Search Platform

Christie & Co

A mobile-first, performance focussed search platform

Bar setting

Christie & Co buys and sells businesses to corporate and independent clients in the hospitality, healthcare, medical and retail sectors. The Christie team turned to Ridgeway to adopt their existing Kentico solution and take ownership of future development.

During initial workshops together Ridgeway and Christie identified the need to improve the site's performance, increase traffic, and provide the key functionality Christie & Co's customers and prospects required from the site.

Christie & Co pub
Christie & Co hotel
Chrisite & Co restaurant

The adoption

Christie & Co came to Ridgeway as their Kentico website wasn't performing as expected and it was having a negative impact on their business. As a Kentico Gold Partner, Ridgeway was able to adopt the existing solution, improve its technical performance and take on further development to improve the user experience.

One of the first improvements was focussed on optimising the Microsoft Azure hosting solution. Ridgeway is a Microsoft Silver partner and quickly identified a large amount of redundant infrastructure, resulting in a reduction of hosting costs by £4,000 a month as well as improving efficiencies.

Our website was slow, inefficient and holding our business back. Ridgeway very quickly got to grips with some major issues and within weeks they had significantly improved its performance and saved us an incredible £4,000 a month! Tim Moxon
IT Director, Christie & Co

A multi-language site

As an international business Christie & Co have five language versions of their site: UK, Austria, Germany, France and Spain. Each site allows for both the English content and the native language translations. Many of the user interaction content such as CTA buttons and page headers use Kentico localisation strings, enabling content to be managed in one central place. This functionality saves the Christie & Co team time as they only need to change the copy in one place, plus it helps them maintain a consistent look and feel across the different language sites.

Business CTA in 4 different languages

Data synchronisation 

The Christie & Co site required a complex integration to ensure a constant sync between the website and their existing Salesforce CRM platform. Christie & Co use Salesforce to manage the company’s property, customer and employee data. The system can synchronise business search areas, properties, user data and preferences, saved searches and saved properties, with the data being synchronised every 20 minutes both ways.

When the Christie & Co team add new properties to Salesforce this automatically syncs with Kentico via an integration task which then creates the property page in Kentico and publishes it to the live site. It also means that they have a single view of the customer across the two systems, and valuable information gathered through the website can be used to personalise their marketing communications.

This sophisticated integration means the Christie & Co team do not need to update both Salesforce and their website. This saves them time, improves the accuracy and consistency of the content and enhances the effectiveness of their marketing activities.

Mobile view property listing with Salesforce logo

A better user experience

To make sure developments were aligned perfectly with Christie's website and business goals, Ridgeway's UX and design team completed a full assessment of the Christie website and decided to focus on enhancements to user journeys to provide a more seamless experience.

Following an exploration of proto-personas to identify user needs, key UX priorities were identified as the homepage, mobile optimisation, business search and account registration forms.

UX wireframe for Christe & Co site on all platforms
Christie & Co Homepage

Home improvements

As the main landing page, the homepage was obviously a priority. Previously the homepage was very slow to load as it featured a large carousel, and this was affecting its performance. Ridgeway stripped it back and reshaped the UI to give a much clearer homepage layout that focusses on the primary function of the site – the business search. Features such as predictive search and quick search options have been added to provide clients with a simpler, more satisfying journey.

Enhancing the mobile experience

Despite 52% of the site’s traffic coming from mobile (40%) and tablet (12%), these users were viewing fewer pages and spending less time on the site than desktop users. Therefore improving the mobile experience was a high priority. Speed was also a major issue, as pages were taking too long to load and using too much data. By adopting a mobile-first approach Ridgeway were able to improve the site’s performance which in turn will help to improve its authority in search engines.

Mobile in hard showing property page on screen

Search made simple

The business search was the second most viewed page on the site but it was hard to navigate and time consuming for users to get to the information they needed.

Several improvements were made to make the search more usable and frictionless including filters, featured properties and bulleted details for properties on sale. Clear calls-to-action have been added to support website goals, and users can now set up property alerts. 

Search page on tablet device

Easy sign up

Christie & Co wanted to increase the number of returning visitors, but the account registration process was long and complex and the benefits were not clearly stated.

The site now focusses users on the benefits of an account and features a simpler registration form that encourages sign ups. Once registered, users can easily manage the content they want to receive within a personalised account area.

Mobile version of registration page


Scoring great results

The figures below compare the two-week period after the site improvements went live with the two weeks before:

  • 70%

    decrease in homepage load time

  • 121%

    increase in pageviews of the business search

  • 27%

    increase in account registrations

In just two weeks the improvements have made a big impact. The homepage is significantly faster to load therefore improving user experience on desktop and mobile. Business search page views have increased and page exits decreased by 21%, demonstrating that users are a lot more engaged and finding the search function easier to use. The number of account registrations increased from 460 to 582 in the first two weeks since the improvements went live, indicating that users are finding the sign up process more compelling and easier to complete.

Christie & Co account sign up screen shot