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Building a demand generation and e-commerce platform for a leading construction body

Building confidence

The Building Cost Information Service (BCIS) is the leading independent provider of cost and price data for the UK construction industry. BCIS allows its members to effectively and efficiently calculate costs across entire projects, giving greater confidence in commercial modelling.

Established by the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS), BCIS approached 383 to develop an e-commerce platform that reflected its individual identity, away from RICS, and its new position in the market.

Blueprint for success

The BCIS team had three goals for this project.

First, they needed support to create a content-rich website that would communicate and position their brand in the construction market, using an open-source platform that would offer internal stakeholders control over content.

Second, the platform should support the sales team with lead generation.

And finally, it should offer e-commerce functionality to allow members and non-members to make purchases from the BCIS product range.

Laying foundations

The first stage of the project was discovery & definition. We completed a workshop with the BCIS team, using a collaborative framework to establish their outcomes, understand their requirements, and uncover everything we needed to work with.

With a tight, 12-month deadline in place to transition away from the RICS brand, we knew we had to be thorough and swift in our decision-making and approach.

Multi-coloured post-it notes stuck to a black wall

Bricks & clicks

A key insight uncovered in our discovery process was that the existing e-commerce basket process didn't suit the needs of BCIS. Bespoke functionality would be required to deliver an optimal user experience.

BCIS also wanted a bespoke layout for product pages to ensure that each product was easily identifiable for the end user. Additionally, members get preferential prices, so the site needed in-built functionality to validate member ID numbers and apply correct pricing.

A selection of wireframes of BCIS website pages

Building blocks

After discovery was complete, we moved into design and build. For this project, we combined multiple solutions to meet the technical requirements; Wordpress was chosen as a base CMS, WooCommerce for e-commerce functionality, and Stripe for payments.

We also developed a design system to help guide the future of the platform, as further developments and iterations of their services were important factors in the process.

BCIS tech stack logos: Wordpress, WooCommerce, Stripe
Job Done

Welcome home

The final platform included a series of bespoke product pages and a clear user interface, achieving our goal of establishing BCIS as a standalone brand after its transition from RICS. A design system and backlog of functionality were also provided, to support future development.

BCIS visitors are now able to place orders directly from the website, rather than having to transact via telephone. As a result, the BCIS sales team have been able to shift focus to lead generation and conversion, freeing them up to continue growing the business.

A laptop and a mobile phone showing the homepage of the new BCIS website

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