Growing Business Through Custom Web Design
Case Study

A website that wasn’t blooming like it could

Midwest Groundcovers is an industry leader of just that — premium groundcovers. Their 700 acres facility grows and propagates hundreds of plant varieties to meet their customer needs. Founded in 1969 the company continues to uphold and produce the same high quality of plants and foliage.

Midwest Groundcovers works with clients to forge long-term business relationships that result in repeated business. Their site offers a massive variety of different plants available for their customers. By providing quality healthy plant products they ensure their customer satisfaction. They operate several brands and websites within their umbrella.

MGC Fleet Logo 1

Midwest Groundcovers contacted a leading Idea Marketing Group, a leading Chicago web design company, in 2020 over the various technical issues they were experiencing with their current website. They sought to also leverage our website marketing expertise to improve their website conversion.

The Objective

How could we streamline our client’s current ordering process for thousands of varieties of plants and foliage?

To meet the needs of our new client we discussed the various options that would meet their objectives for the website. Both teams came to the agreement that a total website redesign and UI overhaul were necessary.

Hosting thousands of varieties of plants and foliage that were easily accessible presented a mix of technical requirements and usability factors. The website needed a backend that could easily be adjusted and edited by the Midwest team as plants came in and out of stock or season. This inventory data also needed to be conveyed to customers searching the site so they could see a real time availability. In addition to maintaining stock, the site needed a search function that could locate specific plants among the thousands of varieties.

Our custom web design team also sought to improve the website UI and specifically, to simplify the user journey. The current site featured an overload of information that distracted the user. The homepage was oversaturated with options that prevented a clear path to conversion, or better put, a sale. A clearer user journey was desperately needed.

We also made a note to address the site call to actions (CTAs) and better highlight key information the customer would need.

The client also requested a fix for their “cropshot” program, a feature where visitors could request photos of specific plants. They also reported issues with site responsiveness and lack of website support.

The Solution

Building a complex landscaping website designed for growth with a fully integrated ERP system

The Midwest Groundcovers site had a variety of issues that we needed to address in order to create a custom web design that would meet the client’s requirements.

We began designing a completely custom website using WordPress paired with custom PHP scripts as it would provide the functionality and features our client needed. The new site backend programming was simplified so that the Midwest team would be able to make adjustments as needed. This gave greater control to Midwest over their site content and function. The new build addressed programs and systems that were not working before and fixed critical site errors.

While building the new site we converted the 6 brand sites our client hosted separately to one hosting platform that simplified and gave greater control over their site. The new platforms allowed our client to make adjustments as needed and fixed previously dysfunctional or outdated processes that prevented the sites from being optimized.

The ‘cropshot’ feature error issues were fixed and the new process included an added notification feature that allowed users to know when a response was received. On the Midwest end, the requests were now accessible and organized so they could easily address each request and mark completed which would prevent the previous issue of requests from falling through the cracks.

MGC Site view 1
Client Portal view on MGC website

One of the key features we addressed was the inventory syncs. Previously the syncs happened daily and took hours to complete. Our custom code created a process that only occurred as needed and took only minutes. This also tied into the new inventory system and would automatically update it as sales occurred while also generating an order request for the Midwest team. A live inventory would ensure customers could only order what products were available and prevent ordering issues. The order requests helped Midwest easily view and fulfill site orders.

We also created a custom search function built into the plant library section. This removed a duplicate section from the previous site and allowed users to use advanced search filters with an autoload feature while browsing the library. If you have trouble spelling Chamaecyparis nootkatensis from memory, this feature is for you.

Included in the technical updates was implementing mobile responsiveness across all 6 websites. Users could now load content correctly and quickly from any device.

To address user journey issues our expert website marketing team organized and simplified content using collapsible menu options and implementing clear CTAs across the website pages. Light green buttons grab the user’s attention and direct their journey. This prevented the amount of content from overwhelming users and led them to the content that would be important to them, and most importantly provided actionable items.

Our team also made the ‘add to cart’ process more direct which would drive conversion, another custom feature built entirely through WordPress.

Post-Launch Website Support

Continued nurturing for Midwest Groundcovers with on-going website support.

Our team worked diligently to create a site that would fix every issue our client had reported. We spent countless hours building a completely custom B2B web design that could host their products and correctly display them in a manner that was user-friendly. A simplified site gave greater control to our client and would better drive sales than an overcomplicated one.

Besides creating custom processes and features for our clients we maintained direct contact between our developer team and the clients throughout the entire process. We provided training support so that the Midwest team would be confident using their new site. Additional technical website support is also provided by our team as needed.

In addition to website maintenance support, our team provides all of its clients with our exceptional customer support manager Haley Langer to answer any questions or concerns that arise. When Haley is not addressing our client’s needs she works diligently to review the site, offer suggestions and create training videos to help Midwest Groundcovers better manage their website. This dedicated support helps our clients become more confident in fixing site issues and less reliant on third-party support.