Constantly evolving and improving Hillarys' digital presence in a 17-year partnership that’s still going strong.

  • Client


  • Services

    Strategy, Design, Engineering

  • Methods

    UX research, Design Sprints, Performance Optimisation

User-focused mobile redesign

We’ve been working with Hillarys since 2005, and like all great relationships, our long-term partnership is built on openness, trust, and a desire to get the best out of each other.

We noticed mobile traffic to Hillarys.co.uk had increased by 58% year-on-year. Hillarys customers had clearly moved beyond desktop – so we moved with them. We upgraded the site from two desktop and two mobile versions to one responsive platform. We worked in cycles, focusing on the back-end and biggest-volume product pages, and releasing these core elements first.

The final work helped deliver almost 14,000 additional appointments and a staggering £2.6m in additional revenue over the course of the first year.

Co-ordinated SEO strategy

A new SEO/PPC strategy, delivered by Code’s sister agency MediaCom North, worked in tandem with our on-site optimisation work to increase search traffic to the new responsive site, as well as improve cost efficiencies.

Following the launch of the responsive site, search traffic soared, with organic traffic via mobile devices increasing 203% YOY. This helped deliver a 151% uplift in appointments booked by mobile users.

Strategic partnership

After several years of working with Hillarys, we didn’t want complacency to kick in on either side. We recognised that it was probably time for a ‘reset’ so we could ensure we were working with them in the most efficient, Product Thinking-focussed way.

In 2016, we undertook a six-week research project to really get under the skin of the business and better understand its customers.

We shadowed advisor appointments, interviewed customers and even tried the service ourselves. We then mapped everything we learned to identify how digital currently supported the customer journey, a series of focus areas for improvement, and a clear product vision for the team to focus on:

“Guiding your progress towards creating the home you love”.

Sample ordering service

In 2017, we identified that ordering samples were a major pain point for customers, and that Hillarys competitors were doing a much better job at streamlining the process.


To understand the opportunity, we conducted an A/B split test, presenting a way of ordering samples online to a small percentage of blinds and curtain fabrics customers. This not only ensured that the volume of sample requests increased slowly and manageably, ensuring that Hillarys were able to keep up with demand without having to immediately invest in delivering the whole service, but also that we understood what affect the new functionality might have on appointment requests, brochure requests and the average order value before we went about implementing it site-wide.


After some great initial results we’ve slowly rolled out samples to 100% of traffic as well as extending to the carpets product range, and we are continually evolving this service into a flagship offering.

Digital rebrand

A common challenge for long-standing brands is to attract a more contemporary audience without alienating their existing customer base. In 2018, we focussed on helping Hillarys appeal to a new generation of interior addicts while simultaneously retaining already-loyal customers.


To reduce the risks associated with a large scale rebrand, we took a ‘digital first’ approach to test the impact of a new look and feel and measure its impact on different customer segments.


We carried out a week-long art direction sprint where we created a new look, complete with a new font, which was then rolled out onto several sections of the website. Initial tests indicated that it was converting well, so we then implemented the new look and feel site-wide.


As a result, Hillarys have been able to capture the attention of an entirely new audience base and the quality of the leads coming through the site has increased immensely.

Online appointment booking

To reduce costs and improve customer satisfaction, we believed Hillarys needed to upgrade their current appointment booking process – a call centre supported by online form – to a live online interface with advisors.


We quickly tested the hypothesis, using our user testing lab and a prototype to document people's reactions to live appointment booking. Initial test results were very positive so we started to build.


We integrated directly with Hillarys’ internal appointment system, providing live appointment availability so customers no longer need to ring the call centre to get booked in.


The new service went live in May 2018. In the first eight weeks, it delivered a £158k increase in revenue with improved conversion rates as well as average order value.


Homepage redesign

The Hillarys site attracts more than 100,000 visitors each week – and for many users, is one of their first interactions with the brand.

We were briefed to help modernise the homepage, showcase the evolution of the Hillarys brand and improve the overall page conversion rate.

A new homepage was designed and user-tested with Hillarys’ customers ahead of a CRO experiment going live.

  • 72% of participants felt the new design was more modern  
  • 59% of participants said they would prefer to purchase from the new design rather than the old 
  • 70% of participants understood the service compared to 42% in the old design 

Following several iterations, we used the collected insights and analytics to finalise the design, ensuring we kept the strong hero messaging around the value for customers and Hillarys core service proposition.  

Hillarys new website hompage


Our work with Hillarys’ continues. Given that our partnership with them is based on a continual cycle of iteration and improvement, we’re securing fantastic new results for them all the time.


Increase in conversions


Decrease in bounce rate


Additional revenue each month


Monthly new appointments

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