Traditional family run business with small online shop
The Hukins are a traditional British hop farming family, based in Kent. They came to us to overhaul their very old online shop when the son, Ross Hukins, joined the firm. Ross joined his father in the family run firm after working as a business consultant in London. He brought with him an understanding of the importance of ecommerce and digital media in selling fresh and dried hops to both the trade and the public, and created and promoted the brand online. He wanted to take his father’s successful business into the digital age and we continue to support them with digital marketing.
In the run up to the site going live, Ross had started an online blog about ‘city worker going back to the farm’, which helped their search engine optimisation (and got them listed on Google). Ross asked his close friend to design the logo and Hukins ‘brand’ that played heavily on the romance and tradition of hop farming. The ‘story’ of the family and its farming tradition and values was just as important on the website as selling the hops themselves. He also identified the 3 strong vertical markets they sell into ‘pubs & restaurants’, ‘weddings’ and ‘for the home’. He created content for these pages as the main content of the website, talking directly to his customers. He also set up Facebook and Pinterest social networks to promote the hops digitally.
Ross’s father however was very nervous about turning off the old website as he felt his long term established trade customers might be alienated by the new technology and brand. So we ran both online shop websites side by side for 12 months on different domains, the new website on www.hukins-hops.co.uk and the old website on www.hopvine.co.uk
As they only sell two products – dried hops and fresh hops – we choose a simple WooCommerce web platform. Their fresh hops are seasonal so their basket allows for pre-ordering and reservation of hops for delivery between August-September each year.
One year on from launch and the new website had taken the same amount of money as the old site used to take, which has effectively doubled their online sales in 12 months. The old site continued to sell to their existing customers and the success of the new site has given Mr Hukins senior the confidence to now turn off the old site and redirect all online sales via the new website in autumn 2015.
In 2017 we took on the Google Adwords account for Hukins alongside a monthly SEO campaign. This involves creating the Ads, advising on Ad spend, average click price and monitoring the effectiveness of Ad campaigns for return on investment. Hukins write their own blogs and send them through to us for optimisation and posting. We also work with them seasonally on competitions, seasonal page title optimisation and image sourcing.
“The site is up live and looking great. Thank you both for all your work to date.”
Ross Hukins, Director, Hukins Hops