sales
Improved site navigation and site search
Navigating the site is also now much easier for the user, as they can browse by genre or digital/physical department, by best-selling authors, imprints and more. Navigation has also been improved as it now reflects the hierarchy of titles, making the experience far better for the user.
Improvement in accuracy of the site search function was also necessary to ensure that users can find relevant results as quickly as possible. This part of the project included the implementation of relevancy within search results, suggestive search and advanced search. The advanced search option allows users to narrow down their search quickly and effectively, if they know exactly what they are looking for. Users that are logged in have the option to save advanced searches and re-run them at any time.
The experience is now far more tailored toward the user, as book titles are recommended based upon what the user has already shown an interest in on the site. Users also have the ability to create a wishlist, which they can save so that their selections are still visible on their next visit to the site, meaning that users are now provided with a much more personalized experience.
An easy checkout process
Furthermore, the checkout process is now much more user-friendly. There is a ‘budgeting’ option, so users can set a limit to their cart and be notified if their chosen items exceed this limit. There is also the exciting option to share carts within libraries, meaning other users can view what is being bought if the user grants them access. There is also the ability to share carts for approval, which is an efficient aspect of the site’s functionality for B2B users. Another beneficial option of the website is that users can save their carts and return to them at a later time to complete their purchase.
The digital transformation of Recorded Books, Wavesound and W. F. Howes has allowed these companies to provide customers with a tailored user experience. This has meant that users can now find what they need so they can purchase products easily.
All three companies have received excellent user feedback from both B2B and B2C customers. Furthermore, we have been able to deliver these excellent outcomes:
- 10% increase in page views
- 99% increase in average session duration
- 75% increase in sales
In the first two weeks since the launch of the website, sales exceeded the highest month in the previous 12 months.
W. F. Howes
- A 70% increase in page views
- A 28% increase in average session duration
- 433% increase in sales
In addition to these amazing results, the project has also reduced the costs of ongoing maintenance for each company and provided an online platform that allows them to better engage with their customers.
What do Recorded Books say?
This project was both very challenging and very rewarding. We put in a lot of work and came out with a great new website that has increased our online sales considerably.
Visit the websites
You can view the outcome of this project at: