B2C Shopify multichannel pivot launching Newhay direct to consumers with a subscription service

  • +245% Traffic increase
  • +287% Sales increase
  • +127% Ranking keywords
  • x3 Keywords on first page of Google

Project overview

In 2021, Newhay wanted to launch their own brand of premium feeding hay for small pets selling direct to consumer straight from their farm.

Herd proposed an innovative plan including a high-performance Shopify build and multi-channel strategy, including ongoing SEO, paid advertising, social media management, digital PR, content, and email marketing.

Visit website

The brief

Newhay wanted to develop and grow a new B2C channel, evolving the business from their existing B2B wholesale / white label model of selling their premium feeding hay to retailers.

Our aim was to help Newhay launch their own brand of feeding hay targeting small pet owners nationwide, and provide the highest quality feeding hay to UK pets within 48 hours of cutting.

Key objectives

  • Launch Newhay to sell D2C on a new domain and offer a hay subscription service
  • Build and grow brand awareness of their new own brand of Premium quality hay online
  • Increase business through the site long term
  • Develop a multi-channel performance marketing strategy and ongoing support

How we did it

Our digital audit and competitor analysis highlighted key areas for development.

Technical Issues

Leading the integration of Shopify with the fulfilment and product centre to work in real time, using our very own 'Herd Skeleton Framework', which provides the building blocks to deliver a high performance Shopify website.

Brand development

Ensure the brand was communicated consistently across channels and, critically, for the website to represent the brand.

Competing with established brands

Grow visibility in organic and paid search for Newhay brand and non-brand terms online to compete with similar products and categories on established domains that ranked well.

Multi-channel digital strategy

Across all online channels, whether delivered by Herd or by Newhay in-house.

Newhay sales team support

Focusing on brand exposure and high-quality coverage based upon competitor link analysis to identify opportunities to grow online and offline brand visibility.

We created a multi-channel digital strategy to inform the design, build, and content for the new website, and to use as a roadmap for marketing post launch.

We developed a content-rich site and robust branding to stand up to competitors and position Newhay as an authority in hay for small pets, whilst communicating the values of a family-based farm.

We developed an SEO-friendly site structure, identified content priorities, and informational hierarchy for pages to inform design. We then created content to suit the design adopting SEO best practices.

Core category pages for small pets had to be competitive e.g. ‘hay for rabbits’. With just three products, we designed product lister pages to display much more on-page content, to be more ‘guide like’, to compete in organic search, and tell a detailed story around the product benefits.

The blog focuses on ‘pet care’ guides for each small pet category and news from the farm. Publishing regular articles positions Newhay as a knowledge authority, as well as engaging with small pet owners and their needs. Social media and content is a key component in the strategy.

With small pet owners requiring feed regularly, we built in a flexible hay subscription model with multiple frequency of delivery options and discount incentives to encourage sign-up.

We developed paid advertising campaigns (Google Ads and Facebook Ads) to reach new audiences and drive traffic to the new site with outstanding results.

Our partnership also includes an important aspect of consultancy - we make recommendations for business development and growth across all channels, from expansion of product ranges to PR campaigns and collaborations.

We have already seen some outstanding results since launch, and continue to drive brand awareness and uplift in ROI, driving D2C sales to the next level.

"We worked with Herd to redesign our website, set up Shopify and start our online marketing from scratch. Their attention to detail has been amazing, and their overall support in all aspects of this has always been honest and flexible to suit our needs."

Ian Burrows Managing Director, Newhay

Final-worthy work

Our launch for Newhay saw us nominated as finalists at the 2022 Prolific North Champions Awards. We were among the leading candidates for the Website Development Project of the Year award.

Project highlights

We created a strong brand experience woven throughout the site with strong visuals, content, and design.

This was developed with a deep understanding of Newhay’s brand and audience.

The website is technically to meet SEO best practice criteria out-of-the-box. Our Dev team of Shopify experts created a bespoke design and deployed our own ‘skeleton framework’, which provides the building blocks to deliver a high performing Shopify website.

We have seen a 287% increase in sales year-on-year, 143% increase in revenue in Q4 of 2021.

The information architecture of the site and content strategy is informed by the digital strategy.

Planned with marketing and SEO in mind from the outset, the site structure incorporates target keywords and phrases in mind to drive more traffic from search engines.

Visibility of the site has grown from 3.2% to 5.5% in three months. We have more than doubled the number of ranking keywords in Google from 158 to 359 search terms, and tripled the number of keywords on page one to 33.

The paid search strategy incorporates text ads and Google Shopping, driving sales and revenue.

We also run ads on Facebook and Instagram, targeting users by interest to drive traffic and raise brand awareness. We have seen great results from launch with growing ROI month-on month.

Multi-platform engaging and responsive social media management across Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.

Offers and competitions to build brand awareness, drive engagement, encourage user-added content, acquire sales and grow loyal brand advocates.

Acquiring brand exposure and high-quality media coverage with digital PR activity to support Newhay campaigns and outreach, building strong links for the brand.

Writing and optimising blog content to inspire, educate, build trust, and drive traffic to send high-quality signals to search engines that Newhay is a knowledge authority.

Set up email marketing templates and automated campaigns to target abandoned baskets and non-active users to build up a list of brand advocates that convert well.

Custom integration to reinforce trust signals from positive customer reviews and improve conversion rates and visibility in SERPs (organic and paid search).

Excellent sentiment from all comments and rated 4.9/5.

Development highlights

With three products across different types of pets, we created strong page experiences to support the user experience and SEO for each pet.

Implementation of subscription functionality to enable repeat business for customers.

Content hub to build a community around care of small pets and food nutrition.

Use of hover over function on illustrations to identify key product features of hay – improving interactivity and user experience.

Theme built using latest Shopify functionality to enable sections everywhere and more, which means every page is customisable by the user based on available custom sections.

The custom-built theme based on Shopify 2.0 is also built utilising the Herd Skeleton theme, which has best practices for SEO built in to ensure a high-performance website.