Driver taking break and browsing content on the RHA website

Executing a Seamless eCommerce Website for the RHA

The Road Haulage Association (RHA) is the only UK trade association dedicated solely to the needs of UK road transport operators. With offices across the country, the RHA is one of the UK's largest trade associations and represents the operators of over 80,000 commercial vehicles.

The RHA was undergoing a complete digital transformation aimed at enhancing every area of its business, including a new eCommerce website that needed to be designed, developed, and built. The site needed to interact seamlessly with all software and tools currently in use, as well as be agile for any future updates.

With over 6,000 members, the RHA provides advice, up-to-date information, and guidance to its members. The RHA also offers the largest online shop dedicated to road transport.

Previously, the shop was built on a separate entity to the main website, making it difficult from a user’s perspective as they had to jump between two different platforms. It was therefore critical that the main DNN-built website was integrated with the online shop, allowing the buyer experience to be more seamless and cohesive. RHA selected Cantarus for the job thanks to our expertise in membership combined with eCommerce and DNN capability.

The project goals were simple:

  • Deliver a much-improved functional website, with a fresh look to strengthen RHA’s brand,
  • Merge the eCommerce site with the main website under one domain to unite all products and services, increase traffic, revenue, leads, and improve search rankings/PPC efforts,
  • Create an easier customer journey and better UX for new and existing members and non-members,
  • Build a website that was easy to manage in-house.
Haulage professional joining the RHA online

RHA’s existing eCommerce site desperately needed a revamp – not only did it no longer reflect their brand, but with clunky navigation and a complicated user journey, it was no longer fit for purpose. It wasn’t responsive, URLs weren’t optimised, and search functionality needed massively refining too. The platform lacked the flexibility and basic functionality needed for day-to-day requirements, and with a rigid CMS, RHA had little control over even the most basic areas of the site.

One of the main requirements of the new site was to reduce the manual effort involved in the everyday management of the online shop. This was achieved by integrating the shop with Microsoft Dynamics so that orders placed on-site are automatically inserted into the CRM, meaning financials are live and up to date. This has massively reduced the prior effort required by staff to manually maintain financials, saving both time and costs in the long run. We also modernised the portal by redesigning the shop and improving UX by upgrading user self-service capabilities.

Since the eCommerce site generates such a large amount of revenue for RHA, maintaining a good UX was another top priority. We proposed that RHA utilise the product management capabilities already in place so that products are shown to users through a custom front-end shop module, balancing a reduction in risk and development effort, and ensuring prospective customers have a great online experience.

An intuitive and efficient checkout process is essential for any eCommerce platform, so we made sure that the shopping cart is permanently accessible across the site. The basket shows information, selected variants, and quantity of any products added through the shop, as well as the option to change and remove items directly.

RHA needed to be able to content manage easily in-house without the need for coding. Now that the site is upgraded to DNN 9, it’s a painless process to edit the site, create featured areas as needed, embed videos, and display individual products – plus much more.

The shopping experience itself has also been hugely improved. With simpler navigation, you can now sort items according to bestsellers, price low-high, recently added items, and more, and listings are completely searchable. As with many eCommerce platforms, navigation consists of a mega menu style control that enables users to easily filter categories across Products, but also Training and Events. Previously, the training section was manual but now members can book various courses online effortlessly.

News blogs and press section of the RHA website

At Cantarus, we don’t just sell websites, we create websites that sell themselves. We wanted to tell a bigger story with this project – RHA was launching their new brand alongside the website, so we needed to ensure we brought this brand to life. We created a clean, focused design that was simple but effective in promoting RHA’s message. The layout is not only attention-grabbing but the strong imagery and photography empower its users. Through a simple but visually stunning design, we’ve helped RHA truly understand how their new brand exists on the web.

Driver reading article on mobile version of Road Haulage Association website

The Results

Having a more self-serving eCommerce platform is exactly what RHA needed, and ultimately will help drive significant revenue for them going forward. To merge eCommerce with membership and see how it all came together was really exciting. Not only did we exceed RHA’s expectations in terms of creative design and implementation, but this was a massive collaborative effort from both Cantarus and RHA teams throughout. We look forward to continuing to work with them in the future and see how far we can take the brand.

Cantarus was a brilliant digital partner to work with on this project. Both RHA and Cantarus worked really well together, and communication was excellent and consistent from start to finish. It really was a joint team effort which we appreciated. The new website is exactly what we needed; it fits our new brand identity, everything is in one place and easily accessible, and it’s also self-serving for our users which will ultimately help our existing members, but also help reach new users much more efficiently.

Stephen Hards Head of Programme Management and IT

Headshot of Cantarus' Chief Delivery Officer, Brendan

Want to know more?

Our Chief Delivery Officer, Brendan Killough, would love to chat with you about your website needs.
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