If you're coming from outside of town and visiting Birmingham for a weekend of Shopping, you're spoilt for choice with a fantastic range of department stores, shopping centre, and independents. To showcase Birmingham's strong retail offering, adaptable were tasked with re-imagining the main shoppinginbirmingham.com website, aimed at visiting tourists and local shoppers.
One of the main areas we found that was lacking in the former site was the way users could search and browse the shopping and leisure directory. All stores were confined to a list view which made searching the site slightly bland for the user to find what they need quickly.
A new Google-powered directory was created allows users to browse by map view, filter down to what they were looking for whilst also being able to search by alphabet/store name. One of the key points we learned from the client was that updating 400+ stores in the CMS was a lot of admin time. Updating store opening times at Christmas, only to change them back again a month later was too time-consuming. To make sure the data was quicker to update, and more accurate, we decided to power all stores in the directory via Googles Places API.
This means that site will feed in live information from a stores business listing meaning that the Shopping in Birmingham team only needs to review store submissions rather than having to manually add and keep updating them.
If your a new visitor coming to Birmingham, you'll likely browse where is best to park and potentially the hotel in the part of town closest to where you are planning to visit. With lots of sites out there showing users 'all hotels' in Birmingham and 'all carparks', we created curated maps which only show the best hotels and carparks nearest to the main shopping locations in the centre making it easier for users to find them quicker and not be bombarded with lots of unhelpful information.
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